The competition was high, and I wasn’t feeling lucky. A rousing game of Exploding Kittens was nearing its conclusion, and then it happened. My husband got a steal, reached into my hand, and put his fingers on the card that I needed to stay in the game. What happened next shocked everyone at the table.
I pulled my cards back and said, “No. Please. I had the worst day. I need a win.”
He laughed and reached again, going for the same card. (In all fairness, he thought I cheated and moved the card while my hand was under the table. I didn’t.)
I said it a little louder and quite frankly, crazier, “I need a win. No way. Pick. Another. Card.”
The third time he went for another card, which was a good one by the way, and we moved on from my moment of poor sportsmanship and temporary insanity.
The fact that he left the card in my hand wasn’t the clincher, but I did happen to win the overall game. I’ll say it was my stellar strategy, but it was likely luck.
What I do know is that in that moment, I needed that card no matter how irrational it seemed. Sometimes you just need a small win even if it’s not the big win of winning the entire game. Just a moment where you can breathe and remind yourself, “Things will be okay after all.”
Yes, I had a lousy, stressful, don’t ever want to repeat it kind of day and somehow holding on to that one tiny thing (my card) was a sign that I was back on track. Have you been there too? Maybe not with Exploding Kittens, but wanting that one little thing to go your way as a sign from the universe that the bigger stuff will eventually go your way again too?
There are days you just need a win. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, there are things you can do to help the universe along. No need for your good juju, or ESP to go into overdrive when you can take action.
Five Things You Can Do When You Just Need a Win
Be honest and ask for what you need.
I’m not suggesting that you complain and moan in an entitled whiny voice and ask for what you need but instead, do it with confidence. If this one thing will make a huge difference and have a meaningful impact, ask for it. What’s the worst that can happen? You get a “no.”
It’s like when you go to the counter at a restaurant to order from their glass case of ready-made items. You really want the sandwich in the front of the case, but they go to grab the one from the back. Be clear, ask calmly and kindly too; you may get it.
You got to learn to see wins no matter how small. Stop waiting for the big kahuna.
Often, we overlook the small wins that pile up all day because we have our eye on the destination. Your end goal isn’t meant to obscure your vision or joy of the day-to-day.
Stop for a second and ask yourself what wins you may have missed. Sometimes you have to look at a more granular level than you’d like but they’re there.
Keep going. Stumbles are not the same as stops.
You may think to yourself that if you don’t get this win, this one thing, all is lost. It’s not true. I know I held onto my card earlier as if it was true, but it’s not. So you don’t get this win? It’s okay. When you keep going, the next one does come. I promise.
Get your win on another path.
My bad day had nothing to do with losing at Exploding Kittens, but that’s where my desire manifested itself. You can create small wins in your day by going to the gym, getting some writing done, calling an old friend who you’ve been putting off calling unit you find the time, cooking a favorite meal, you name it.
If you are aching for a win at work and it’s not happening, you still need to feed your wellbeing. When you go into the darkest of dark places and cut yourself off from everything, that’s when the wins start to fade away.
Go to sleep.
I know what it’s like when you need a win so badly that you feel it in every bone in your body. I’ve been there, knocked down, and you know what? I couldn’t see the wins even if they waved a white flag in front of my face. I needed sleep to rest and recover and gain a fresh perspective. You do too.
When you just need a win, make it happen. It may not be the one you wanted, the one that will magically be like a rocket to the land of success, but a win is a win – take it.
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