Using Bad News as a Motivational Tool


by Deborah Ng

So last week the Ng family received some bad news. Don’t worry, we’re all happy and healthy and will hopefully stay that way, but the news was unexpected and may result in the loss of an income. Then yesterday we received some more bad news. Another financial setback. Something that needs to get done is going to cost a lot more than we thought. Upon learning my news yesterdayI firstwent into my room and had a good cry. I recommed a good cleansing cry to everyone now and then, especially if no one is home because then you can get as loud as you want without having to worry about the kids or others worrying about you. After that I got up, showered and went back to work. When my work day was over, I figured out a course of action.

I decided I wasn’t going to use a financial setback as an excuse to sit around and wallow in pity. I was going to use it to kick my butt into gear and get going on a few projects that will help our situation. I finished my ebook and sent it off to another pair of eyes. Then I outlined my next ebook. I worked a lot later than I had in some time, but the words flowed smoothly and effortlessly. My bad news motivated me into action.

I could have gone to the fridge for a pint and sat down and watched bad TV for the remainder of the day, but that wouldn’t have helped my situation any. I took my lemons and made lemonade. I outlined some projects for myself and even reminded myself I could take on extra freelancing or consulting work if need be. Now all of a sudden things don’t look so dreary. My bad news became my motivator. Things will be tight for a little while, but we’ll get through it.

I think we all work according to our emotions. If we let ourselves become too depressed, we can’t function. It’s hard to work with heavy stuff weighting the back of our minds. When bad news hits, take some time to react. Have a good cry, scream, punch some pillows and get it out of your system. Once you’re composed, figure out your plan of action – at least tentatively. Bad news has a way of keeping you from doing the things you need and leading to unhealthy situations. Feeling sorry for yourself will only worsen the situation. Get up, dust yourself off, and take advantage of the opportunity.






8 responses
  1. Marc - WelshScribe Avatar

    Thanks for sharing and for motivating me.

    Your post gave me a nice little face-slap to remind me that I am 90% certain to be out of a job come end of March so I need to get a move on with my plans

  2. Shai Coggins Avatar

    You are absolutely right! And lemonades do make good thirst quenchers. 😉

    Take care. And I wish you and your family all the best.

  3. Jennifer Avatar

    Thank you. This is the post that I needed to read today. I have had a couple setbacks on my freelance writing journey lately. This has motivated me to get going with all of those things that I kept putting off. Thank you for showing me how to use it to get going.

  4. Emily Avatar

    Thanks for posting this. I was recently laid off and unemployment compensation is still up in the air. I currently have no income. I also have a lot of time on my hands. Normally that would be a good thing (as far as freelancing is concerned). However I’m so consumed with worry about my situtation that I can’t seem to even focus, let along accomplish anything. Thank you for reminding me that inaction isn’t going to get me anywhere.

  5. Tricia Goss Avatar
    Tricia Goss

    I’m sorry you had to go through this, but inspired by your attitude!

  6. Scott Avatar

    This was a very timely post for a lot of people I am sure.

    I know that lately I have had a lot of setbacks and it gets frustrating.

    Your ability to handle it and move on is inspiring and has helped me tremendously today.


  7. JR Moreau Avatar

    Good luck Deb! If anyone can get through this it’d be you! You’re kicking butt everywhere I see you. Keep it up!

  8. David Dittell Avatar


    I am a recent graduate trying to find a place in writing and the job market in general and have been having a really difficult time of it. I recently left a non-writing job when my mother became ill because my contract was up and they couldn’t guarantee me the chance to step away if I needed.

    Your post fits into my goal for how to feel perfectly, and its emotion and rawness are to be commended. Thank you for your post.

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