Bad moments aren’t fun but we all have them every now and again.
I’m not talking about the really tragic and deeply heartbreaking sort of ‘bad’ stuff. Rather, I’m referring to those times that are just generally rubbish. You know the ones – first world problems that don’t require medication or therapy and where stuff just goes wrong!
Here’s what some of those moments look like for me.
When I pull a muscle at the gym, forget to buy something at the weekly grocery shop, continually run late for appointments or nearly lose a bunch of important document on my computer.
As you can imagine, in each of those bad moments, nobody has died, I didn’t go bankrupt and the sun kept shining.
I still got frustrated, momentarily disappointed and used some particularly colourful language but I also knew that good things come from these sorts of bad moments.
That might seem hard to believe but I can honestly say that those bad moments have really lead to some positive outcomes.
Because bad moments are a good catalyst for change.
There are lots of other good reasons why experiencing bad times can be beneficial but this has to be one of my favourites.
Without first experiencing bad moments I would never have initiated beneficial changes like these...
Because I hurt myself at the gym, I now make a more concerted effort to stretch properly before doing certain things.
Because I kept running late, I’m more stringent about including ample buffer time my plans (you can read more here about ‘How To Build More Buffer Time Into Your Schedule’).
Because I nearly lost a heap of documents on my computer (and the subsequent 20 minutes of panic inducing nausea) I finally bought an external hard drive and backed up all my files.
None of these changes would have happened had I not first been through the bad bits.
As Sofia Gerhaghty writes for For Working Ladies, these bad moments can be “an important symptom that something needs to change.”
I’ve found it’s extremely beneficial to reframe my thinking on these sorts of everyday bad moments.
Instead of catastrophizing each and portraying them as bigger or more important than they are, it helps to see each as a little learning opportunity.
Ask yourself: What little thing you could change to make sure it doesn’t happen next time?
I still have plenty of bad moments throughout the day and I always will. That’s just life!
But because of the bad moments I’ve implemented some good habits.
Gerhaghty goes on to give some more excellent adice and says,
“If you find the same triggers for your bad day seem to appear again and again, whether it’s an argument with your boss, an element of your job, or comments from a friend that seems to put you down at every occasion, it is clear that these triggers need to be either removed or tackled in some way or another. No one should be having more bad days than good days, so if you find your bad days tallying up, it may be best to take action and get to the root of the problem.”
4 things you can do to make the best out of a bad situation
1. Focus on one bad thing at a time. It can become too overwhelming if you try and address everything at once.
2. Focus on change you can take action on right now (as opposed to just thinking about doing something one day in the future).
3. Don’t do as I sometimes do and wait multiple times before you make change. Nip it in the bud now. I would have saved some money in physiotherapy had I startyed stretching sooner!
4. But… following on from that last point, don’t be too hard on yourself if it does take a few times to get the change right. That’s ok and perhaps you’re not implementing the correct sort of change to that given problem.
As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
What bad moments have you had that you can use as a catalyst for change?
If you have kids, how could you apply this same sort of learning to them?
Good things can come from those little bad moments if we keep an eye out for the lesson and stay open to making change.