There are always bad days for everyone. The sooner I learnt that, the better my life went.
People often get the idea, after I talk about how I’ve managed to overcome so many problems, that now nothing bad happens to me, that I don’t get down, that I don’t have bad days, that I’m happy 24/7.
This couldn’t be further from truth. YES, I still have bad days! I find myself struggling with them just like everybody else.
Once, after talking about these things, a lady said to me “What? So, you don’t ever get these things? And I was like LOL, of course, I do!
The only difference is that now I’m more conscious of tough days and what they mean within the broader perspective of life.
Basically, if you ask me, there are two main points about this whole thing.
The first thing is mindfulness, which is always a very important thing for personal growth. Once you start being mindful, you can see where you are at the moment —either up or down—. You get to know yourself. Thanks to self-awareness, now I know the things I can do to change course.
By being mindful, you just embrace the fact that this is a low energy day, accept it and do something about it. Maybe play some empowering music – for me, Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” always does the trick.
And then, the second point is:
[easy-tweet tweet=”When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”]
I can’t even begin to tell you how true this saying is. It’s also the name of a Billy Ocean song, which is pretty cool.
I mean we are talking about life here, guys! This is what it’s all about! Ups and downs are a normal thing! These are the points where we are able to see what material we are made of, the moments when you are put to test:
Am I a winner or will I just give in to these negative emotions?
It is the easiest thing to do, you know? To give up. I think it’s even kind of natural. When you feel down, you just let it in.
Try to imagine for a moment that everything’s fine and you are fully motivated. But then something bad happens and you go down.
Is this a gloomy Sunday? Go grab a pizza, turn Netflix on and chill. And I say “Okay, today I can pamper myself. I’m not in the mood for getting up. I’ll enjoy this lazy moment as much as I can.”
But they never tell you it’s a trap!
This “gloomy day” can very easily turn into a gloomy week, or a month, or what’s worse: you could even fall into the idea that that’s just the way you are and keep doing it forever!
So yes, I tell people they must be aware and just ACCEPT those moments. Acceptance is one of the key solutions here. But sooner or later you have to get up and keep going forward.
These things take time. Here’s a secret.
You don’t go into personal development thinking “Okay, so now I will master mindfulness and procrastination and this and that and suddenly my life will be 100% beautiful. I won’t do anything wrong, I will have no failures, I won’t feel down ever again.”
Of course, you will have bad days. You are human. It’s the way you handle them what counts.
I tend to make a positive outcome of those situations instead of letting them drag me down into a deep slumber. Procrastinating, low energy and depression are just some of the consequences.
There are days when my website doesn’t get any new comments or there are no new likes on Facebook. There are days when I wonder if this is the right path for me if it’s worth it.
It would be so easy to say “Fu** it!” and just end the whole project.
But wait! Here comes the motivational part…
If you really believe in something, if you are really motivated, you can push through those moments. You just do.
When you find your “why”, you already have about half of the job done. The stronger and more emotional your “why” is, the better. It will keep you motivated and it will be easier to get through the rough patches.
No one is happy 24/7. No one. If they say they are, they are lying or probably a robot.
I get it now. I am supposed to have low days! And I couldn’t even have only high days even if I wanted to! Not even the best athletes are in their peak performance all the time. They just know how to mentally prepare themselves to achieve their best effort when it’s needed.
People think that because I’m happy “all the time” and I never complain, then sure I must not have those bad moments! But…*sound the drums*…I do!
When I have a moment like that, I simply accept it.
Besides, I always have a couple of activities under my sleeve! Sometimes when I’m really down, I just switch everything off for a few hours, take some rest or go for a really long walk with my dogs.
I have learned that those activities get me into a better mood. So now I simply focus on them when I know I need to.
It’s a bit like “brainwashing” yourself into a more positive thinking.
Or…I talk to myself. Please don’t think I’m crazy. I remind myself of those interviews I did in Portugal or all the people that came to me after a talk and told me that they liked it, that it was useful for them. That’s the coolest of motivations!
And I start singing at the top of my lungs: “It’s now or never! I ain’t gonna live forever!”
After doing all those things to lift my mood, I get back to the point where I can say:
Who am I kidding? Of course, I can do it!
So I push through those negative emotions and keep pushing and keep pushing until I’m out of it.
Some people I’ve talked to think there must be something wrong with them, having bad days like these. But let me tell you, it’s not just happening to you.
Everybody’s living in their own roller coaster!
Sometimes in my audiences, I get the feeling that, when they are looking at themselves they feel terrible for procrastinating for a month so they sort of reprimand themselves for not making what they had planned to do.
If you had being mindful during this month, you wouldn’t even mind you “procrastinating”!
Within the mindful experience, procrastination isn’t even a thing because it means you are “wasting valuable time” when by being mindful you just accept whatever your current situation is.
What I do is to look at past experiences —and hear this — you don’t look just at the surface, but you go beneath that and you ask yourself:
What drove me to feel like that? What happened to me on that day? Maybe a coworker wasn’t very nice, or maybe it was a rainy day and I just didn’t feel like moving my ass all day.
You try to see the patterns because all the big things are the sum of the little things put together. This way, you know when to break the pattern before it gets sunk into your everyday life.
The thing is…you don’t go from super-excited to totally depressed just like that *snaps fingers*.
There are many reasons why we go from one state to another. The main goal would be to eliminate the situations that drove us to a negative state or to at least know how to be prepared for them.
There are many lessons in our past, both in the good things and the bad. We just need to know how to read them.
Sometimes despite the rainy days, we can still find true happiness. Or what would be even better: we can learn to love rainy days!
Negative emotions tend to accumulate if you don’t stop them. It’s like a little snowball that gets bigger and bigger as it rolls down the hill. The longer you wait, the harder it’s to get out of it.
I’ve often found that one of the key ways is to not attach oneself to strong negative emotions. I don’t take them too seriously because I know it will pass, so what’s the point in worrying anyway?
Instead, I got to work!
When I had plans and I actually sat down to write them down, I started going with baby steps…
I did one thing or two in a week. Life goes back to autopilot and then I forgot about that little document hidden somewhere on my computer. A couple of months later, I naturally found that again and the first thing you think is “Fu**! Why didn’t I do any of this?”
So now if I want to do something, I set constant reminders (actually now that I think about it, there should be an app for this!) to eat healthier, exercise more and try to be mindful as often as I can.
Also, I do a weekly review of my New Year goals. So even if I go out of the track, I realize on time about what I need to do and that makes it only one week’s loss, therefore I don’t feel bad about it. I simply get back to it ASAP and move on.
Plus, I carry tokens that serve as well as reminders. For example, I used to carry my favorite books about personal growth around. Even if I didn’t get the time to read them anywhere, the mere facts of having them near me helped. There’s a keychain that says “Fu** it!” in my pocket. Yeah, that’s another story.
That’s what I do as a life coach. I am a constant reminder of the good things in my clients’ lives. I always tell them to call me whenever they are feeling down. No matter the time or the situation, I must be there for them, to encourage them, to motivate them. Or you know, sometimes it helps you just to have someone who is willing to listen to you.