It’s easy to let one idiot ruin our day, isn’t it? Monday can be a surprisingly positive day and then all of a sudden you are hit with a text message out of left field that is less than kind, or you receive a comment on a blog post that is less than favorable and accuses you of a thousand things that simply are not true. When we are already tired and overworked, these small zingers can add up to be torpedoes. Suddenly, we think everyone in the world hates us. Our imaginations and lack of perspective overrule common sense.
When we take a step back, though, how small really are those moments compared to the rest of our day? Yes, one text sucked, but what about the dozens of others we received that day? One comment wasn’t honest, but how many other comments were beautifully honest and complimentary?
The problem that letting one idiot ruin our day causes is bigger than one within ourselves, it is one that we can quickly ricochet onto others, making us the idiot in their peaceful day. It’s a circle of negativity that doesn’t end until someone very intentionally saws it apart. So let’s do that. Today, let’s vow to let the sarcastic comebacks and clever quips roll off our backs and transform that negativity into something beautifully positive. Here’s how:
Remember Your Roots
Growing up in a small town in Wyoming, this is something that is incredibly important to me. I never forget how I was raised by two humble, Christian parents when I encounter bumps along the road. Their endless love and support of me always reminds me that family comes first, not what others choose to think in a quick judgmental moment. I keep photos of my family and Wyoming close to me at work and throughout my day to remind me of those vast Wyoming blue skies that remind me of how insignificant some things really are in the scheme of things.
Get Sleep (Quiet Time)
This one is SO important to me! Omg. I instantly take everything personally if I am running low on sleep. I also tend to always make mountains out of molehills and think problems are bigger than they actually are.
Not only is sleep critical to my ability to bounce back from insults, but so is quiet time and meditation. I make it a point to set aside at least a half hour a day to either write, walk on the beach, or meditate on how incredible life is. This helps everything slow down a bit and empties out the million things in my mind so I can focus, and take things as they are.
Visit Facebook Photos
Whenever a moment of criticism makes me question myself, I like to open my Facebook photos and look back at all of the great memories from the past decade of my life. This distracts me from the hurtful comment while also reminding me of who I am and who I have in my life that supports me.
Create A Visual Wall
Visualization is an amazing tool in all aspects of life. When you can look up from your desk and see everything that you are aiming to be, and all of the places you have been, it does wonders. I have peg boards in my house full of memorabilia from happy moments and reminders of where I want to be someday and where my life is headed. Just one look at it, and that ‘idiot’ seems a lot more like an ant than like a monster.
I work in an emotional field and there is nothing like meeting someone facing a terminal illness to give you perspective on life. When you read stories and meet people that are out there facing life courageously everyday, you suddenly have the strength to overcome anything.
Other ways to gain perspective include calling someone that knows you well and getting their take on the situation, taking a long drive with the radio blaring, turning off all electronics for an hour and just breathing. There’s a ton of things you can do to shift your focus for a bit.
At the end of the day, if you let that one idiot ruin your outlook on things, they win. I would say to just have tough skin, but we all know it sometimes takes a lot more than that to not let a comment in the heat of the moment get to you. Take a deep breath and focus on what is good in your life, and you will be sure to not let the idiots ruin your day.
– Marji J. Sherman