Turning a Bad Experience Into a Gift

May 16, 2021

Today I want to talk about something most of us don’t like to talk about. 

I want to talk about bad experiences.

Now you might be wondering WHY we’d want to talk about bad experiences. 

The truth is most of us will go to any length to avoid focusing on them. 

We’ll engage in all sorts of numbing behaviors like overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-whatevering, just to avoid having to think about them.

But today I want to serve up a different perspective because if you’re going to have any sort of career – whether as a corporate employee or a business owner – you’re going to experience things that you categorize as bad. 

There are so many challenging experiences our corporate career can serve up. 

·         Getting passed over for promotion.

·         Toxic culture.

·         Backstabbing co-workers.

·         Bad bosses.

·         Failing at a key project.

·         Being laid off or fired.

Or as a business owner…

·         Losing customers

·         Declining revenue

·         Problem employees

And even for all of us around the world this past year…

·         Covid…need I say more?

The truth is bad things happen.

And we’re left to deal with those things.

But the problem is, most of us DON’T.

And that’s why today I wanted to offer you an approach that will help you flip the script on the bad experience. 

It’s going to rock your world.

So, let’s dive in.

A bad experience is anything that is not what we hoped of. Something that’s undesired, unpleasant, or unwelcome.

While of course the experience can be disappointing. But at its worst, that thing can make us feel like our life is completely OUT of our control. 

And so many things in our career and life ARE out of the control.

I mean, we know we can’t change a toxic work culture. 

We can’t make a bad or untrustworthy boss a good one. 

We can’t prevent being put on the list for a layoff.

So, that inability to control something we don’t like can make us feel like a victim. 

Being a victim doesn’t feel good.

After all, the definition of victim is “a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else; someone that is harmed by an unpleasant event.”

None of us want to feel cheated or fooled or harmed.

And when we feel that way, it doesn’t tend to bring out the best in ourselves as it relates to how we handle it. 

We might yell or scream at someone. 

We might cry.  

We might plot to do harm ourselves – gossiping, spreading untruths, blaming – to get back at the person we think caused the bad thing.

Or we retreat into ourselves, trying to soothe the pain through indulgent or false pleasures that make feel better in the moment but in actuality, cause us even greater harm.

Most of us do this because we believe that focusing on the bad thing that happened will make us feel even worse. We think that by running away from it, by soothing ourselves, we can avoid the pain of having to deal with the downside. 

But I’m going to offer you a different perspective.

When something bad happens, we need to do the opposite of running away from it. We need to turn back, look directly at it, and ask ourselves how that BAD thing can be a GOOD thing.

Or more specifically, we need to look for ways to turn that bad experience into a GIFT.

We call it The 3 Gifts Technique. Take a listen to learn more.

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