Advertising

Last Updated on February 4, 2021

Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

Advertising
Why Do I Have Bad Luck? 2 Simple Things to Change Your Destiny

Are you one of those people who are always suffering setbacks? Does little ever seem to go right for you? Do you sometimes feel that the universe is out to get you?

Do you wonder: Why do I have bad luck? Is bad luck real?

A couple of months ago, I met up with an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since last year. Over lunch, we talked about all kinds of things, including our careers, relationships, and hobbies.

My friend told me his job had become dull and uninteresting to him and despite applying for promotion, he’d been turned down. His personal life wasn’t great either, as he told me that he’d recently separated from his long-term girlfriend.

When I asked him why things had seemingly gone wrong at home and work, he paused for a moment, and then replied:

“I’m having a run of bad luck.”

I was surprised by his response as I’d never thought of him as someone who thought that luck controlled his life. He always appeared to be someone who knew what he wanted – and went after it with gusto.

He told me he did believe in bad luck because of everything that happened to me.

It was at this point, that I shared my opinion on luck and destiny:

Advertising

While chance events certainly occur, they are purely random in nature.

In other words, good luck and bad luck don’t exist in the way that people believe. And more importantly, even if random negative events do come along, our perspective and reaction can turn them into positive things.

Your luck is no worse and no better than anyone else’s. It just feels that way.

Better still, there are two simple things you can do which will reverse your feelings of being unlucky and change your luck.

1. Stop Believing That What Happens in Life Is Out of Your Control

Stop believing that what happens in your life is down to the vagaries of luck, destiny, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside yourself.

Psychologists call this “external locus of control.” It’s a kind of fatalism where people believe that they can do little or nothing personally to change their lives.

Because of this, they either merely hope for the best, focus on trying to change their luck by various kinds of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes—while complaining that it doesn’t match their hopes.

Most successful people take the opposite view. They have an “internal locus of control.” They believe that what happens in their life is nearly all down to them; and that even when chance events occur, what is important is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.

This makes them pro-active, engaged, ready to try new things, and keen to find the means to change whatever in their lives they don’t like. They aren’t fatalistic and they don’t blame bad luck for what isn’t right in their world. They look for a way to make things better.

Advertising

Are they luckier than the others? Of course not.

Luck is random—that’s what chance means—so they are just as likely to suffer setbacks as anyone else.

What’s different is their response.

When things go wrong, they quickly look for ways to put them right. They don’t whine, pity themselves, or complain about “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened to avoid or correct it next time and get on with living their life as best they can. They have this Motivation Engine, which most people lack, to keep them going.

No one is habitually luckier or unluckier than anyone else. It may seem so, over the short term (Random events often come in groups, just as random numbers often lie close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).

When you take a longer perspective, random chance is just random. Yet, those who feel that they are less lucky typically pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.

Your locus of control isn’t genetic. You learned it somehow. If it isn’t working for you, change it.

2. Remember That Whatever You Pay Attention to Grows in Your Mind

If you focus on what’s going wrong in your life—especially if you see it as “bad luck” you can do nothing about—it will seem blacker and more malevolent.

In a short time, you’ll become so convinced that everything is against you that you’ll notice more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you will drown yourself in negative energy and almost certainly stop trying, convinced that nothing you can do will improve your prospects.

Advertising

Not long ago, a reader (I’ll call her Kelly) has shared with me about how frustrated she felt and how unlucky she was. Kelly’s an aspiring entrepreneur. She had been trying to find investors to invest in her project.

It hadn’t been going well as she was always rejected by potential investors. And at her most stressful time, her boyfriend broke up with her. And the day after her breakup, she missed an important opportunity to meet an interested investor. She was about to give up because she felt that she’d not be lucky enough to build her business successfully.

It definitely wasn’t an easy time for her. She was stressed and tired. But it wasn’t bad luck that was playing the role.

Fatalism feeds on itself until people become passive “victims” of life’s blows. The “losers” in life are those who are convinced they will fail before they start anything – sure that their “bad luck” will ruin any prospects of success.

They rarely notice that the true reasons for their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or just plain foolishness—all of which they could do something to correct, if only they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal deficiencies.

Your attention is under your control. Send it where you want it to go. Starve the negative thoughts until they die.

I explained to Kelly that to improve her fortune and have “good luck”, first decide that what happens is nearly always down to her. Then, try to focus on what works and what turns out well, not the bad stuff.

Then, Kelly tried to review her current situation objectively. She realized that she only needed a short break for herself — from work and her just broken-up relationship. She really needed some time to clear up her mind before moving on with her work and life.

When she got her emotions settled down from her heartbreak, she started to work on improving her business’ selling points and looked for new investors that are more suitable.

Advertising

A few months later, she told me that she finally found two investors who were really interested in her project and would like to work with her to grow the business. I was really glad that she could take back control of her destiny and achieved what she wanted.

Your “fate” really does depend on the choices that you make. When random events happen, as they always will, do you choose to try to turn them to your advantage or just complain about them?

In my book The Full Life Essential Guide, I explain how you can make use of a solid framework to take charge of your life and live your best life no matter what happens around you. Get your copy and find out what you can do to make wise choices in life.

What’s Next?

Now, you’ve learned the 2 simple things you can do to take control of your fate and create your own luck. But this isn’t it!

If you think you’re “suffering from bad luck”, you can really change things up. It may even be a lot easier than you thought: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

Thomas Jefferson is said to have used these words:

“I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.”

Your luck, in the end, is pretty much what you choose it to be.

More Ideas About Creating Your Own Luck

Books About Taking Control of Your Life

Featured photo credit: LoboStudio Hamburg via unsplash.com

Advertising

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

How to Create a Good Work-Life Balance Realistically What Is Life About? How to Find Your Meaning in Life How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret What Is a Midlife Crisis and How to Deal With It How to Create Life Goals And Put Them into Action

Trending in Life Potential

1 How to Make Big Life Changes (Your Complete Guide) 2 4 Simple Steps to Start Living a Positive Life 3 How to Find Your Inner Strength and Let It Shine 4 The 5 Areas of Personal Growth (And How to Improve Them) 5 How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 10, 2022

How to Make Big Life Changes (Your Complete Guide)

Advertising
How to Make Big Life Changes (Your Complete Guide)

Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

Can a Person Really Change Life?

Changing a life is dependent on your will and motivation to change. If you are up for it, then you can do it. It cannot be said simpler than this.

Of course, exceptional cases where genetics or personality of an individual does play a part in determining if they can change or not. But for most of us, the power to change lives lies within ourselves.

You just need to be patient and be prepared to go through some major life transformations.

When you find your purpose and are entirely motivated to reach your goals, you can really change a life. Sure, it would take substantial efforts and a lot more than just being motivated. But it is possible!

Well, we certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

What Are Some Big Changes in Life?

A major change in life is an event that forces us to change the way we look at things and how we see the world. It can be anything from as simple as moving out of your parents’ house to having a child. The thing that makes them ‘major’ is how they influence you and change things in your life.

Major changes often make you worry about what’s going to happen next in your life. They are a time of struggle and stress, that either result in a breakthrough or a life lesson. What’s important is to be prepared to take on life’s challenges by having a positive mindset towards change.

How the Major Changes in Life Affect Us

Major changes have big effects on our life. They essentially stir the core of our existence and make us start from scratch. One of the most important characteristics of a major life change is that we are traveling unchartered waters.

It is very easy to feel done with life and not want to take care of yourself, your responsibilities, or those around you. However, the goal of existence is to struggle and constantly change our environment till it suits us.

To understand how we can combat major changes in life, we must first understand the effect they have on us. Some of the most prominent impacts are:

1. Difficulty in Adjusting

Many people going through a major change in life will feel difficulty adjusting. Regardless of whether that life change is a positive life change or a negative one, it will have its apprehensions. People may feel like they don’t fit into the new setting they find themselves in.

2. Feeling of Hopelessness

Change can bring with it feelings of hopelessness and depression that can cause you to feel overwhelmed. This is because, with major changes in life, you are bound to face setbacks and failures as well. Without having the comfort of parents, friends, or even financial security to cushion that fall, reality often hits hard and leaves an impact.

3. Mental and Physical Fatigue

Studies show that with major changes in your life, you are bound to be more mentally and physically exhausted. This is because changes require extra effort which takes up most of your energy.

You may find yourself in a situation where you work so hard you cannot go to the gym anymore because you are tired. It can also be a mental reluctance to do things like hobbies because rest is so hard to come by.

4. Agitation and Irritation

A person can become more agitated with themselves and those around them when they go through major changes in life. There are a lot of other factors that contribute to this, such as being short-tempered, exhausted, past your limit, and in need of rest which can cause people to lash out. Similarly in the event of a positive change, people may feel agitated if they aren’t being given enough attention or appreciation.

Advertising

5. Struggling with Financials

Financial changes impact your economic life and spending habits. It may come in the form of bankruptcy or hitting the jackpot. You may need to set aside money for college or rent. It would put you through a process of having to give up expenses that are not essential to you.

6. Distancing of Relationships

Distancing relationships is quite common when someone is faced with a major change in their life. Priorities are readjusted and bonds between people get weaker with distance and lack of quality time. In the event of good changes, people’s victories can often uncover hidden jealousy or lead to a conflict of interest between friends.

When Is the Right Time to Start Changing Life?

You can indeed start changing your life any moment you decide, but how would one decide when to start changing life? Various tell-tale signs indicate it’s time for a change.

1. When Your Current Life Shakes Your Physical and Mental Health

While you might do your best to live your life to the fullest by fulfilling your duties and responsibilities, it does not always mean that your life is ideal. In the quest to live a life of our dreams, we sometimes break ourselves by putting too much pressure on our physical selves. We don’t even bother if it starts affecting us mentally during such times.

When you start observing that your routine life is negatively affecting your physical and mental health, then take it as a sign that you need to start changing your life.

2. You Can’t Maintain Work-Life Balance

Overcompensating on only specific facets of life leads to a disturbed work-life balance. While occasional instances when you are required to focus on a particular role more than other aspects are unavoidable, you need to be watchful when this becomes a habit.

Failure to maintain a harmonious balance between work and life is a clear indication that you are overstressed and leading in the wrong direction.

Do you really want to keep focusing on a particular facet, or do you want to have a tuneful life balance? Ask yourself these questions when you observe deviation in your work-life balance, and then make efforts to start changing your life.

3. You Feel Stuck

Several circumstances lead us to a mental state where we lose confidence in ourselves and create a mental block. Situations like the death of a loved one, getting fired from a job, losing child custody battle, getting a divorce, etc., might bring about numerous negative emotions.

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg

Some of these traits tend to push people into a dark ditch where they feel stuck till they recognize it.

It is okay to experience a negative thought every once in a while when you are going through completely horrid. However, it should never let your get stuck in life. Failure to step out of your comfort zone is a sign that you need to make drastic changes in life.

4. You Start Forming Negative Habits

As a spiral effect of feeling stuck, people tend to take support of negative habits. Forming bad habits like drinking, smoking, overeating, etc., is an indication that you are not taking this well. Many are inclined to overdo the habits they already have and deliberately start hurting themselves.

Remember that inflicting pain on yourself is never helpful in resolving the issues, and neither would it help you heal from the pain and mental torment. Adapting habits that you consciously realize are bad for you is a shout-out that you need to start changing your life.

5. Your Lifestyles Fail to Lead You to Your Goals

We are adaptable beings, so we try to accommodate ourselves to fit the situation. Many times, we start forming habits because of circumstances without thinking if it is in sync with our life goals. This is where the negativity starts amplifying to other life aspects.

Therefore, it is important to reflect on your life every once in a while. It helps you regain your focus and realize if you are moving in the proper direction towards achieving your goals.

4 Steps to Dealing with Big Life Changes

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Advertising

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job [2] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels” [3].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing [4]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988): [5]

    Source: Reserachgate

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling, [6] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning” [7]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    7 Reminders When You’re About to Give Up Changing

    When you feel your lifestyle (attitude towards the job, work, marriage, friends, etc.) will never help you achieve your goal, it is time to press a little reset button and start changing lives.

    1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

    We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

    Advertising

    Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

    Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

    2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

    We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

    We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

    Give yourself more credit than that.

    You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

    In the end, you were fine.

    Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

    Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

    3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

    Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

    When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

    “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” – Harold Wilson

    Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

    When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

    Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

    4. It’s as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

    We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

    However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

    Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

    Enjoy the process of moving forward[8].

    5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

    If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

    Advertising

    Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

    In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

    If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

    6. Effort Matters, So Use It

    It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

    Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

    Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

    Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

    Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

    And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

    7. Start With Something Manageable

    You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

    Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

    Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

    Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

    You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

    Final Thoughts

    Changing a life is not a one-day job. It requires consistent efforts and dog determination to bring drastic life transformation.

    You can start by making small changes and setting achievable goals. And in no time, you would see yourself in a transformed personality.

    Changing a life is difficult but possible. You can have a life-changing experience only if you sign up for it with persistence. If your will is strong enough to support your decision, any life changes are possible!

    More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next