At some point in our lives, each of us will go through situations where, despite our best efforts and intentions, things still go wrong. When everything goes wrong, it’s easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed. It’s easy to get drowned by the feeling of hopelessness and start believing that there is no way out.
This is certainly what I felt when my life was falling apart. When I was navigating this season of my life, honestly it felt like for every step that I took forward, I took three steps back. Every time I overcome one problem, three more seem to materialize in its place.
Frankly, there were days when the weight and burden of everything going wrong threatened to consume me and pull me under. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I cried myself to sleep, questioning my abilities, my choices, and the decisions that I’ve made that led me to this.
There were so many days when the feeling of defeat and overwhelm was just too much that even getting out of bed was a challenge. I mean, it’s just too difficult to stay motivated and keep trying when no matter how hard you try, life just seems to conspire against you.
If you’re currently going through this difficult time, please know that you are not alone. I know that this season can be so exhausting and mentally draining but please know that regardless of how difficult things may seem right now, this is just temporary. You will get through this.
In this post, I will be sharing with you the steps I took that have tremendously helped me navigate this difficult season. While these steps are in no way a magic fix, they can help alleviate the stress and overwhelm that we feel every day and help us find hope and the motivation to keep going during this overwhelming season.
What To Do When Everything Goes Wrong
1. Take Deep Breaths
When everything goes wrong, it’s easy for our thoughts to spiral out of control and drown us in so much negativity that can intensely magnify our anxieties and worries. That’s why in moments like this, it’s important to allow yourself to pause and take a few deep breaths.
I know that this sounds simple but this very simple act can have such a profound impact in helping us find even a few minutes of calm in overwhelming situations.
When I was smacked with one problem after another, allowing myself to slow down and take deep breaths even just for a few minutes gave me the clarity that I needed to help me make better decisions and to focus my attention on all the things that I can do today to help fix my problems and not on all the what-if’s that was threatening to cloud my mind.
When everything in your life starts falling apart and your worries and anxieties are threatening to take over, please don’t hesitate to pause and take deep breaths.
When you do this, allow yourself to focus all your attention on your breathing. Focus on how the air feels as it enters your lungs. Focus on how it feels as it fills your chest.
As you exhale, feel the warmth of the air as it passes out, carrying with it all your anxieties and worries.
2. Accept What You Can’t Change
I know how easy it is to get caught up in wanting to control every moment of our lives, every outcome, every situation, hoping that doing this will ensure that things will unfold as we planned. I’m certainly guilty of this.
This habit has always been a constant learning curve for me. I’ve always had this notion that as long as I try to manage every little area of my life then I can avoid feeling any pain and facing any challenges. But the hard truth is that there will always be things that are just beyond our control, no matter how hard we try to manage them.
During those moments when everything goes wrong, spending all our attention and energy trying to control the things that are beyond our grasp will only cause us more stress and anxiety. Doing this is not only mentally exhausting and draining, but honestly, it’s also a waste of time.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve done this and doing it did not help my situation in any way. For what it’s worth it just made everything more difficult. It just made me feel more overwhelmed and defeated and it didn’t really do anything to help fix my problem.
I’ve learned that especially in moments when we are struggling in life, the best thing that we can do is to accept the things that are beyond our control and focus all our energy and attention on things that we genuinely have control over.
I’ve learned that accepting the things that are beyond our control is not about giving up or not taking responsibility. It is about recognizing where our true powers lie and focusing our attention on them.
3. Allow Yourself To Feel
When we have so much on our plates, taking the time to process our emotions may not be on our to-do list. This is exactly what I felt. When I was dealing with challenges left and right, I believed that the best and most efficient thing to do was to bottle up all my emotions and focus all my attention on overcoming my problems.
I had this notion that if I just continued to run away from everything that I was feeling then eventually they would all just go away. I thought that taking the time to process what I was currently feeling from everything that was going on in my life was just a complete waste of time. My time should only be focused on turning my life around.
This approach worked for some time but after a while, the weight of bottling up all my emotions began to drag me down and consume me. What I initially thought was an effective coping mechanism became this heavy chain that kept me from moving forward and healing.
The reality is that no matter how hard we try to run away from our emotions, ignoring them doesn’t make them go away. While avoiding them can provide us with temporary relief, this approach is certainly not a healthy solution in the long run.
All the emotions that we bottle up will fester and eventually, they will erupt leading to breakdowns, and negatively impacting our mental health and overall well-being. The truth is the only way for us to truly heal and move forward is when we take the time to process our emotions.
By acknowledging and accepting all our emotions, we are giving ourselves a safe space to navigate any unresolved issues and the root cause of our pain, ultimately leading us to learn from them and grow stronger and more resilient.
When you are going through difficult and overwhelming seasons, please give yourself the chance to process all the emotions that you are feeling. Remember that what you are currently feeling is valid. Instead of suppressing them, allow yourself the space to sit with your emotions and express them in healthy ways.
You can talk to someone that you trust. Journal about it or even seeking professional counseling. It doesn’t matter which ones you choose as long as you do what you think works best for you.
4. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
This also resonates with what I’ve mentioned above. I know that often when we are going through difficulties, we want to find all the answers on our own. We want to fix everything on our own and refuse to ask for any help.
I was certainly guilty of this. When I was navigating my lowest point, I had this notion that since these were my problems then naturally I should be the only one to fix them. I didn’t really want to let other people know what I was going through, even my loved ones.
I believe that opening myself up to other people will only make me a burden. I didn’t want to burden anybody with my problems so I kept everything to myself and I pretended to everyone around me that I was perfectly okay.
When in reality, I was drowning. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned while I was digging myself out of rock bottom is that there is nothing wrong with asking for help especially when we need it the most.
The people who truly love you will never see you as a burden. In fact, they also value the trust you place in them when you choose to confide with them. Please know that asking for help is never a sign of weakness or a testament to our abilities.
While being self reliant is certainly a valuable trait, recognizing that we need help and reaching out for support is equally important. I actually believe that asking for help is a testament to our strength.
Know that life is difficult at times and there is nothing wrong with leaning on someone for support. We all need someone in our corner from time to time.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
When everything goes wrong, most of us want to fix everything all at once. I was certainly guilty of this. I wanted to turn my life around as fast as possible.
So, I relentlessly pushed myself to do more and fix every issue immediately. I set myself up to all these unrealistic expectations thinking that doing this would only push me to work even harder but it was the complete opposite.
By constantly setting impossibly high expectations for myself, I was adding more overwhelm to my life to the point that there were moments when I felt paralyzed and too overwhelmed to even do anything.
The constant pressure to meet all these unrealistic expectations became too much of a burden that made it even more difficult for me to find the motivation and determination to keep going.
I’ve learned how crucial it is to set realistic expectations, especially during these moments. Setting realistic expectations for ourselves doesn’t mean that we are aiming low or just settling for mediocrity.
It is about understanding our limits, recognizing the resources currently available to us, and aligning our goals with our current circumstances. Setting unrealistic expectations will only cause us more stress and disappointment and honestly it will just make us doubt ourselves and start questioning if we are even good enough to improve our lives.
6. Be Kind To Yourself
When life gets hard, it’s easy to become our harshest critics but there is no better time to offer ourselves compassion and kindness than during difficult moments.
I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of constantly criticizing ourselves and beating ourselves up for every little mistake. I’ve done this too. I honestly believed that being my worst critic would motivate me more and push me more.
But honestly what it did was the exact opposite. By constantly putting myself down and beating myself up for even the smallest mistake, I was also slowly diminishing my confidence and self-esteem.
I didn’t realize that being my harshest critic pushed me to start doubting my abilities and made it even more difficult for me to take action thinking that no matter how hard I tried, I would never succeed.
If you’re also guilty of doing this, please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of love, understanding, and compassion that you so freely give to your loved ones. Human as we are, we are bound to stumble and make mistakes and you are no exception.
Remember that self compassion is not about ignoring your flaws and just avoiding responsibility. It is about acknowledging your imperfections and shortcomings, accepting them without judgment, and treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you’d offer to others.
Learn how to start loving yourself more by taking this 30 day self love challenge.
7. Start With The Easiest Task
When everything goes wrong, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything and struggle to find the motivation to start taking action. I know how this feels. When you are hit with one challenge after another, it’s so easy to feel paralyzed by the magnitude of it all.
I’ve learned that one of the best things to do in moments like this is to start with the easiest task. Tackling something small and simple does not only lessen the overwhelm that we are currently feeling but it also makes it less daunting for us to take that first step.
This first step, no matter how small, will help us find the motivation and drive to keep moving forward. I know that taking huge leaps has always been hailed as the benchmark of success but please remember that there is profound power in the smaller and consistent steps we choose to take every single day.
There is nothing wrong with starting small. The important thing is to help ourselves find the drive and the motivation to be consistent with our efforts without making it too overwhelming and daunting for us.
Starting with the easiest task does not mean that we lack ambition or that we are not capable. I honestly believe that it is a strategic approach to helping us build momentum and avoid being overwhelmed.
8. Focus On Gratitude
I know how difficult it is to find something to be grateful for, especially, when everything goes wrong in our lives. Truth be told, I always had this notion that focusing on gratitude was nothing more than toxic positivity.
When I was going through one of the darkest moments of my life, I was drowning in so much debt, barely making ends meet and I was constantly smacked with one disappointment and problem after another. At that moment, I believed that finding something to be grateful for was just impossible.
I thought that the most productive thing to do was to focus all my attention on my problems and everything that was going wrong in my life. I thought that doing this would somehow push me to work even harder.
But that wasn’t really the case. It only drowned me with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness that just magnified my anxiety. Choosing to focus on my problems paralyzed me, making it even more difficult for me to take action.
This eventually made me realize that practicing daily gratitude is not blind optimism. It’s not about pretending that everything is okay and just minimizing our struggles.
Focusing on gratitude is about finding the light despite the darkness. It is about allowing yourself to appreciate even the smallest moment of joy and find hope in those moments even in the midst of challenges.
9. Make Time For Self Care
I know that when we are already facing so many challenges, making time for self care just seems like a complete waste of time. I felt this way too.
I knew that I had to make every minute of my time count and that meant focusing on doing everything that I could to overcome challenges and find solutions to my problem. Taking the time for self care was not even on my mind.
But eventually, I started to feel exhausted and mentally drained. The burden of constantly pushing myself and ignoring my needs left me constantly feeling exhausted and my motivation declining.
I’ve realized that continuously pushing myself was not a testament to my drive or strength, but rather a path to burnout. The reality is that when we choose to ignore self care, we are not only ignoring moments of relaxation, we are ultimately neglecting our mental, emotional, and physical health.
Self care is not just an afterthought. It is a necessity. If you’re constantly neglecting self care too, please know that you deserve to take care of your needs. Doing this is not selfish.
Truly you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking time for self care not only nurtures yourself and helps you recharge, but it also allows you to be more present in all aspects of your life.
So, please don’t hesitate to grant yourself permission to pause, slow down and practice self care.
Here’s a great post that’ll help you practice self care during tough times from The EveryGirl.
10. Be Patient
There’s certainly no denying that when everything goes wrong in our lives, we all want to turn our lives around as fast as possible. I know how this feels.
When everything in my life was falling apart, I wanted to do everything that I could to overcome all my problems right away. I consistently pushed myself to exhaustion and burnout and for every setback that I experienced, I became more and more impatient, frustrated, and disappointed.
The hard truth is that overcoming adversities rarely happens overnight. When we consistently push ourselves to make it happen right away, we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment and added stress.
It’s completely natural to want quick results. I did too but the truth is that true healing, growth, and moving forward often take time. The best thing that we can do during these moments is to keep taking action and have patience.
I know that immediate results are gratifying but one thing that I’ve learned from navigating difficult times is the enduring strength, resilience, and wisdom that we gain from persistently pushing through, even when the pace seems slow, are invaluable.
I know how difficult it is to keep hoping when everything goes wrong and when every day constantly feels like a battle that we can never seem to win.
It’s best to remember that hope is not just about expecting things to turn around for us. It is also about believing in the possibility that though things are difficult right now, there will be better days and we will get through this.
Remember your strength and courage and all the other times you thought you wouldn’t make it. Yet, here you are, you’ve emerged from those obstacles, stronger.
Every time you start doubting your abilities, reflect on all those moments and let them remind you that you have what it takes to rise above the adversities of life.
You can do this. I’m rooting for you!