I start every coaching call the same way: by talking about good news and updates on my client’s business. They often respond with, “It’s just been one of those days, Dew!” Whenever anyone says this, I know that they’re likely making a bigger deal out of something that is, in reality, very small.
Did you really have a bad day? Or did you have one minor setback and let it ruin your whole day?
No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk
One morning some years ago—before I established my morning routine—I was running late and rushing to get out of the house. I had my laptop bag, cell phone, and a blueberry smoothie in my hand. As I was getting into the car, I reached in to set my smoothie in the cupholder. My aim was off, though, and the smoothie turned over, pouring down into my seat and along the side of my console.
I immediately started cursing at myself for being so careless, because I was already in a hurry, but now I had to go back into the house and get things to clean it up. In the end, I let that one bad minute ruin my whole day. When I got home that night and was complaining about my awful day, I listened to myself and realized that the only actual bad part of my day was missing the cup holder!
And I see this every day with clients. They have a sick child at home, so it takes longer to get out of the house in the morning. Or they forgot to set their alarm and overslept. Or they had a flat tire. Or there was road construction. As little as 15 minutes of something unexpected can throw their whole day off. But here’s the catch—these are all things that happen to people ALL DAY LONG.
While all those little moments can feel horrible when you’re in the thick of them, we have to remember they’re totally normal. There are only two exceptions to this rule: hospitalization and death. Those are extraordinary circumstances, obviously. But in most instances, what we’re calling this awful day is simply business as usual.
It all comes back to this—how fast can you bounce back from adversity? When you’re feeling the temptation to blow something out of proportion, just shrug your shoulders and say “oh, well,” because there’s probably nothing you can do to change it!
Are you going to let yourself have a bad day because of a few bad minutes? I was riding around doing sales calls with a client once when we got a flat tire and I witnessed a complete meltdown. After trying to change it, he realized he didn’t have the equipment he needed and he had to try and find someone at the gas station to borrow a jack from. Now, he could have laughed about it. He could have shrugged it off. Instead, he got so frustrated and distraught that he ended up going home for the rest of the day when we finally got back to the office! It was a totally unnecessary reaction to a completely normal event.
Now, if your tire suddenly turns into a fire-breathing dragon? Stop the presses! This is a crazy, amazing event! By all means—take the day off. (And please, send me a picture!) But a flat tire? Cars have tires. Tires go flat. Business as usual!
Some people are born with incredible resilience. Nothing seems to bother them. Everything rolls off their back. They forget the “bad” stuff quickly. When faced with adversity, they fully recover and bounce back swiftly. For others, it may seem like it takes a lifetime to recover from even the smallest setback. Regardless of where you fall on the resilience spectrum, it’s important is to know that you can learn to be more resilient.
You know how the saying goes: Serenity to accept the things we can’t change; courage to change the things we can; wisdom to know the difference. The key to seeing these little speed bumps of life for what they really are is being realistic about what you can do about them.
There are occasionally steps you can take along the way to mitigate what happens to you. It makes such a significant difference, for instance, to take a few steps and plan ahead on things like morning routines. Take action where you can, but accept that sometimes things will happen that you can’t control, and it’s all in how you react to it.
Most importantly, don’t wallow! On the scale of big deals, this thing you’re stressing about probably isn’t even on the radar. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. These things are unfortunate, but they shouldn’t ruin your day.
And while you can’t control a lot of what happens to you in life, you can always control how you interpret and respond to it. Having a positive attitude makes all the difference in how you handle life’s curveballs, big or small!
Until next time—go sell some stuff!