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Do you let bad moments become bad days?

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Question: "I have trouble compartmentalizing things when they go wrong. For example, if I mess something up at work, or have a problem with a co-worker, my day is just completely ruined. I slog through it for hours, then just go right to bed. I snap back into shape the next morning, but I'm looking for advice on how not to get stuck in the negative moments on the job." - Tracie, Benefits Assistant

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Marta May 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

A tough one! What I’ve tried to do is remember the last time something went horribly wrong. I ask myself, “Whatever became of that situation?” The answer is always: nothing, really. It all passes very quickly and gets forgotten. Also it’s good to remind yourself that no one else in the office much cares about your mistakes; they’re all way too busy with their own to remember them!


Pam May 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

I have had to take a deep breath many times over the years when the day starts on a down note. If it’s because someone else has made it a problem day, then I just keep repeating – it’s not personal, it’s not personal. For whatever reason if it’s my own fault, I just step back for a minute and mentally regroup by closing my eyes and imagining my perfect Zen place. It really helps to “go away” for a moment – it lowers the blood pressure and changes your outlook. Besides, if you let everything get you down, you won’t be able to function properly. SMILE!


Patricia May 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm

It’s often a very challenging day indeed when your manager is coming at you with negativity – critical spirit, anxiety, stress, micro-management and a demeaning tone. I’ve tried to override this not react in addition to smiling or having of laughter to help calm me down and remind myself no to take it personal. Then the comeback is my doing makes her feel uncomfortable. We have a communication barrier not only due to language but constantly having to clarify what is being requested, ask leading questions and even keep her on track with our policies and procedures. The later being when the matter arises again, she has forgotten what the policy and resolution was at last conversation. I’m a person of prayer but feel stretched too far. Now she’s hired and promoted a receptionist to a staff assistant who has never done assistant items or has a very limited amount of knowledge, and gues who is training her…oh lucky me! :). Perhaps I’m venting too much or negatively. Anyone with any words of wisdom please feel free to comment. Thank you


Terri May 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

We all make mistakes, it’s a guarantee that they will happen and there will always be people that will try your patience at work. Try to learn from the experience and see where you can improve the process. When I make a mistake I look at what happened and how/why it happened, and what can I do to keep it from happening again. Then I make the effort to put it behind me and move on. Also, think about what did you do did during the day that was good and focus on that. I agree with the others, this takes time and practice but you’ll get there.


Karen May 8, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Say to yourself “will this matter tomorrow? in a week? next month? next year?” It probably won’t, so do what you can to learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s not easy at first but with a little practice, you’ll be able to focus on what really matters and get the most out of your work.


Anita May 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Hi Tracie, if it is not in your nature to let things go it will take practice. You have to remember that no one is perfect, so you can’t hold yourself to an unrealistic standard. As things happen, take a couple of minutes to think about what happened and what may have caused the negative outcome. Allow yourself to realize that sometimes it is not your fault and you are not required to bear the responsibility. If you decide it was your fault, just think about how to handle it differently but also allow yourself to be human and make mistakes. After those few minutes, focus on something else as if your job depended on it. Again, it may take some time to retrain your mind and emotions but challenge yourself to change with every opportunity you are given.


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