Has your day ever started in a way that makes you close your eyes and think, “Yep… It’s going to be one of those days”?
Maybe you go to wake your kid up for school and they immediately throw up all over you. Maybe your cat knocks over your cup of coffee and it spills all over your laptop. Maybe you log on to your blog only to find your server is down, or worse yet, you’ve been hacked. Maybe your Pinterest account gets accidentally flagged for spam, or your ad account on Facebook gets suspended. Or, if you’re me, maybe your daughter goes to give you a hug before leaving for school, and on the way up, headbutts you and splits your lip open.
There are a million and one things that can happen throughout the day to throw off your game. Whether it’s something with your kids, something with your blog, or something completely random, there are plenty of opportunities for things to pop up that have the potential of putting you in a funk.
And when your mood goes downhill, your focus and productivity often go right downhill with it.
Like that morning a few months ago, when my youngest daughter Annie accidentally busted my lip. It happened SO fast! One minute we’re sharing a sweet moment, the next moment there is blood pouring out of my mouth. And then not only am I crying, Annie is hysterical because she feels SO bad. Basically, just imagine the worst possible scenario. It was a mess. I woke up with the best intentions that day and was having a productive morning, but then BAM! One headbutt and everything changed.
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And if I’m being honest, I thought long and hard about calling it a day at that point. I was more than a little tempted to grab my ice pack and head straight back to bed.
But I also knew there was work to be done, and in that moment, I had a choice.
I could choose to wallow, or I could choose to make the best of it and move on. So I iced my lip for a few minutes, snapped a photo, and shared my fat lip with my team (at least we got a good laugh out of it, right?), popped a few Advil, and got back to work.
The truth is that there is always a part of me that wants to shut down and hide under the covers when something bad or unexpected happens, or when the going gets rough.
I doubt that I’m the only one who feels this way.
But our character–and our success–isn’t built when things are going well, it comes from how well we handle adversity.
A couple of days ago, Annie asked me a question about Bethany Hamilton, the famous surfer who had her arm bit off by a shark. We had watched the movie “Soul Surfer,” a while back, and clearly there were some questions still swirling around in Annie’s 7-year-old mind.
“Mommy, is Bethany Hamilton famous because she got her arm bit off by a shark?”
I paused for a minute, trying to figure out how to answer. Finally, I explained that no, Bethany Hamilton wasn’t famous because she got her arm bit off, but because of how she didn’t give up afterwards. She didn’t feel sorry for herself, and she learned how to surf again, even though it was really hard.
And having a positive attitude? It certainly didn’t hurt.
The Power of Positivity
Most successful people will tell you that having a positive attitude is one of the secrets to their success. Staying positive not only makes you a happier person, but it helps to increase your productivity and makes your blogging journey more fun and enjoyable.
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So how can you stay positive and productive, even when this blogging rollercoaster has you feeling crazy? Here are a few simple ideas:
See the humor within the craziness.
Look, we all face crazy situations like the hug-headbutt-split lip scenario. And it’s never fun when it happens. But when you have a positive attitude, you can look at it and say, “So this happened, and it sucked… but it’s also kind of funny.”
The ability to find humor in a crazy or frustrating situation is a gift, and if you can master it, your days will be full of laughter no matter what life throws your way.
Let your breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.
This is an idea I talk about with my team ALL the time. Every mistake is an opportunity for us to grow.
For example, a few weeks ago we accidentally sent out an email that had the wrong date on it. It went to thousands of people, and immediately, our inbox was flooded with dozens of panicked messages from people who thought they had missed out.
Now, there were two ways that we could have handled this situation. Option #1 was to panic or get angry or upset or frustrated. But option #2 was to look at it as an opportunity for growth. We laughed about it, talked about how we could do better in the future, sent a follow-up email to clarify, and went on with our lives.
One of the biggest gifts of a positive attitude is that it gives you the ability to embrace mistakes. At this point in my business (and in my life), I almost welcome mistakes. I know that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow and become better and stronger in the process. Breakdowns lead to breakthroughs, remember?
No one — and I mean no one — is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. But if you let your mistakes get you down, you miss out on a huge opportunity. Because mistakes are a fast track to growth. The good stuff in life comes from overcoming challenges, not avoiding challenges altogether. The mistakes and the challenges make you better. And you should welcome any opportunity to better yourself and your blogging business with open arms.
Get back to work.
If you’re stewing in negativity because of something that went wrong with your day, guess what? It’s going to be really hard to get back to work. Instead of shaking it off and getting things done, you’ll spend your day replaying the scenario in your head and feeling sad, frustrated, or angry.
Shifting your energy back to a positive place will help you let go of what happened, shake it off, and get back to work. If you’ve been reading this blog–or my “real” blog, Living Well Spending Less–for any amount of time, you probably already know that I’m a big believer in planning and goal-setting. (Heck, I’ve even developed my own planner! You might say it is a bit of an obsession for me!)
But as part of my planning process, I set yearly goals, which I then break into quarterly goals, which I then break into monthly goals. From there, I map out a plan for the week using my Weekly Wizard sheet, and then every single morning I start my day by filling out a Daily Focus Sheet and creating a plan for the day.
Does that mean that everything ALWAYS goes according to plan or that I ALWAYS get everything done?
But it does mean that have something to help me get back on track when things go wrong. It’s much easier to get RE-focused when you start with focus in the first place.
So when life throws you a curveball, give yourself a moment to wallow, then get back to your to-do list. The sooner you get back on track, the better you’ll feel!
Never, Ever Give Up
Here’s the truth: no matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will face challenges, bad days, and uphill battles in your blogging business. It’s inevitable. But you don’t have to let them defeat you!
Sometimes it’s not about avoiding the challenges, bad days, and uphill battles, but about meeting them, taking a deep breath and moving forward. There will be days you want to curl up in a ball and go back to bed. But at the end of the day, it’s your choice.
As I tell my daughters, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you CAN choose how you react to it. You can choose to be like Bethany Hamilton, and refuse to give up, even when your challenge seems so daunting that no one else would fault you for throwing in the towel.
You don’t have to let a disaster ruin your day and your productivity. You may have to regroup or refocus, or get really creative to come up with a solution. But it comes down to telling yourself, sometimes as many times as it takes, “No matter what happens today, I will get through it. And I’ll be stronger because of it.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you had to deal with any blogging challenges lately? What was your curveball, and how did you overcome it? Share your comments below!