Nothing Goes Right for Me: What Can I Do?

When everything's going wrong, don't run away. Stop for a minute and take note of where you are and what's going on inside you. It's time to make some decisions.
Nothing Goes Right for Me: What Can I Do?
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

“Nothing goes right for me. No matter how hard I try, everything goes wrong.” Many people feel like this. It’s as if you place all your hopes and dreams on a particular goal, only to see it collapse around you, for one reason or another. And these reasons are often completely out of your control.

Anton Chekhov said that only in the most difficult times do people realize how difficult it is to be in control of their feelings and thoughts. It’s as if each problem, mistake, or failure sends your mind reeling. And you become so troubled that you’re on the brink of falling down a big black hole of anxiety.

It isn’t easy to stay balanced in difficult times. When things don’t happen the way you want, you feel frustrated and desperate. What’s more, in these situations, it’s useless to try to think positively and tell yourself that everything will turn out fine. Because you just don’t feel motivated or hopeful when you aren’t in the right frame of mind.

What can you do in these situations? Is there some kind of strategy you can use? Let’s see.

A person walking along by the sea.

If nothing goes right, what should you do?

Daniel Gilbert is a Harvard psychologist who’s become famous in recent years. He wrote Stumbling on Happiness, which is one of his best-known works. It’s an interesting book where he explains how we deal with adversity. Indeed, experts are very interested on the individual differences in this regard.

Some people can suffer a traffic accident or become paraplegic and stay optimistic. Also, others forgive their partners when they cheat on them and become happier in the relationship. On the other hand, others can’t move on after being laid off, sink into depression after being cheated on, or think that a migraine is the end of the world. Why do people handle difficulties and challenges in such different ways?

Dr. Daniel Gilbert talks of the psychological immune system, a mechanism whereby the brain processes each event in a more resilient, constructive, and positive way. Some people have “better defenses”. On the other hand, some people’s responses are less effective.

But you have the ability to kick-start this system, especially at those precise moments when things aren’t going your way. Have a look at the strategies you can resort to.

When nothing goes right, slow down

Everyone goes through times when nothing seems to go right. Outside circumstances might be to blame. However, it could also be because your perception is skewed. What does this mean? Well, you might be so blind by your inner distress that you’re unable to see anything, even the positive things.

You might be one of those people who feel that things just continuously keep going wrong for you. Where everything you do seems to go wrong no matter how hard you try. However, you could well be suffering from an underlying depression or anxiety disorder. Slow down and talk to your inner self because it’s really important that you find out what’s going on. In fact, it might be time to ask for help.

It’s time to redefine your goals: what you need is more important than what you want

When nothing is going your way, it might be time to reflect on your desires. Are your goals realistic? Are you capable of achieving them? Is now the best time for you to achieve them? Sometimes, what you’re dreaming of isn’t in sync with what’s actually possible at the present time. And that’s why, sometimes, there’s no choice but to take a break and reflect on what you really need now, not what you want tomorrow.

Get help from someone to put things into perspective

It’s very easy to get caught up in a web of anxiety when you feel that nothing will turn out the way you want. Little by little, you come to the conclusion that fate is conspiring against you or, even worse, that you’re incapable of doing anything right. Reaching these extremes is pretty dangerous.

One way of getting your feet back on the ground is getting help from someone. Someone who can act as both your lighthouse and your anchor. Someone who can help you put things into perspective and show you that you mustn’t get carried away by negativity. All storms pass in the end.

When nothing goes the way you want, stop thinking and just feel

When there’s nothing but disappointments, failures, and nasty surprises, your mind goes into overdrive. You never rest, and your brain is working 24/7. In these states, all you manage to do is get more anxious and make bad decisions.

Thus, when you find yourself in the middle of these types of situations, it’s best to stop thinking and just feel.

To accomplish this, you can do certain activities and tasks to calm your mind and exercise your body. Walk, listen to music, paint, talk to friends, take a trip, meditate, or rest. Allowing yourself to “just be” will reduce the mental noise in your head. This way, you’ll be able to reboot, take a step back, and keep things in perspective. Give it a try.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.