One way to tank your day

 

I had an intuitive sense from the beginning that the movie “John Carter” was going to be a flop. Costing $350 million to make it only brought in $30 million on its opening weekend. Andrew Stanton the director is best known for the direction of “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”, both wildly successful. He also was a writer for all three “Toy Story” movies. He is successful, has a track record for creating hit movies and was given a shot to direct his first live action movie. It didn’t turn out good.

That would be very hard. I have no doubt he is really, really bummed and is questioning his ability to make movies beyond pixelated cartoons.
Though not on that scale, I have had many endeavors that haven’t taken off as expected. Huge bummers. I have miffed moments in relationships. No one ever wakes up in the morning intending to tank their day, but the irony is, it’s easy to do- by Rumination.

Rumination is the mental choice to dwell on our poor showing whether it is in a relationship or a project. Rumination traps us in the confines of our thoughts about the situation. We begin to create scenarios and reasons that aren’t true. Rumination, in other words, is our way of deceiving ourselves and tanking our efforts to move ahead in a healthy manner. Through our mental lingering we are unable to let go of our mistakes and weak showings.

I’m a master at the art of rumination. It can often trigger to my depressive episodes. Here are my suggestions for moving beyond dwelling on bad events and keeping us from tanking ourselves and our day.

  • Contemplate. The opposite of rumination is contemplation. It is the sustained practice of honing the skills of attention to get to the deeper truths of ourselves and our lives. Contemplation keeps us from applying knee jerk reactions. Take 20 minutes and try to let every thought that enters your mind vanish.
  • Move on. Take your perceived errors and move on.. Interrogate your thoughts and see them for what they are- perceptions of response. Your perception creates your reality and staying put in them can easily lead to a negative one. Keep moving on and do what needs to be done. Ask for forgiveness if needed and take a failure and use it to mature.
  • Be teachable. Learn from what happened and do better next time. Every day is brand new and offers a chance at a new start.
  • Tell yourself the truth. The space between the event and our response is cognitive. We can lie to ourselves and catastrophize what happened or we can tell ourselves the truth that it isn’t as bad as we are prone to think.

So don’t ruminate on things today. It’s a sure fire way to screw it up. I can ruminate on this blog and worry about its relevance and usefulness for the rest of the day or send it on its way letting it be what it is…one way or the other.

Posted in adaptation, Attitude, Behavior, Cognition, Cognitive distortions, self-reflection, the present, tough times, Uncategorized
3 comments on “One way to tank your day
  1. Motz34 says:

    Thanks Jeff…. Well timed insight…

  2. Thanks! I gotta practice what I preach!

  3. J Hokama says:

    Spot on, Jeff!

    Of course to ruminate comes from the Latin verb ruminari,meaning “to chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed : chew the cud, ” I don’t know about you, but I would much rather take a fresh bite of anything than my own ‘cud’!

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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