Nothing good comes from feeling bad. Now don’t confuse this with feeling pressured or feeling pain – those feelings are very useful.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were doing your best, and got blasted for something that didn’t go right? I’ll give you an example – Friday is pizza night at our place and as I was picking up my order, I asked Scott who runs the place if he was busy? He said, “Yes, it’s been crazy – it’s a long weekend – I just got blasted by a lady because her order was late. She said she would never order from me again.” He looked defeated as he pointed to the street – “Look at the traffic out there – what are we to do?” I could feel his frustration – Scott was feeling bad.
So, I shared with him a piece of advice I had received years ago. I said – “I have a rule in life for situations just like that Scott – I always assume positive intent and move on.” Scott looked up at me from the cash register as a huge smile grew on his face, and he let go of a giant burst of laughter. I could feel the release as he unburdened himself of the unpleasant feelings that customer had unwittingly passed along to him. “Yes – I see your point” he chuckled. “I’m in control – and her expectations weren’t met”. “Its’ unfortunate, but I shouldn’t take it personally”.
Taking ownership of our results does not mean beating ourselves up for things in or out of our control. It’s about learning from our mistakes and responding with changes. It’s about assigning meanings to events in a way that serves our goals. Feeling bad never helped anyone.
Use this simple little system when you come across someone making a mistake of their own, or having a bad day. Take a breath and say, “I’m sure they mean well.” Then smile and move on with your day.