top of page

Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Terri K. Lankford, LPC, NCC, LCAS

Refocus : When Things Aren't Going Your Way

Some days go better than others.

Some times you get dealt a series of unfortunate events.

This is my “Vacation Monday”. Know what I wanted to do today?? Nothing. You heard me correctly, I wanted NO PLANS for today. Go with the flow. Do what makes me feel good.

There’s no secret being kept that the past 4 weeks have made for a chaotic month on this end. Not complaining, just describing as I know that a lot of you can relate at one time or another. For me, its been keeping up with the entrepreneur life, maintaining a relationship, attempting to keep a clean house, not let the plants die, and the dog had to have surgery (and all the recovery that comes with that). Just when you think you’re about to break free on a planned week of no expectations…. the truck needs to be fixed. Ok, Done.

Day One of trying to get into vacation mode consisted of errands to get stocked on food and what’s next? A flat tire with a hot pizza in the car and a truck full of groceries + a dog who is now congested and not only can she not sleep, but you aren’t getting any sleep right along with her. Ever slept in the same room as someone who can’t breathe well? And THEN, you realize your makeup remover just spilled out into your travel bag. <Insert Huge Eye Roll Here>

Has any little piece of this ever been you? Sure, it has!

If you’re like me, you’ll throw yourself a little pity party and wonder why it always seems like its one thing after another.

I did that. I allowed myself that. And so can you. BUUUUTTTT, here’s the catch : You CANNOT STAY in pity party mode!!

I know, I know. It’s easy to do just that. Because we often tell ourselves that things happen TO us, we play the victim role. And we play it well.

But what you focus on, you get more of.

Do you want to stay stuck in the “poor me” mode where things “just happen” to you (as if you play zero part in the universe = not true), stay sulking on the couch, and in a crappy mood OR do you want to take control of your day, get shit done, and be in a good mood?

Which do you want more of?

My Tried and True 3 Steps to Refocusing When Things Aren’t Going Your Way:

1) Get Moving.

Say what?! You heard me. Even the best of us have days when we want to hide under the covers from the world or stay in the corner we put ourselves in. But this isn’t helping anyone, especially yourself. This morning I knew I needed to jump start my day before hashing out what all needed to be done on my “day off”. Put some earbuds in, lace up your tennis shoes, and walk out your door for at least 15 minutes and then turn around and come back. It’s that simple. You can also pick out your favorite class to go do or bust out your favorite workout at home on BeachBody On Demand or YouTube. Whatever floats your boat. But just do it. Get into nature if you can. Get the blood flowing. You may not feel fantastic before you workout, but never has anyone complained about being in a bad mood after one. It gets the endorphins flowing along with all those other feel good neurotransmitters that boost your mood in the process!

2) This is Good Because…

That flat tire from the other night? Serious bummer right? Well hat was good because, I got to watch my husband change out my spare tire which is A) sexy that he knows how to do all that and B) fantastic because at times Acts Of Service speaks to my love language although its not my primary. It’s also good because it got me out into the neighboring town today where I learned more about the area we spend time often and at least 1 out of 4 tires are now brand new!

You see where I’m going with this? Jen Sincero talks about “This is Good Because…” in her book You Are A Badass and I’ve definitely used this for myself and for my clients since diving in here. The idea is that even in the situation you just can’t stand, you find something, ANYTHING good about it. Jen says, “ if you focus on the negative aspects of the more challenging thing in your life, it will lower your frequency, keep you in pain and resentment, and attract more negativity to you, very possibly make you sick, and definitely make you crabby. If you instead look for ways to be grateful for everything in your life, it not only raises your frequency, but it allows you to grow by opening you up to the lesson”. Gratitude goes a long way and definitel allows you to refocus on the positive and create more of that!

3) Make a Plan and include your Self Care into that

Self care is probably the #1 thing that we let slip out of our priorities when our to-do list grows and when we feel pressure or defeat or just plain stress. Do I think you should over-indulge and just go sit in a spa all day to ignore whatever situations need attention to? No. Although a good massage sounds amazing right now! Do some problem solving and make a plan for how you’re going to tackle the obstacles that are dragging your attention to the negative. Refocus on what you have in your control. And make sure you factor in a way to take care of yourself DAILY while you’re at it. You heard me, daily. Start a list of what self care is for YOU. That could be 10 minutes of meditation, taking a few moments to enjoy your morning coffee, busting out a coloring book, playing with your dog, added exercise (see above), journaling, watching funny cat videos on youtube, meal planning something healthy to have for lunch that will fuel your day, or a good book. It doesn’t have to take all day. It can be for 5 minutes or 50 minutes as long as its something that makes you feel good and creates a space of calm when you’re doing it.

I’m choosing a whole evening of self care on this Monday, a fantastic shower, writing this blog post, sitting by the lake, and a good dinner. What are you going to do for yourself to end this Monday with a bang?


***You can purchase Jen Sincero's Book, You Are A Badass : How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life (2013) HERE.

I am in no way receiving any kickbacks from endorsing her book. I just love it and believe personal development can never hurt!


Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

Join our mailing list

Be the first to know when a new post gets published and never miss an update!!!

*** Be Sure to Check your Spam/Junk Folder in case that's where your Welcome Email lands!! ***

bottom of page