Noticing Your Gains When Things Don’t Work Out

Since it’s summertime, we thought we’d lighten the mood. What follows looks at what can be gained when things don’t work out.

While on vacation in May, I tried to whiten my teeth. The first time I attached the plastic whitening strip to my lower teeth, it fell off. After several attempts, I gave up and decided it wasn’t my thing. Then this Saturday, I tried again and succeeded immediately. Although this example may seem trivial. life is filled with large and small tasks which if we give up the first time we fail, we’ll never learn what we can accomplish.

Last week one of my clients described the trouble she’d had with several tile contractors. She openly acknowledges her perfectionism and has been working on learning to let things go so she can feel better. Honestly, she’d done fine until the second tile guy lost it because she asked him to replace a cracked tile and to reset another which wasn’t level with the rest.  He’d advertised himself as “no drama, no trauma.” LOL.

What did she learn? First, to trust her gut. She’d thought about terminating him the week before but was trying to adjust her expectations instead.  Sometimes the other person really is the problem.  Second, although things went poorly it wasn’t a disaster and she didn’t torture herself by dwelling on it.

So, the next time things don’t work out, look for something to be gained. Then, shift into self-care mode, breathe deeply and smile 🙂

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