So You Had A Bad Day … Finding Your Way through the Funk

Bad Day

*Calvin & Hobbes cartoon credit to Bill Watterson*

You know the kind of day I’m talking about right?

I had one of those days this week.

What’s changed for me when I have one of those days now is that it doesn’t become one of ‘those weeks’.

So… what happened.
I wish I could narrow it down to one specific incident, but for me it’s usually a combination of things that have piled up and I haven’t taken the time to either deal with them, address them or give myself a ‘time out’ to figure out what would be best for me.

I have a few things I do when I get in this place, one of which is reaching out to people who can help, which isn’t always who you think it might be. There was a time when I would reach out to people who would commiserate with me or who weren’t in a better spot that I was (which, as I write this it seems absolutely ridiculous).
Not anymore.

Now I reach out to people who will support me through whatever I’m feeling by helping me realize I’m responsible for what’s going on.

I can choose to beat myself up OR I can choose to take care of myself.

O.K., I’m totally getting sidetracked.

Back to what happened.

To say I have the patience of a gnat would be an understatement. As much as I’d like to think I’ve grown and evolved into this patient, zen-like person the truth is I’ve got a long way to go. I’m way more patient than I used to be, but for some reason I still expect things to happen according to my time table.

I’ve been consciously shifting the direction of my business and things are truly going in the right direction, but earlier this week I felt like I’d hit a wall. Massive frustration set in and I was pissed off feeling like I was missing ‘something’.

What am I doing wrong that things aren’t moving the way I want them to?
(in other words, FASTER)

I’ve talked a LOT about not doing web design work anymore, but the truth is it’s still a significant portion of my income. AND… I have a team, so it’s not like I’m sitting here all day working on client websites (I do work on them of course but I do what I do best and my team does what they do best. Leverage. Plain and simple)- yet I create an incredible amount of resistance which only makes things worse. And it’s not like I don’t enjoy the work. The problem is my perception of the work. I’m the one responsible for the frustration in my life.

One of the best definitions of frustration I’ve heard is:

“Trying to control something you can’t control.”

And along with that definition comes the BEST explanation of worry that I’ve ever heard (excuse the lack of credit for these quotes because I heard them from someone else):

“If you can change things, why worry?” and “If you can’t change things, why worry?”

It’s so simple isn’t it?

That’s what I was faced with earlier this week.

And more often than not, it always comes back to focusing on the work. Doing the tasks. Immersing myself in this thing that I love. The only way I can get out of my head (which can truly be an exhausting place to be at times) is to get the creative juices flowing or simply DO SOMETHING.


As long as I’m moving, regardless of whether it’s moving in a new direction (writing a new post, recording a podcast, working on a site, working on a product or even getting out of the house and washing the car), the frustration starts to shift. When I get myself to take action I’m reminded that I’m in control of what I’m feeling and I get to choose what I do with it.

Fast forward a few days and a call to someone who supports me when I’m feeling like this … I’m in a much better place. Are some of the challenges or things I need to deal with still here? Of course. But I’ve made a choice to say “so what?” And not in a flip way. It’s simply life.

We all have bad days (which btw, the entire time I’ve been writing this post I have Daniel Powter’s song “Bad Day” looping in my head! Next post will be “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons! 🙂 ), we all want to climb in bed, we all question why we’re doing what we’re doing.

It’s just part of the process.

Fortunately acknowledging all of this and reminding myself that they’re simply feelings (not reality) shortens the process.

And on that note, it’s time for more coffee and a new podcast episode.

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  1. So funny that of all days, today is the day that you write this. I just wrote an email (to be sent out tomorrow) with things that I’m frustrated with and can’t seem to just finish!

    Putting deadlines on things and not seeing them through really starts to piss me off, but these are things that are out of my control.

    I have to continue to remind myself of my sitation and take it one day at a time. Just do one thing. That’s it. It’ll all get there soon enough. But sometimes like you said, it’s too slow and we get impatient!!

    How frustrating!!! =) I want it all done now! 😀

    Great post!

    1. Thanks Jonathan,
      I think that’s part of the being an entrepreneur too. 🙂 So many ideas and not enough time. The thing with the one day at a time is that eventually that starts compounding and we’re further along than we expected. We just need to remind ourselves of where we’ve been too.
      Here’s to an amazing rest of 2014!

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