Getting Into the Optimistic Flow: How to Move Past Setbacks and Have What You Want

Whether it's a failed relationship, a bad career move, or a project that went bust, stuff happens in life and we often can't control the outcome. We can, though, learn to go a little more with the flow.
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We all experience feeling let down when we don't achieve something that we want. We might have wrongly thought that it would be easy to achieve our goal and think that we are a failure for not reaching it, or maybe we put in a lot of hard work and it didn't work out. Whether it's a failed relationship, a bad career move, or a project that went bust, stuff happens in life and we often can't control the outcome. We can, though, learn to go a little more with the flow. The goal in life is really to move on successfully and turn any letdown into an exciting new beginning instead of a sad ending.

The following six tips will help you to get past your life setbacks and move into the optimistic flow of life:

1. Put It In Perspective. You are not the first to have fallen short of your goal, or been disappointed with an outcome. It's not an indicator of you -- just one set of circumstances that didn't work out perfectly. Don't give up on your dreams because of a letdown. Rather, realize that setbacks are a necessary part of the path towards success.

2. Evaluate. Figure out what is accurate to take away from the situation. There are probably certain things you could do differently or would never want to so the same way again. Figure out what those things are, write them down, read them to yourself every day, and mentally look out for them as you move ahead.

3. Do Something Differently. Do you want to try again to achieve the same goal or relationship or career change with a different tactic? Or maybe you want to achieve something totally different the next time. Whether you want the same thing or something else, you need to take what you discovered in tip number two and figure out how you are going to approach working towards the goal differently this time. And although you cannot plan out all of life and its obstacles, you can decide to try something new such as taking on a new attitude, or being more flexible to changing course sooner, or being more open to whatever comes your way.

4. Commit To Self-Integrity. Hold yourself up to not repeating the patterns that are stopping you from getting what you want, and follow through on the new ways that you have committed to doing things. Making this commitment is important for two reasons: First, it builds confidence because you learn that you can have some control over the direction of your life, and second, it stops you from backsliding and repeating the past experience (and then saying "see, I knew this would never work").

5. Be All Over The Place. One way to manage disappointment is to avoid having all hopes and dreams locked up in one outcome. Spread out your possible options. If you are looking for new job, don't emotionally invest in just one opportunity. If you are dating, don't stop going out and looking just because you went on two dates with one great guy. If you are working towards being happier generally, don't expect one new thing to provide that instant boost. Mix it up, keep it interesting for yourself and then see where you end up. You probably won't be able to predict the outcome but you will be able to enjoy the ride more fully.

6. Always Be Your Best Friend. There may be bumps along the way and you may repeat old patterns. Notice, acknowledge and move on. Don't beat yourself up for your part in the setback. Commit to only saying to yourself the same types of things you would tell your best friend if she was in the same situation. Remember that it's normal to have setbacks. We cannot be mistake-free as human beings, and would you really want to be? Some of the greatest things in the world came out of mistakes. So relax, and take it a little easy on yourself.

Smile. Right now. Remind yourself that you can choose to be optimistic, and that there's always hope and opportunity for a second chance. You are deserving. You are perfectly imperfect. You are capable of achieving the optimistic flow.

As always, I love to hear from my readers in the comment section below. Tell me what you are doing right now to stay optimistic about the future!



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