Life does not Suck: How to Cope with Life’s Curveballs

We all develop a completely different perspective on our lives as we grow older and encounter some of the ups and downs found in life. I am a coach, so I will draw from a baseball analogy and call these negative life events curveballs. A well-thrown curveball is a difficult pitch to hit in both baseball and life because you may not see it coming your way until it has done its job and either struck you out at the plate or hit you. Either way, it can be a very unpleasant experience.

Curveballs can change our lives in a very profound way so the next step is to assess the situation and how to handle it. Issues like divorce, illness, job loss and death are game-changers and you are allowed a period of mourning because it is part of the process.
However, these kinds of events may trigger a sense of hopelessness in people because they try to compare their current lives to the idealized version of life they envisioned in their younger days. The fantasy life came with fame, fortune, success and a perfect life partner, while the actual life came with completely unforeseen personal setbacks and failed relationships.

We try to build an ideal life in our crystal ball to the future when we are young and there is no such thing as a perfect life or a crystal ball. In fact, few of us would be emotionally equipped to handle the curveballs delivered in life if we got an early look at all of our life curveballs as 20 year olds. We need to assemble life experience in order to deal with the curveballs.

One of the things that can happen during a curveball moment is a feeling of futility and the notion that “life sucks and there is nothing I can do about it.” This knee-jerk reaction will affect us all to some extent when we get thrown that curveball, but the important thing is to move past this moment and not wallow in our own misery. You may even need to forgive yourself for something you did under the stress of a curveball moment to move past it.

My job is to coach people past the “life sucks” moment and get them focused on the positives in their lives. I want them to think more about what is going well in their lives and take a long hard look at that list of good things. Life does not suck-this moment in our lives sucks- and it is important to make a distinction between the two concepts. A setback in our lives does not have to be a point where our lives come to a standstill with no forward movement and I believe it has to become a matter of perspective where “life sucks” is outgunned by “life does not suck” so we can move past this curveball moment in our lives. Be very fair to yourself and include an honest, complete inventory of the good things in your life and not just the curveball. Changes have happened in your life, but you do not have to be affected in a negative manner by them.

The aftermath of a curveball may require some decisions to cope with the new direction in our lives and I should acknowledge that others may not agree with your decisions. However, the fact that you are willing to make a decision is part of the process to move beyond the curveball in your life.

One of the things I hear is “I’m too old to change” and nothing could be further from the truth. We all have the capacity to be flexible when it comes to curveballs because the circumstances have already moved our lives into a new direction and flexibility is now a realistic part of the solution.

My final point may seem a little unusual because a curveball may actually be an opportunity in life. The new direction may well be a better direction in life.

Categories Inspiration | Tags:

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit