You Can Always Start Again

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You know those days when nothing seems to be going right? You’re late for work, you get a flat tire, an appliance breaks, etc.

It’s easy to let those setbacks dictate the tone of the rest of our day. It’s easy to feel like every unplanned and undesirable thing that happens is happening to you and suddenly you are spiraling down a spiral of negative self-talk, finger pointing, and victimization. In short, the day is ruined.

But what if it doesn’t have to be? What if you actually had the choice whether to indulge in self-defeating thought patterns or not? Surprisingly enough, you do. At any point during any day you are free to start your day again.

Attitude is everything

When something negative happens in my day, I have two options. I can either let it bring me down or I can choose a more positive path. Granted, this may take an extra step or two, but ultimately I can make the decision to move on and choose happiness.

Imagine a scenario where you are late to work. You can go through a myriad of unproductive thoughts such as “I can’t believe I’m so lazy,” “I never do anything right,” or “I would get to work on time if I didn’t have to be in so early” that will leave you feeling either worthless or resentful, or you can decide to check your attitude.

Instead of perfecting the art of self-deprecation and throwing blame, try changing your perspective. Cut yourself some slack, think about ways to prevent this in the future, and move on. Maybe try setting your alarm clock a little earlier to give yourself extra time in the morning. Simply acknowledge that you’re late and make the choice to not let it affect the rest of your day.

One of the best ways to turn your mood around after a setback is the concept of gratitude.

Practice gratitude

It’s not always easy to make the decision to have a good day after something negative happens. Practicing gratitude is something that may help your process.

Let’s stick with the being late example. You may feel that your whole day is ruined after having such a rough start, but take some time to think about what there is to be grateful for. The fact that you have a job at all is a big one. You are employed, you are making money to be able to support yourself or contribute to a household, and you are a productive member of society.

Think about the bigger picture and what you have to be grateful for. Like starting your day over, gratitude can be practiced at any point. The next time something threatens to ruin your day, think about your attitude and your gratitude.

I want to emphasize that it’s ok if one of these daily setbacks brings up negative thoughts or feelings. Take time to feel your emotions, but then decide what you’re going to do with them. I’m not advocating for a complete denial of anything that doesn’t resemble happiness since every feeling and emotion is important, but after you acknowledge those feelings, make the choice of what to do from there.

Remember, you can always start again.

Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud.

Questions:

  • Have you ever started your day over?
  • Do you let negative situations impact your mood for a long time?
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20 Comments

  1. September 3, 2015 / 5:13 am

    This week has been a rough one for me. My post for today is me working through it all. Sometimes you do just have to let yourself cry and then get gracious and start over. I practice gratitude so much now that just getting myself emotional over silly stuff this week was so out of left field. It’s under control now and you’re right, we do have a choice. All behavior is a choice! 🙂
    Erin recently posted…How To Stop Allowing Your Struggles To Define You (Part 1)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:25 pm

      I’m glad you’re feeling your emotions. I used to just run from them and stuff everything. Now I try and let them happen, but make the decision how to respond.

  2. September 3, 2015 / 5:34 am

    I used to be so bad about letting one little thing ruin my whole day. Happy to say those days are over. I take full advantage of starting over.
    jill conyers recently posted…#7DayStretch with prAnaMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      That’s great! Once you learn to do it it can be a lifesaver!

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      I cosign that.

  3. September 3, 2015 / 9:33 am

    Great article. I’m always writing about cultivating gratitude because I need to keep those thoughts and habits flowing in my life. Incidentally, I was also meditating on this line from Wayne Dyer, “…decide to shift your inner speech to what you intend to create and attract in your life.” Good stuff!
    Rica @Yoga Mat Monkey recently posted…Your Moment of Truth…Here’s What it Looks LikeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      It sure is! I’ll have to remember that!

  4. Rachel
    September 3, 2015 / 11:31 am

    This is the perfect post I needed to read today! I’m in a frenzy of anxiety about a million different things, but you know what- it’s all about attitude and gratitude! I’m lucky to be where I am today, and I just have to keep kicking butt day by day!

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      Great attitude! It’s always hard to maintain consistency, but the days when I do feel pretty good!

  5. September 3, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Great post Erin! Everything in here is so true! I try not to allow negativity to remain in my life for a long time. It’s neat to think that we can start the day over at any time. 🙂

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:23 pm

      I know! Once I realized that it was magical. Not always easy, but important!

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      Definitely not easy. I can also take some cooling down as well 🙂

  6. September 3, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    I used to be SO guilty of letting negative emotions rule my life, and I’m not 100% sure when things started to change, but I do know that gratitude had a lot to do with it. Listing out things that I was grateful for felt incredibly silly at first, but eventually it got to a point where I began naturally focusing on the good things and looking for them even in bad situations. I’m a firm believer that happiness is all about attitude, so I choose to be happy “because it’s good for my health.” 😉
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #146 .My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      Exactly! Once I realized I could make that decision I was like “this is amazing!”

  7. September 4, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    Perfect timing with this post, Erin. I feel out of whack this week – clients are all back in town and my schedule is filling up. It’s messing up my summer routine, and practicing gratitude is helping me put things into perspective. Happy Friday 🙂
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Yoga soul snack: why you should welcome changeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      September 8, 2015 / 4:20 pm

      I’m still learning how to balance my crazy schedule…maybe you can give me some tips 🙂

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