This was my face last night.
Let me set this up for you.
As you probably know I am a new entrepreneur. And building a business is hard work. It can also be lonely work, especially when you’re used to working with a team of folks whose job it is to support you and help you make good ideas better.
So, imagine how excited I was to receive a FREE ticket to a sold out networking event in the city. My friend Christine was unable to go and had passed her ticket on to me. Awesome.
I had been on the website, looked at the pictures and imagined myself there meeting other fabulous women, making some great connections and walking away with incredible ideas to take my business to the next level.
I’m sure you can relate to how it feels to get SO excited about going to what you know will be an incredible event.
I was thrilled to be getting outside of the house.
I got my nails done, eyebrows waxed, and had my best make-up face on. I put one of my favorite outfits, my good handbag, and really cool jewelry.
I. Was. Ready. To. Go.
And you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t going to rock out this event.
Now, I was running just a teeny bit behind, and had missed the train that would have gotten me there on time, so I decided to drive.
Rushed out the house, and was on my way. SO EXCITED.
I am driving down the highway, making pretty good time, thinking about how I’ll introduce myself and describe RelateAble.
Then all of a sudden I realize something.
I had left my wallet at home. The wallet with my driver’s license. The one with my credit card, debit card, and any source of money.
At first, I thought it was some cruel joke and continued to look in my bag for something that obviously wasn’t there. Then I called my husband Schubert to check, and of course, there is was sitting on the kitchen table.
Side note: Don’t you HATE when you change bags and forget to transfer something really, really important???
This oversight on my part made attending the event almost impossible. I had gotten so far and to turn around now, meant getting back home in no less than 45 minutes, then another hour and 15 minutes to get there. Schubert was home with the baby, and I had the car with the car seat, so he couldn’t even meet me to give me the wallet. All of it amounted to being waaayyyyy late. Too late.
In that moment, when I was going full speed ahead to something I really, really wanted, and all of a sudden, something now beyond my control gets in the way, so many things happen.
First there is denial. No way is this happening. I cannot believe this. This must be a joke.
Then there is anger and blame. What the #$&*??! I cannot believe I did this. How could I have made this mistake?
Then follows sadness. I am going to miss out. Everyone else is going to have a great time. This is just not working out for me.
I literally wanted to cry.
The tears welled up making puddles at the base of my eyes. I was so disappointed. Actually, I was beyond disappointed, I was in utter despair.
I called my friend Ndidi to tell her I was not going to make it to the event. She and I are actually in the process of planning our own networking event this summer (more details on that will be coming soon). And of course, she was so disappointed too. I was supposed to learn a lot and make some great connections that would advance our event. Now I had let her down too. She tried her best to pull it together and tell me all would be ok. And I did the same for myself.
And of course, when I am faced with something difficult to deal with, I am quickly reminded that I always have a choice in how I respond. I could cry and feel really bad for myself, spend the next 3 hours imagining all the fun I am missing, and let this situation ruin my whole night. Or I could try to make the best of it, and consider it a blessing in disguise.
What do you do when something you really want is not happening for you for reasons beyond your control?
I decided to put some of my coaching principles to work and wanted to share them here with you. Here’s what I know
1. I can’t fight things beyond my control.
I had to quickly realize that there was nothing I could do to make the situation any different than it was. Going into a long drawn out dialogue about the shoula, woulda, couldas was not going to change anything. What was happening was happening and it was demanding to be accepted. Once I told myself this, I instantly felt lighter. My wallet was not going to instantly appear. Money was not going to fall out of the sky, and I was going to miss the event.
2. Circumstances don’t rule my emotions, I do.
I could have let this situation bring me down. I could have come back home angry and upset and made everyone else around me miserable too. But I know the excitement I felt just moments before was still possible…if I wanted it. I could be just as excited about a “Plan B”.
3. Things happen for me, not to me.
There is a reason for everything, whether we can see it or not. And some times the things we don’t get when we want them just means that something better is trying to make its way in. But if I allow myself to sit as a victim telling my sad, sad story, then I can’t ever see or receive what’s already waiting for me. The connections I was hoping to make are still possible even if not at that event. I have trained myself to believe the right opportunities are going to find me at the right moment. (Words of wisdom from Joel Osteen)
4. I can always make the best of it.
As I drove back home, I trained my mind to create new possibilities for how I would spend the evening. I could still have an amazing night. I would email the woman coordinating the event, ask her if we could meet 1-on-1, and try to get as much information that would be useful to me. I would enjoy a wonderful evening with my husband and my daughter. I would be grateful for the time I now had.
So, we ended up going out to dinner, I had an amazing time with my two favorite people, a great drink, and chocolate cake. Gotta have the chocolate cake. Here are some snapshots from this night.
I did actually eat food, but I devoured it so quickly and forgot to take a picture!
But back to an earlier question. What do you do when things are not happening for you for reasons beyond your control? I’d love to hear all about it! Leave me a comment.
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