“Winning and losing are both very temporary things. Having done one or the other, you move on. Gloating over a victory or sulking over a loss is a good way to stand still.” – Chuck Knox
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being stuck. When something goes wrong – meaning, I’ve made a mistake – it’s a personal setback, to be sure. I don’t like it, but I’m not going to dwell on it any longer than necessary.
Similarly, once I’ve attained a goal I’ve worked hard for, I’m naturally going to indulge myself for a bit and feel good about what I accomplished. The tougher the goal, the more satisfying it feels to be on the other side of all the challenging work. Still, I’m not going to sit still for too long congratulating myself. Besides being selfish, as well as unhealthy, it doesn’t do much to motivate me. It also tends to tick off those around me.
Frankly, no one wants to be in the presence of a gloater or a sulker. While this applies universally, it’s also true that each of us has been there at one time or another. We’ve each stewed just a little too long in our misery or bragged more than appropriate about our wins.
Just get over it. It’s time to move on.
Easy enough to say, right? How do you get over yourself and move on after a glorious victory or an unexpected (or expected) loss or mistake? Here are some of my favorite tips that may help:
Keep a handy list of upcoming projects.
Something I’ve found effective is having a list handy of next projects I want to tackle. Of course, the list must contain things that are necessary as well as ones that are aspirational. A good mix is always recommended for upcoming projects. This serves to motivate, excite, remind and compel. Everyone needs some of each to get over whatever might contribute to being stuck in the moment and move on.
Check your list.
That’s right, keeping a list, something you can refer to gives you direction, something to do to get past your funk or over your self-congratulatory state. Pick something, anything, and get busy. When you’re active, you’re less likely to continue gloating or sulking.
Involve yourself in drudge work.
This may sound counter-intuitive. After all, how can doing something boring or distasteful help you get over it? Pulling weeds in the garden is therapeutic, for example, and it also allows your mind to think beyond wins and losses. This happens to be one of my most effective and enjoyable ways to get past being stuck. Fixing a plugged toilet may not be high on your list of aspirations either, but it needs fixing, and if you can do it, you’ll be putting your skills and your energies to work and not ruminating over whatever you were stuck on. Just to clarify, I don’t fix toilets. It’s not one of my core strengths. That’s someone else’s specialty. I stick to what I know I’m good at – or have a reasonable expectation of a favorable outcome. On the other hand, if no one was around and the toilet was overflowing, I’d get busy quick with a mop and a bucket – and speed dial the plumber.
There’s nothing like the exhilaration after a hard workout to erase any residual feelings of gloating or sulking. Besides being good for your physical health, exercise is an excellent healer and stimulator for mental health. It isn’t necessary to have an expensive gym membership to exercise. Walking outdoors qualifies, as does swimming, biking, any number of activities that require physical effort.
Engage in problem-solving.
Surely there’s some problem that requires a solution. Maybe you’re just the one to come up with it. You should think this way to give yourself a much-needed kick to the backside. Put your creative abilities to work and figure out some solutions that may prove workable. When you’re actively thinking how to fix a problem, you’re not stuck. You’re being proactive, resourceful and creative.
Your neighbor could possibly use your assistance cleaning out the gutters or raking leaves from the yard. Lend a hand to a co-worker who’s behind on a project that the team desperately needs completed. See what you can do to ease the burden of a family member overwhelmed with chores. When you’re helping others, there’s work to be done and little time to stew or chortle over other things.
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This article was originally published on Psych Central.
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