It’s easy to act sad, mad, or feel guilty if things aren’t working out the way you planned, but don’t let those emotions take over because they can keep you from moving on and making things better. Instead of wallowing in the past, use these tips to move forward one day at a time.
Here are 8 tips for staying positive when facing setbacks at work.
- Focus on what you can control
Your attitude and outlook will dictate how you approach the situation. Don’t approach it with a defeatist attitude because that will only exacerbate the crisis. Instead, tell yourself that there is always something positive in every situation.
- Get support
You’re not alone in this; many people face setbacks at work. Some of your friends, family members or co-workers will remind you that there is light at the end of the tunnel when things don’t work out. Call on them when you need to vent because they will offer good advice grounded in experience.
- Get busy
Keep your mind occupied so you can avoid dwelling on the negative aspects of your job loss or setback at work. Volunteer at a charity event, go out to exercise or do anything that gives you joy and will help you put things back into perspective. It’s important to stay productive during setbacks because it enables you improve your capabilities.
- Challenge yourself daily with something new
Make it fun by challenging yourself to learn one new thing each day (even if it’s small), like using an app on your tablet or phone, learning a new skill, or starting a blog. The point is to keep learning and improving while developing skills that may be useful in your next role.
- Reflect on the past, but plan for the future
Reflect on how you got yourself into this situation and what you can learn from it, but don’t dwell too much because thinking from a negative perspective as this is counterproductive. Note things that may have contributed to your job loss or setback at work, like bad habits or putting unnecessary stress on yourself, adjust where necessary, then look ahead to find out what opportunities are available down the road.
- Set SMART goals
When planning your next move, break tasks into smaller achievable goals rather than setting one huge goal for which there is no clear direction of achieving it (and risk feeling overwhelmed with anxiety). A great example is SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
- Get creative.
Put your thinking cap on and brainstorm about alternative options when the original plan is not working out for you. Do everything in your power to turn things around, even if it means doing what you dread most.
Finally, remember that self-care is always important (even when everything else is falling apart) – take care of yourself by taking regular breaks from whatever is stressing you out; eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and working up your support system so that you have someone to talk with during difficult times.