Do you ever want to throw the game of life?
Life throws you a curve ball how do you play the game? Are you in for the win still or do you give up that final strike to the other team? There are times in life when you just have no swing left for any pitch never mind the curve balls. The idea of not quitting is an awesome way of going about life every day and it is a philosophy we should all carry with us but a day will come when that one pitch is just one too many.
So some strategies and skills that we can develop to overcome the curve balls in life. There are days when those strategies and skills work a little better that others. I like to call these strategies and skills my little tool box of life. Every once in a while I need to refresh the tools that I have available for me and I may even need to relearn a new skill or two to keep playing the game.
What exactly is a curve ball?
In baseball, the curve ball is a pitch with a strong downward spin that is used to catch the batter off guard. With this analogy, when compared to a life situation the curve ball is an unexpected event that creates a disruptive response in someone’s life. This event can be just about anything that is out of the normal every day occurrences.
There are probably people that never experience a curve ball in their life and that others like myself that have had this experience often. The reaction to our unexpected events is really important and often can lead us spiraling all the way down or just creates a bump in the road. I have had both in my life.
Prior to a lot of self awareness a curve ball could truly interfere with everything in my life. Today, I would like to believe that the curve ball now creates bumps in the road for me. I have learned to handle them better but they can still be very disruptive in your life.
What can you do when life throws a curve ball?
As GI Joe says, “knowing is half the battle” and indeed it is. When life hits you with the unexpected are you ready to keep moving forward no matter what? Life will throw curve balls and having techniques on how to handle them is important for everyone. Let’s go over a couple common curve balls that someone may have in life.
A college student goes to class and the professor gives an unannounced test. What is your best practice here? You could pray through the entire test and hope for the best, you could panic and walk out of class, or you could take a deep breath and say “I can do this”. Now I would probably be praying and asking for payoffs on this one but a more confident person will most likely take a deep breath or a few deep breaths and that do their very best knowing what they know.
I think the worse thing to do would be to walk out of the class and not even try to take the test. Often when we are thrown a curve ball that’s the course we take. Throw in the bat and forfeit the game. At least in the trying you have an idea of what you are lacking and can build upon that. Failure is not an actual failure it is really a lesson on what we need to learn for the next time.
My thoughts on getting the curve ball has changed over the years and for many years I did throw in the bat because I wasn’t sure how to swing or I didn’t have another swing left in me. Today, I keep going no matter what and no matter how difficult it is. My curve balls used to impact my life for years and now they have a very small impact on my life and the outcomes I have in life are far less immobilizing for me.
Quick remedies for the curve balls in life.
Through the years I have found some simple remedies that have worked for me and that I have suggested to others. I have listed five of the key approaches that I have found to be very successful with those unexpected curve balls in life.
1. Keep it simple and do not make this an all over issue. We try to keep it as one issue and not a whole life or whole day issue it tends to feel a lot smaller. I remember hearing the statement “I had such a bad day” and when you think about it how many times do we have a bad day aren’t they really just some bad moments within the day. The perspective is to create a smaller issue so that it is more manageable and also to keep it at the moment.
2. Don’t take things personal because most things have nothing to do with us personally. We keep our perspective off of ourselves it is much easier to deal with something that is really out of our control. For example, you get passed up for the job you were gunning for. This can seem very personal but most often that not decisions about a position are based solely on what will be the best fit for the company. Thinking that someone is out to get you is seldom the case and can only cause you more distress in your life.
3. Mind Mirroring is a technique where you stand in front of a mirror and practice mindset breathing with self talk that will give you the power to conquer that curve ball moment. This is a great practice for many empowerment exercises and during the process using your rhythmic breathe is even more beneficial.
4. Problem solving minutes is a great practice for anything that comes up and creates some confusion. In this process you can do a pros and cons list, come up with solutions, feelings score card, and anything that will help you place the unproductive thoughts down and replace them with the productive ones. In all of these problems solving minutes it is important to replace the negative with something strong and powerful that will hit that curve ball out of the park.
5. Control what you can and accept that you can’t control the rest. So many things in life we have no control over so it be very important to know what you can control and what is completely out of your control. Let’s look at getting passed up for a new position this is a situation that is completely out of your control but what can you do to make this an empowering moment for you at your company. Taking that hit at the curve ball may be something like helping the new person get adjusted to their new position. Now having an empowering attitude like this is certainly something that a boss can’t miss.
Now these are just a few things that I do on a fairly regular basis, not just for those curve balls but for many of my daily practices. Learning techniques to handle the big stuff and certainly the unexpected can only be a major impact on a successful life.