We all have them – dark days when everything goes wrong, and it’s hard to see past whatever is sucking up time and energy.

Running a business is a roller coaster ride. 

Some highs thrill you. Your hard work pays off, and you land a big contract. An industry contact sends new business your way because they trust you with their prize client. You reach a milestone.

Then the ride goes down into the valley, and fear and anxiety take over.  A crisis happens. You can’t find the right staff. You can’t afford staff. You feel exhausted and start to question whether self-employment is best for you.

There are no instant answers or solutions. What exists is a place to start, reset, and get yourself in the mindset to go forward. First, take a few deep belly breaths and imagine yourself inhaling solutions and exhaling doubt and worry. You know the roller coaster will chug uphill until you are on top again – you’re temporarily in the trough, but you won’t stay there.

Next, take a minute and repeat a favourite saying or adage that works for you. This helps to put the situation in perspective. Don’t have one? Start a collection of meaningful words that trigger positive emotion. Your choices should be personal, as what works for one won’t necessarily inspire another. Here are a few to consider:

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

Henry Ford

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

Stephen McCranie

Don’t be afraid to start over. This time you’re not starting from scratch; you’re starting from experience.

Author Unknown

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy and plow your anger and energy into something positive.

Lee Iacocca

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”

Thomas Edison

All these sayings reflect hope for the future. Your future. 

Another helpful tool is to speak with a trusted advisor – someone who knows you well and can be objective. When alone, it’s easy to focus on the injustices of our current situation, leaving little room for solutions to develop. A frank, calm conversation with a mentor or experienced confidante can help channel your energy towards moving on. 

It’s instinctive to retreat and hide when feeling defeated. Embarrassment and a perception of failure loom, and our thinking can veer towards catastrophe. Remember, the chances of your roller coaster car going ultimately off track are minimal. This is the time to hang on and ratchet back to a better view.