Happy Tuesday! Hope everyone is having a great week so far.
My friend Instagrammed this quote, and I loved the message:
There were two more recent instances when a similar message showed up. Once when I was listening to a podcast and in one of the recent sermons that Drew and I heard.
So of course it had me thinking…I need to share this with my readers!
A lot of times, we’ll focus in on the negative things that happen during the day…even if they are a small part of the day. We let that small bit of time define our entire day.
Or we’re going about our lives (possibly forgetting to be thankful for all of the small and big goodness) and then something bad happens and when act like the sky is falling down.
I’ve definitely been in this boat before.
One example is in nursing. Nursing is a tough job, and there is no doubt plenty “learning opportunities” along the way. Every single nurse is going to go through these experiences, especially in the beginning of their career or when starting a new job (me right now). I’m sure this is also true across different professions/industries too.
Now when one of these learning opportunities (okay, mistakes) comes up…are you going to dwell on it and get down on yourself or are you going to learn from it and take note? Are you going to go home and only think about the negative thing or are you also going to remember the difference you made in a patient’s day or the catch you made too?
We are our own worst critics and we remember our failures far better than anyone else does. Drew and I often joke that I‘m NOT hard on myself. But, I haven’t always been this way. It took strategies and practice to start to become more positive. I’ll often give myself a pep talk or even talk out loud to my preceptor: “Okay, I forgot that this chemotherapy drug needed a blood pressure every 30 minutes. I know that is in the treatment plan, so I’ll have to do a better job of taking note of that for future patients. That is a learning experience, and I’m glad that you caught it.”
I was recently walking behind a group of middle age women on their way to workout (YES!). One was telling the rest of the group about how humans latch onto the negative things that happen and internalize those. Those are what we mentally make note of and the things that more easily stick with us as an evolutionary mechanism of survival.
She said that we have to train our minds to learn what we need to learn from the experience, but also then remind ourselves of 5 positive things. This gives us a more positive outlook and makes us more optimistic than a person that just focuses on that one negative thing that happened during the day. Maybe that bad 5 minutes.
I told her, “I’m sure glad I had the honor of walking down the stairwell with you ladies!”
She said, “It would be a great thing for you to implement that in your life much earlier than I did in mine!”
She articulated the message that I wanted to share with you guys the best: learn what you need to learn from your mistakes. Don’t spend all your time rationalizing them or making up excuses as to why it happened, truly own it and learn from it.
When you are ready say: ____________ is what I need to learn and I’m ready to move forward. Then remind yourself of what you are thankful for or 5 positive things that you have going on. If you missed the blog post on how being grateful makes you a happier person, read more on why this strategy will help!
If I do have a negative experience from the day that keeps dwelling, I try to answer these questions:
- Why am I feeling this way? Is it my ego getting in the way?
- Am I letting myself spiral? Did I do one thing wrong and now I’m thinking I’m completely incompetent?
- Is what I’m dwelling on even true? A lot of times we start to tell ourselves lies, like “ugh, she probably thinks I’m so dumb now.” Which is not based on any truth, but can make us feel really crappy about ourselves.
- A lot of times I’ll talk aloud about something that happened that I’m having trouble getting over. I say, “Okay Amy. You have 5 minutes to get this out and then you’re moving on.” This allows me time to reflect and sort things out, but not too much time to overthink and spiral down a negative thought train.
Keep on growing and being positives my friends! Take it from me, it sure is a happier way to live.