“It Is What It Is!” What a great saying to move forward!

 In Better Life, Negative emotions

Last week, my husband and I were out on a walk, enjoying the beautiful fall colors.  A few moments after we waved at a passing car, we heard a strange “Thump!” As we continued around the corner, we saw the car by the side of the road, and a woman was talking on her phone as she looked into the ditch.

As we got closer, we could see that she had hit a deer. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, but she was feeling a bit shaky. We stopped to talk to her and see if we could help. She said her boyfriend was on the way, and she was letting her work know she would be late.

She shared that she had just bought her new car three months ago. Now the front corner was smashed with pieces strewn along the roadside. “What a bummer!” we both said.  Her response was, “Well, it is what it is.

That phrase brought back memories of a boss I had during my biotech years. When projects or experiments wouldn’t work out as planned, he would commonly say, “It is what it is.”  

I love this saying! It acknowledges that things could be better while giving us permission to start from where we are in that moment. How can we move forward? What are our options based on the current status? There is no blame and no fretting, but an acknowledgment that things don’t always go the way we want or expect.

Keep this phrase in mind this week and see what situations come up for you where saying, “It is what it is.” can help you move ahead instead of staying stuck in wishing things were different.


Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is a speaker, trainer, and founder of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to teaching organizations and individuals the power of positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.

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