How To Turn Bad Into Good
Inspired by that time (last night) when I realized I had deleted half of a fashion photo session. And the client drove all the way down from Dallas to San Antonio to shoot it. And I wanted to die.
1. Feel the emotion - the pain or humility or regret or fear, but don't become a slave to the emotion. Let the emotion serve as a sharp signal that this is a moment that you can grow from. Growth comes out of conflict, tension, brokenness that is leaned into and learned from. Defeat comes from conflict that you succumb to. This negative feeling - let it be a waving flag that this is your time to choose - will you grow or die.
2. Give thanks. We spend a lot of time and energy trying to avoid difficult times. But it is only in difficult times that we can grow, and you want to grow. You don't want to stay the same. You certainly don't want to go backwards. You want to grow up, grow into, grow out of. And that can only come from moments like these - moments where your heart is pounding, mind is racing, sweat is dripping, or emotions are flailing. You can either tell yourself that this is your worst nightmare or this is a gift. You want to grow - and you've been given a chance. Say thank you.
3. Ask yourself, "What is out of my control?" List the factors. Write them down. Say them out loud. Take a deep breathe and release those things. It may be a struggle to accept that you don't have control over everything, but realize that no amount of obsessing or mental replaying or what-if-ing will bring these externalities under your control. Refusing to release them will only give them control over you.
4. Ask yourself, "What is in my control?" List it, write it, say it. This is where you have the ability to use your creativity, resourcefulness, will-power to make something happen. Brainstorm your options. Find the hidden opportunity. There's always opportunity in difficult times. A fixation on externalities blinds us to it - a focus on what is in your control reveals the opportunities.