From Sad to Glad

Don’t let minor setbacks ruin your day

When things don’t go as planned, the best way to turn it around is to acknowledge how you’re feeling, let it go and focus on something else.

Things don’t always go as planned, so when you find yourself in one of those situations, instead of letting it get you down and keep you down, avoid the pity party and pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going.

We all have days when something goes wrong and if we focus on that, then we will be looking (and metaphorically) asking for more things to go wrong because that is human nature – we find what we look for – we get what we focus on.

Think about a time when you slept in, you were rushed getting out the door, you focussed on “being late” and then you got caught in traffic, you were rushed finding a park for that important meeting, didn’t notice the parking sign and inadvertently parked in a towing zone (true story for me!).

If you have a propensity to dwell on the negative, or wallow when things happen or ask yourself “why me” constantly; than events like I’ve described above “could” ruin your day – because you’d allow yourself to feel sorry and wallow in the “why me” sorrow.

This approach means you’re looking for more things to go wrong – it’s called “confirmation bias” and what you focus on, your mind will find!

Then the next thing goes wrong and all of a sudden you feel that the world is against you and you slip into victim mentality or you fall into a state of helplessness and can’t find a way out, catch yourself and decide to do things differently.

When things don’t go as planned the quickest and easiest way to change your state is to acknowledge it!  You need to process the feelings associated with a setback, but you don’t need to let it ruin your whole day – especially if it’s a minor setback.

Take some time to be aware of your propensity to dwell (or not) and make a conscious decision to allow yourself to process the setback – name and acknowledge the situation and feelings you’re having and if possible chat with a friend or close one to express and get the feelings out.  Or you might want to write them down, start journaling or just write down how you’re feeling on a piece of paper. 

Then read it back to yourself, acknowledge it and tear it up and throw it away as a gesture that you’ve dealt with that minor setback and now you’re ready to “reset” and move on with a fresh mindset.


Create a list of 5 things you like to do that bring you joy.  And when you’re feeling down, pull out that list (consider it your emergency back-up generator) and do one of the things on the list to reset yourself – do something that will help you focus on anything other than the setback you just experienced.

About the author

Helen Luxford is a Leadership Coach, Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.  Helen’s passion is helping  stressed professionals turn overwhelm and uncertainty into calm and confidence in 6 weeks or less.

Helen is an experienced Executive and HR Leader.  Helen combines her corporate experience with her qualifications and skills in coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to provide tailored programs for her clients. 


Helen is the co-author of Amazon best-selling book, Heart Centred Leadership.


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From Sad to Glad

Don’t let minor setbacks ruin your day When things don’t go as planned, the best way to turn it around is to acknowledge how you’re

Keep reading »