Learn to Fall In Love With the Bad Stuff
Happy Friday, Tribe! You guys, I love Fridays so much. I actually used to love them a lot more when I was teaching full-time because the weekend felt like freedom. Now, as an entrepreneur, I really don’t have any time off — I’m working more now than I ever have before! But it is so worth it because I’m passionate about what I’m doing. And you know what? I can still enjoy Fridays anyway!
So really, how are you guys today? Are you absolutely crushing your goals this week? Or has this week been more of a struggle for you?
I’m not going to lie, there’s something I’ve been struggling with a little bit lately, just in my personal life, and that’s being optimistic.
Those of you who have been around for a while know that I am optimistic almost to a fault. Full transparency — I had a pretty hard childhood. My parents divorced when I was five, and that stirred up a lot of emotions for me that I had no place to share. My dad got remarried and brought a step-sister into my life. My dad was also an alcoholic. When I got a little older, I developed an eating disorder. I have been through some hard times (if you’re interested in hearing my full story, go back and check out Episode 1 of the podcast here!)
During those hard times, I took it on as my job to bring happiness to the family. I was always the one trying to bring optimism and levity into the world.
And I still do that today! I always try to choose optimism. For example, in case any of you don’t know, I live in Michigan, and in the winter, the roads are icy and dangerous, which means the traffic is terrible. But there’s nothing I can do about it. So when I end up stuck in traffic, I choose to be optimistic and say, “Well, I just have an extra hour for podcasts!” And I’ll put on a podcast and enjoy it.
But sometimes it’s just straight-up hard to choose optimism. Some days it’s easier to give up and find the worst in every situation. But that leads to a miserable existence, and you don’t have to live that way!
You really can change the way you think.
So today, I want to give you guys my top three tips for managing your emotions and choosing optimism — even in bad situations. Let’s dive in!
Fall in Love With the Bad Stuff
My first tip to help you choose optimism instead of negativity is that you have to learn to fall in love with the bad stuff.
I know, it sounds silly. Who loves it when bad things happen? I mean, that’s ridiculous, bad moments are the worst, right?
But here’s the thing: You can fall in love with the bad moments because growth happens in that time.
Here’s a good example from my life recently. There was a day just last month when everything was going right. It was a beautiful Sunday, I had gotten up and worked a little bit, and my husband and I had plans to go to an art fair later.
But then our laundry room flooded. The pipes were disgustingly clogged, so they just backed up and flooded the whole room.
I’ll be honest — my first instinct was to blame my husband. I just wanted to be angry at someone, and he was the nearest target. My second instinct was to freak out and scream and punch a hole in the wall! (I have punched or kicked two holes in walls in my life — I have a temper!)
But then my actual reaction was to say, “Well, alright. What do we do? How can we fix this?” Pat and I spent a little time figuring out a plan and cleaning up the mess. And after that, we still went to the art fair like we’d planned and had a great day!
I could have let that bad thing ruin my whole day. I could have held onto anger and frustration, but instead, I chose to stay calm, deal with the situation, and move on. So in that moment, I grew. I grew in my ability to manage my emotions. I grew in my relationship with my husband. I grew into the woman I want to become.
I was able to fall in love with that bad moment because it gave me an opportunity to grow. I am a better, stronger, happier woman now. And the next time something like a flood in the laundry room happens, I’m even more likely to choose optimism over pessimism and not let one bad thing ruin my day!
Sit With the Bad Things
Okay, tip number two: If something hard happens, sit with it.
I used to run from every single obstacle in my life. And you guys know I hate running, but I would run hard to get away from my problems. But running gets you nowhere. When you run instead of dealing with issues, you let your negative emotions sink in further and cause you to feel awful about yourself.
So instead of running, sit with the bad things. Tell yourself that everything in your life is happening for you.
I tell myself this all the time, and I tell my clients too. Recently I was talking to a client, and she told me how upset she was that her long-time boyfriend broke up with her. But I reminded her that everything in her life happens for her. I have experienced the same kind of sadness when my past relationships broke up, but I know that all of those breakups happened for me so that I would end up with the husband I have now.
The bad things that happen today pave the way for the future. So choose to sit with the bad things! Don’t run from them. Ask yourself how you’re feeling, how you’re reacting, and what you can do to grow in your particular situation.
I know it can be difficult to sit in a miserable or uncomfortable situation, and it can be even harder to trust that the bad things that happen to you are creating a positive future. But it’s even more difficult to run away from problems and ultimately let your negativity and fear make you feel terrible about yourself.
What problems are you running away from? What negative emotions are you pushing to the back of your mind? Choose to recognize those bad feelings, sit with them for a while, and trust that your life will work out the way it’s meant to.
Take Some Time for Yourself
Here’s my final tip for you today: When bad things happen, and you’re tempted to lean into negativity, take some time just to take care of yourself.
When I’m just furious or devastated about something, I know I need to sit with the problem and learn to love it because it’s an opportunity for me to grow. But before I can really dissect the problem and understand it and gain some clarity around it, I need to take a few minutes just for myself.
This is when I go for a walk. I find a way to change my environment. I breathe for a few minutes. Taking that time for myself allows me to clear my head and get ready to overcome my obstacles with confidence.
I would caution you, though. There is a way to take this too far. I remember one time I have this massive, blowout fight with Pat. I was furious with him, and I stormed off. I went to Target and spent a couple of hours there. Then I went to Kohl’s and spent over an hour there. I drove around for a while, took the longest route home, and this whole time I left my phone on the kitchen counter at home.
It took me five hours to cool down enough to go home that day. When I finally did get back home, of course, Pat had been worried about me! I mean, can you imagine how unhappy he was? He couldn’t reach me since my phone was on the counter, and I was gone for literally half the day.
Since then, I’ve learned to manage my emotions better. I’ve continuously worked on my mindset — you guys know that maintaining a healthy mindset is an obsession of mine! And now, if Pat and I have a huge fight, I don’t run from it like I did that day. I spend maybe five minutes calming down, and then I sit with the problem and work with Pat to resolve the issue.
I’ve gone from needing five hours to needing five minutes to get over a fight. First of all, that’s major growth, and I’m proud of myself for that! And second of all, five minutes is definitely a reasonable amount of time to spend on yourself when a bad thing happens.
So, next time something hard happens to you, take just a few minutes to calm down and get a clear head. Then, turn around and deal with the issue. I promise you’ll feel so much more confident and capable of dealing with your problems when you give your brain a little space to calm down and gain clarity!
You Can Make Any Day a Good Day
Bad things are going to happen. That’s just reality. But the good news is, you don’t have to let a bad thing ruin your whole day. You don’t have to let it discourage you. You don’t have to let it defeat you.
You just have to fall in love with it.
If you can manage your emotions enough to fall in love with the hard things, I promise you will be so much happier! You will see bad things for what they are — opportunities to grow and become the kickass person you want to be.
I hope this episode has ignited a fire within you! I hope you feel empowered, because the truth is, you can make any day a good day. You can choose optimism and happiness, no matter what happens.
Thanks so much for joining me today, Tribe! Have a great weekend, and I’ll talk to you later!