Was It a Good Day For You?
I’ve been adding to a resilience presentation today and typed the words – “check in with yourself, was it a good day for you?”, which made me think… By consciously acknowledging whether it’s been a good or less positive day we can think about how we might change it. Could we have done something differently? Would we behave in the same way again? The answer might be “yes, I would do exactly the same thing again” and it’s important to acknowledge that as recognising our successes helps to build our confidence and self esteem. Reflecting on a less positive day is still constructive, if you allow yourself to identify things that you could have done differently or how you might influence someone else’s behaviour so they act in a different way to improve the day. Sometimes events do just overtake us though and that’s when good self care can help us move onto the next day.
One of the first rules of stress management is event + response = outcome. As we can’t always influence the things that happen to us, we can only influence the outcome by managing our response. If my car breaks down and that makes me late for a meeting (I hate being late) then I have two choices. I can get angry, frustrated and upset and eventually turn up to my meeting in a less than positive frame of mind, or roll my eyes and focus constructively on how I’m going to get to the meeting, or make a decision to call, explain what’s happened and rearrange. If the meeting does go ahead, it’s more likely to be successful if I’m in a better frame of mind and put myself across effectively, so the outcome is improved. I’m likely to feel happy with how things went and reflect on the day overall as a good one, even though the car broke down.
It sounds simple doesn’t it? It does take practice but staying calm in difficult situations is constructive and supports our resilience. By checking in with yourself at some point during the day (I used to find the journey home from work was a good time), you can acknowledge the positives and reflect on the more difficult aspects of the day, thinking about how you might do things differently in the future. It’s important to acknowledge the positives; otherwise we only notice the less positive events and that can make our mind-set very negative.
So if someone asks you ‘”was it a good day for you?” your answer might be “no, but I know what I’ll do differently next time”. That’s good resilience. Sometimes learning from our experiences is the only positive we can take from them. But that still moves us forward. Reflecting on the day and thinking about what you’d do differently means you know more now than you did yesterday and that’s good for your self esteem. You would behave differently if the same situation arose. Sometimes, that’s all we can do.
And if you need to, kick the car to make yourself feel better!
Have a great weekend.
Best wishes, Karen.