Are you one of those people who is constantly beset by setbacks? Is it always the case that nothing goes right for you? Do you ever feel like the universe is conspiring against you?
Do you ever wonder why you have bad luck? Is there such a thing as bad luck?
I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in over a year a couple of months ago. We discussed a variety of topics over lunch, including our careers, relationships, and hobbies.
This post may contain some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
My friend told me that his job had become boring and uninteresting to him, and that despite applying for advancement, he had been turned down. His personal life wasn't much better, either, as he told me he'd recently split up with his long-term girlfriend.
When I asked him why things seemed to be going wrong at home and at work, he paused for a moment before responding:
“I'm having a bad streak.”
I was surprised by his response because I had never thought of him as someone who believed that luck was in control of his life. He always appeared to be the type of person who knew exactly what he wanted and went after it with zeal.
Because of everything that had happened to me, he told me he believed in bad luck.
It was at this point that I expressed my thoughts on fate and luck:
While chance events do occur, they are completely random in nature.
To put it another way, good and bad luck do not exist in the way that people believe. More importantly, even if random negative events occur, our perspective and reaction can transform them into positive outcomes.
Your fortune is neither worse nor better than anyone else's. That's just how it feels.
Even better, there are two simple things you can do to change your luck and reverse your feelings of unluckiness.
1. Stop believing that you have no control over what happens in your life
Stop thinking that what happens in your life is due to the whims of fate, luck, supernatural forces, malevolent other people, or anything else outside of yourself.
This is referred to as a “external locus of control” by psychologists. It's a type of fatalism in which people believe they can do little or nothing to change their lives.
As a result, they either hope for the best, try to change their luck through various forms of superstition, or submit passively to whatever comes their way—while complaining that it does not match their expectations.
The majority of successful people hold the opposite viewpoint. They have what is known as a “internal locus of control.” They believe that almost everything that happens in their lives is due to them, and that even when chance events occur, what matters is not the event itself, but how you respond to it.
This makes them proactive, engaged, willing to try new things, and eager to find a way to change whatever isn't working in their lives. They are not fatalistic, and they do not blame bad luck for what is wrong in their lives. They look for ways to improve things.
- Are they more fortunate than the others? Obviously not
- Because luck is random—that is what chance means—they are just as likely as anyone else to suffer setbacks.
- What distinguishes them is their reaction.
When things go wrong, they look for solutions right away. They don't moan, pity themselves, or lament their “bad luck.” They try to learn from what happened in order to avoid or correct it the next time, and they go about their lives as best they can. They have a Motivation Engine that most people don't have to keep them going.
No one is consistently luckier or unluckier than others. Over the short term, it may appear so (random events frequently occur in groups, just as random numbers frequently occur close together for several instances—which is why gamblers tend to see patterns where none exist).
When viewed in a broader context, random chance is simply random. Those who believe they are unlucky, on the other hand, tend to pay far more attention to short-term instances of bad luck, convincing themselves of the correctness of their belief.
Your locus of control is not inherited. You discovered it in some way. Change it if it isn't working for you.
2. Keep in mind that whatever you focus on grows in your mind
If you focus on what is wrong in your life, especially if you see it as “bad luck” over which you have no control, it will appear darker and more malevolent.
Within a short period of time, you will become so convinced that everything is conspiring against you that you will begin to notice more instances where this appears to be true. As a result, you'll drown in negative energy and almost certainly give up, convinced that nothing you do will improve your chances.
Not long ago, a reader (I'll call her Kelly) told me how frustrated she was and how unlucky she was. Kelly is a budding entrepreneur. She had been looking for investors to fund her project.
It hadn't been going well because she was constantly being turned down by potential investors. And, at the height of her anxiety, her boyfriend dumped her. She also missed an important opportunity to meet with an interested investor the day after her breakup. She was about to give up because she was afraid she wouldn't be able to build a successful business.
It was certainly not an easy time for her. She was stressed and exhausted. But it wasn't simply bad luck that was playing the part.
Fatalism feeds on itself, making people passive “victims” of life's blows. The “losers” in life are those who are certain they will fail before they begin – certain that their “bad luck” will ruin any chances of success.
They rarely notice that the true causes of their failure are ignorance, laziness, lack of skill, lack of forethought, or plain foolishness—all of which they could correct if they would stop blaming other people or “bad luck” for their personal shortcomings.
You have complete control over your attention. Send it to the destination of your choice. Negative thoughts must be starved until they perish.
I told Kelly that if she wants to improve her fortune and have “good luck,” she should first accept that what happens is almost always her fault. Then, instead of focusing on what goes wrong, try to concentrate on what goes right.
Kelly then attempted to evaluate her current situation objectively. She realized she only needed a short break from work and her recently ended relationship. She needed some time to clear her head before continuing on with her work and life.
When she had recovered from her heartbreak, she began to work on improving her company's selling points and looking for new investors who were more suitable.
A few months later, she told me that she had finally found two investors who were genuinely interested in her project and wanted to collaborate with her to help it grow. I was relieved that she was able to reclaim control of her destiny and achieve her goals.
Your “fate” is truly determined by the decisions you make. When random events occur, as they always will, do you try to use them to your advantage or simply complain about them?
In my book The Full Life Essential Guide, I explain how to use a solid framework to take charge of your life and live your best life regardless of what happens around you. Get your copy and learn what you can do to make better decisions in life.
What Comes Next?
You've now learned two simple things you can do to take control of your destiny and make your own luck. But wait! This isn't it!
If you believe you are “suffering from bad luck,” you can make drastic changes. It might even be a lot simpler than you think: How to Begin Again and Restart Your Life When It Seems Too Late
According to legend, Thomas Jefferson said the following:
“I'm a firm believer in luck, and I've discovered that the harder I work, the more of it I have.”
In the end, your luck is largely determined by your choices.
Fear of Disappointing Others: The fear of disappointing others can hinder people from making big steps in their lives. This fear can cause people to stay in a job that they detest, or to stay in a relationship that is collapsing, or to never pursue their dream of becoming a writer. If you're afraid of disappointing your parents, you might not want to pursue the career you truly want or you might never strike out on your own. If you're afraid of disappointing your partner, you may stay in a relationship long after it's gone stale. If you're afraid of disappointing your manager, you might not be as assertive as you should be and you might miss out on opportunities. Read more.
Lesson for Women: While it's true that every woman is unique and beautiful, there are some common struggles that they all face. For example, women of all ages sometimes feel unsure about how they look. To help solve this problem, try to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that flatter your figure. A great way to do this is by paying attention to the style of clothing that is currently in fashion. Be confident that you look great and you will! Read more.
Difference Between Friend and Best Friend: Best friends are like family. They are an extension of yourself and you are an extension of them. There is nothing that can keep you apart and when they are in trouble or need someone to talk to you are there. You can be yourself them and they can be themselves with you because you understand them. A best friend can make you laugh, cry, experience new things and most importantly they can talk to you when you need it. Your best friend is someone who you can trust and who you can count on. Someone who is there for you when you need them and will always be there for you. Read more.
How to Make Yourself Irresistible: It's not too hard to make yourself irresistible to others. You just have to put yourself out there and be yourself. There are a few things that you can do to make yourself more attractive, though. First, if you're a guy, you can work out a little bit and dress a little better. This is a good way to get a girl's attention, but it can also be a good way to impress others in your life. There are plenty of other ways to look more attractive as well. It's important to stay positive and try to avoid looking awkward around others. Try to dress a little bit better and know what you're doing! It's also important to get to know others and care about them. It's pretty simple to get the attention of others if you just care about them and get to know them! Read more.
What Does Love Mean to You: Love is an interesting word. It's filled with different emotions, feelings, and interpretations. If you ask ten people what love means to them, you'll probably get ten completely different answers! As a word, it is often overused and often used as a mask to hide mistakes or flaws. People often express emotions as love or blame their flaws as love. While this is how some people feel, there is no exact definition of the word. If you're curious, though, love is: an emotion, strong affection, and a devotion to another person (according to dictionary.com). So, ask yourself if you love someone or something and discover your own definition of love. Read more.
You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.