We all have had those times where we feel low and bummed out. We feel that we made a blunder yet again and that we are hopeless. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some quick tips that could help us to get out of the deep well of regret? Here are some psychological tips that you can try out.
what did I do right?
No matter how big a failure, some strength can still be drawn from it. Asking this question, “what did I do right?” can help you to change your focus and shift your thinking from complete black and white, to greys. The temptation here will be to answer this question with “nothing”. Resist that urge and give this question a real thought. For example, if you failed an exam, ask yourself, what helped me to fail it by just 5 marks and not 50 marks? Questions like this, asked with some creativity will help you to see your strengths. Identifying your strengths is a good way to start getting motivated.
2. How much will this mistake matter in ten years?
Often, we tend to zoom in on our error despite the fact that it is human to make mistakes. To get yourself a reality check, you can ask yourself this question, how much will this mistake matter in 5 or 10 years? Usually, the answer is, not much. This helps us to become unstuck from the negativity and then focus on things that truly matter.
3. What would XYZ do?
Is there a friend, family member or role model that you look up to? If yes, then you can ask yourself, what would that person do in this situation? A client of mine was juggling hectic M.D training along with a stressful relationship and often disliked how both these pressures would make her cranky. She wanted to be good to people but the stress was too much. We identified that she really looked up to her father who was a very kind man and a great doctor. We decided that when she was stressed and going away from how she wanted to behave, then she would think of what would her dad do in this situation.
4. Can I go on despite what I feel?
Sometimes, the feelings of motivation are just not there. Maybe you’re too stressed or tired. But the good news is, feelings are not always required to do things you want. For example, have you ever sat in an interview or exam, despite feeling scared? if you had listened to your feelings, you would have just avoided that situation. So, you can push on to act like you need to, despite the feelings not being right. You can do it by reminding yourself of your larger goals and principles. Feelings will follow these actions.
5. Does it help my goal to keep being stuck or should I focus on motivation instead?
When nothing else works, simply ask yourself, “does it help me or my goals to keep being negative or stuck?” Often, when we get into a battle of true vs false with our minds, its really easy to lose sight of the fact that this truth finding mission is not helping. Being so excessively engaged in negative thoughts will simply not help the larger goal. This can be a good refresher and booster if you tend to get stuck in negative thoughts.
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Head Psychologist at Type a Thought