How do you cope when things go wrong?
As a project manager I’m used to things not always going to plan. I also think of myself as being pretty resilient. Yet, the past week has seen my patience and tolerance disappear pretty quickly!
I’ve been having a really bad week where it feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. It’s been little things, like losing the lid of a jar – two days later and I still can’t find the thing! And big things – like a power cut shutting the office down for an afternoon.
Being resilient is a really important skill to have. Everyone faces hard times at points in their personal and work lives. Yet how you deal with it can often make or break the situation.
I started looking at the coping mechanisms I have in place to help me through times like this week to see if there is anything I can change or add.
This is what I currently do when things go wrong:
- Remain positive. My wee mantra is “this too shall pass”. That phrase has helped me cope through many a trying situation! I can often be seen rocking in a corner whispering that phrase in times of extreme stress.
- Be prepared. This might seem obvious but having a back-up plan (or two) goes a long way towards calming me down in a crisis. Case in point, when the power went out at the office, we packed everyone off to work at home.
- Ask for help. The old saying “a problem shared is a problem halved” is not just an old wives tale. Asking for help has got me through this week!
- Refuse to give up. Sometimes the only thing you can do when it all goes wrong is to dust yourself down and get up for another go.
- If all else fails a big bar of chocolate and a glass of wine does wonders for my morale!
Having looked at how I currently manage when things go wrong, I’ve thought about what else I could do and came up with this:
- Walk away sooner. This is counter to number 4, but I think I have a tendency to hang on to things that would be better to let go. It doesn’t help and actually adds to my stress. So I’m making a promise to walk away earlier in future.
- Move on to something else. Rather than spend time focusing on the problem, I’m going to go and do something else. This will give my mind a break and hopefully help me come up with a solution earlier.
- Do some exercise. I find that getting up and moving helps my mood improve and I often get inspiration at the same time. It also counteracts the effects of number 5 above!
What are your tips to help you cope when things go wrong?
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