A different perspective on bad luck

I have spent a great deal of my life cursing bad luck. If only things had gone differently, I would have been able to be more, do more and have more. All the trappings of success were waiting just around the corner when I was struck by this cursed bad luck. And of course, I was the only person who was experiencing bad luck. All those successful people that I was seeing on television were immune to bad luck. They were the complete opposite of me. While I got all their bad luck; they were revelling in my good luck. I couldn’t understand why God, the world or life had it in for me but I was destined for misery.

You shouldn’t need me to tell you but this attitude is absolute nonsense.

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3 Alternative views on bad luck

Rather than allow myself to become bogged down by thoughts of bad luck, I realised that I needed to challenge my perceptions of bad luck. The following are some things which I needed to consider.

1. Was it bad luck?

As Cormac McCarthy said, ‘You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.’ Things could always have gone worse and, from my coaching experience, I have found that when things go wrong for somebody, they usually get a warning or two before total disaster strikes.

If you heed the early warnings and act, you will usually be spared from the disaster. Sure, you may still experience some unpleasant things but paying attention to the early dose of bad luck can save you from the worse luck which McCarthy speaks of.

2. Bad luck may be a nudge in the right direction

In my early career, I worked in Training and Development for a bank. I was harassed in the job and eventually, I was forced to leave. Harassment is a horrible experience so, I naturally cursed my bad luck.

The entire experience took a whole lot out of me and in the end, I felt shattered and weak. As part of the recovery, I had to work hard on myself; to build myself up to be the strong person I needed to become. In the process, I discovered the coaching profession and I soon realised that it was the profession for me. With my personal experience and the skills I learned, I have been able to forge a successful career in a profession I love.

Needless to say, I no longer view my harassment as bad luck; rather it was a valuable, though painful nudge in the right direction.

You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved your from - Cormac McCarthy

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3. Is bad luck just an excuse?

Most of the time that people talk about bad luck, they are just are just trying to abdicate their responsibilities. Nobody, really likes to admit that they made a mistake or that they were in the wrong but it is a necessary part of our personal development.

We all make mistakes but the only way that we are going to grow from the experience is by taking responsibility for the part that we played in what went wrong. Most of the bad events which happen in our lives are due to decisions or actions (including inaction) which we take.

If we refuse to learn from our mistakes, we are destined to repeat them. So, rather than blame bad luck, take an objective luck at what occurred and strive to identify exactly what went wrong and how you contributed. Responsibility is empowerment because once you have identified what you did wrong, you can change the outcome by changing your behaviour/actions.

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4. Everyone gets some bad luck

Of course, there will be times when things which lie outside our control, go wrong. We can’t control or influence every aspect of life. Some things must be left to fate and from time to time, life will deal you a rough hand.

It is important to remember that bad luck and misfortune are only temporary. Rather that whining about the predicament in which you find yourself, take a little time to get calm, composed and confident so that you can accurately assess the situation. Then you can identify the best way to move forward and rectify the situation.

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Conclusion

When things go wrong, as they will; it is very tempting to blame that outside force – bad luck. However, just as your positive outcomes are rarely due to good luck, the blame for negative outcomes can rarely be laid solely at the feet of bad luck. If you believe that your problems are due to bad luck, you are believing that the problem lies outside of your control. This makes it more difficult to resolve the issue because. Afterall, how do you solve a problem over which you have no control? When you take a more honest look at the situation and, you accept that you are, at least in part, responsible for what has occurred; you realise that if you caused the problem; you also have the ability to solve it. So, stop cursing bad luck and start focusing on responsibility.