Looking for the “other” positives

Let’s play a game.

*Guys in the back cheer!*

…not a drinking game.

*Guys in the back file for the exits*

Think about a time you were really excited for something. You thought about all the things you were going to gain from this. You couldn’t wait to get started.

Then it started. It didn’t go as well as you hoped. In fact, it ended up being a pretty big letdown. You didn’t gain all those things you thought you were going to. You may not have liked the people you were surrounded by. Now, all that excitement has turned into disappointment. All you can think about is how much time you wasted.  

Go ahead and pick a time where this happened. Got at least one? Good.

Now I want you to think about the positives that came out of this situation. Even if you didn’t gain those specific things you thought you were going to. Did you gain at least something good?

We often gain something positive in a place we don’t expect to. It might be hard to pick up on these positives. The trick is you need to actively be looking for them. If you’re focusing on the negatives, such as “all that time you wasted,” then all you’re going to find are negatives.  

I’ll give an actor example: Ever done a show that you weren’t proud of? The director was disorganized, the show didn’t sell as well as you hoped, or maybe – heaven forbid – the show turned out to be a complete disaster. You were embarrassed to tell your friends, and couldn’t wait for it to end.

For every “bad” show that I’ve done, I can think of at least one positive that I gained from it. One of the first shows I did in Chicago was not one to brag about. Simply bringing up the name of the theatre usually gets a chuckle if you bring it up in a room full of actors. While it certainly doesn’t add any value to my resume, I’m glad I did the show. I made several connections, which led to a show I ended up doing a couple years later. And wouldn’t you know, that led to connections for another show. I thought about this recently and couldn’t believe how much value that silly show added to my theatre career.

Ever move somewhere to pursue something specific, only to end up pursuing something else? (We’re talking about finding a different passion you didn’t realize you had before. Not that job waiting tables that you’ve found because you’re afraid to take action.)

Try looking for those positives. This is something I’ve talked about in previous posts. What I didn’t realize until recently is that there are hidden positives that we don’t always see because we’re too busy being upset that we didn’t get the positives we hoped for.

Any good positives you feel like sharing? Post about it in the comments section below! 

Oh, and if you are afraid to take action – talk to me. We should do coffee. I know a great place by North and Wells =) 

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