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Today is my birthday. I had a massage scheduled, but earlier this week I had my very first stranger (to me) sign up for a free first time coaching session. I was so excited I canceled the massage, and mentally prepared to meet a new human in the world that I could possibly help.
They didn’t show up to the session. I was prepared for this. This is not uncommon in the world of coaching, counseling, or training. When someone doesn’t have much skin in the game yet, there’s not much urgency.
Why Cultivate Gratitude
I’m still completely grateful to the person for booking that session. And I’m grateful for them not showing up. Why? Because a) it was super fun to have someone I don’t know sign up for a session and b) it got the first no-show out of the way.
Does this seem like a dumb, Pollyanna way to look at this? I’d argue that the dumb thing to do would be to get my feelings hurt and waste time worrying about it.
When you choose gratitude, you control the experience.
Stating the opposite
So how do you cultivate gratitude for a situation your brain is telling you has gone wrong?
First, state the opposite of what your brain is telling you. For example, if my brain was thinking:
“It’s so rude that person didn’t show up to their session today.”
I would rephrase it to be:
“It’s so considerate that person didn’t show up to their session today.”
Now your’re like WTF? Stay with me.
Asking the big question
Once I have that opposite statement, I ask this question: How is that true?
Now my creative mind is tasked to look for the reasons the opposite can be true.
“By not showing up, the person gave me more time to get important work done.”
“By not showing up, that person provided the opportunity to craft a compassionate response email.”
“By not showing up, that person allowed me a little more time to mentally rehearse until someone does show up.”
Staying in control
Do you see what’s happening there? Rather than becoming a victim to the person that didn’t show, I’m controlling my reaction to the circumstance.
I’m not letting another human being, or their actions, or the situation control what happens inside of me. This is my universe to control, not theirs.
It only becomes theirs to control when I allow them to.
I’ll end on a quote I love from Eleanor Roosevelt that captures this beautifully:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Work with me
Would you like to develop the skill of cultivating gratitude for everything so you can stay in control of your own person? I can show you how.