I’ve built my life on a house of cards, even if it took me a while to realize that. I thought I had good cards, but suddenly I lost the game. These cards were small successes that I had earned bit by bit and that suddenly, in no time at all, are worth nothing.
I had the job card, the independence card, the freedom card, the self-confidence card. But a monster named Crisis came along and played its own move, and my whole house of cards was swept away in a windstorm that destroyed every floor and leveled every wall.
And then I realized that I hadn’t found these cards, but that they had been dealt to me.
When you face unexpected circumstances like these, the future on which you are wagering all your savings suddenly seems a long way off. It’s like losing your life playing poker in the casino. Nothing is certain anymore, the world is just pure chance and then your fears come to the fore.
Life is a game of chance and you never know whether you will win or lose today.
We play the game of life with the cards we are dealt
We are often unaware that we are playing the game of life with the cards we have been dealt and that it is up to us to win. Chance puts us in situations that we did not ask for, that harm us because we cannot control them.
Chance can be your best friend or your worst enemy. He distributes the cards. But you choose how you play.
What can you do when the cards you get in life are not to your advantage? How can you win the game of chance? The main thing is to keep the right perspective on things. You can give up and let the sadness that chance takes you over you, or you can fight to win.
In order to fight, you need a variety of coping strategies that you can capitalize on and that can help you when your cards are bad. According to Lazarus and Folkman, coping strategies are a number of cognitive and behavioral tools for dealing with internal or external demands that we feel that our individual resources are insufficient for them.
Win the game with coping skills
If you face a lot of difficult situations where you don’t know how is going to happen to you, you will suffer, but you must learn to just accept these situations as just another part of the game of life. Keep going despite fear and pain.
Coping strategies not only help you cope with stress, but also help you deal with the emotions that result from your daily problems. But often we do not use strategies and therefore cannot face our problems. According to Lazarus and Folkman, there are two different types of coping strategies:
- Strategies related to the problem : These are used when the problem can be solved, either by changing the environment that created it or by changing yourself. The two main strategies of this type are:
- Confrontation: Here you face the problem directly.
- Planning and Problem Solving: This technique is used to find out what is the best solution to the problem.
- Strategies related to emotions : These are used when you cannot influence the problem because it is something that cannot be changed. Instead, one tries to change the emotional aspects associated with the stress. In other words, you change your perspective or interpretation of what is happening. This includes:
- Distance yourself: deny the problem or forget that it exists.
- Self-control: don’t let the problem bother you, stay yourself.
- Take responsibility for the problem.
- Escape and avoidance: waiting for the problem to resolve itself or even distract yourself with drugs.
- Positive reassessment: asking for help or advice, getting another person’s opinion.
A special coping strategy is to seek social support, which can be assigned to both categories, because it can relate to both the problem and the emotions.
Caution! Not all coping strategies are helpful!
Not all of the strategies we’ve mentioned here are positive or helpful in solving problems. The strategies described above are those considered by the authors to be the most frequently used, but distancing oneself and avoiding confrontation often do more harm than good. Planning, problem solving, and positive reassessment, on the other hand, are most useful for conflict resolution and usually lead to very positive results.
So if your house of cards collapses like a poorly constructed castle, then use the best coping skills to help you solve your problems. If you don’t know how to use them, seek professional help to learn them so that chance and sadness don’t win the game. You decide how you play the game of your life. Chance deals you the cards, but you decide which one to play.