Let's be honest here, we all have days when things just don't go the way we would like them to. Things break, the traffic holds us up, a payment you were relying upon gets delayed - it's totally frustrating, right? Well how we feel about any given situation at any point in time, is always valid, and we're entitled to feel however we choose. How we feel about a situation isn't going to change what has already happened.
But the kicker is that how we act out of those feelings can change the potential outcomes.
Last week I flew up to Brisbane to speak at Rachelle Panitz's Brisness Women's Breakfast event, as well as host my own Brisbabes Real Self Care Workshop - it was super exciting to be invited to speak at an interstate event, as well as to have my first ever sold out workshop! However the flight thing didn't quite happen as planned.
I had deliberately booked a flight for the day before the first event to allow for delays, but mainly so that I wouldn't have to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning in order to be on time for the 9.30AM breakfast.
I had originally booked my flights with one of the discount air carriers who have strict check in procedures and set check in times. Due to this and some confusing instructions on their website, I missed the check in window.
I happened to know that the lunchtime flight was their last scheduled flight to Brisbane for the day - and as they tried to see if they could get me a seat on another flight the staff discovered that they were also fully booked for the next day as well.
Obviously this was stressful, and I was honestly on the verge of tears as I quickly tried to process my options and not hold anyone else in the queue up. The staff member apologised profusely and suggested that I try another airline.
This is where I sucked it all up and pulled up the big pants.
I thanked them for their help, and let them know that I totally understood that it wasn't their fault that I had missed the check in window, and that the website was out of their area of responsibility but that as feedback the language was unclear.
The only real options I had at this point were to either call Rachelle and cancel on her at the last minute (which didn't really seem like a good option), or to find an affordable seat on another plane. With my having just left full time employment, additional cash to throw about on airfares isn't something my little family is swimming in at the moment, but I had made a commitment and I intended to keep it.
I headed to the Virgin Terminal, found Customer Service and explained my situation to the woman behind the desk. She had clearly just dealt with a rough customer (who happened to still be standing beside me) so she let me know that she would try her best to find me an affordable seat, and apologised that the ticket wasn't going to be "cheap".
This is where mindset, perspective, and owning your shit comes in.
As she finished apologising, I looked her in the eye and said, "It's totally not YOUR fault that I missed my flight with another carrier so the cheap fares have sold out. I'm just happy that you're able to help me out and that I'll be able to make it to Brisbane today."
This was the honest truth.
Meanwhile the rough customer beside me was berating the other Customer Service Assistant over the cost of his ticket.
When I told this story to Jordan after I got home, he said, "I don't understand why people get pissed off about the cost of flights - like honestly, you're paying someone for the ability to travel IN THE SKY!"
All of that aside, when the woman who was assisting me found me a seat and told me the price, I was positively astounded that it was far less than I had anticipated. In my head, I was sure that I was going to have to fork out for a first class seat, so the actual price was a pleasant surprise.
Flying with Virgin also meant that I didn't have to mess about with checking my own baggage through the weird automatic bag drop tunnels, and I ended up with a couple of hours to sit down, eat lunch and read an entire book before my flight.
Rather than throw a tanty (something I'm admittedly very good at), I chose to try and figure out the best solution I could to the situation I was in.
By taking a big deep breath, not only did I avoid public tears, I also gave myself the mental space to come up with an alternative solution.
Rather than spending the rest of the afternoon stewing in frustration at myself for missing my flight, or being pissed at the websites confusing wording, I treated the extra time at the airport as an opportunity to refocus and do something constructive.
Sure, I arrived in Brisbane a few hours later than anticipated, but I arrived with a belly filled with good food, and ready to make the most of the days ahead of me - rather than feeling rushed and hungry.
As for the speaking events and my time away?
Well they were absolutely amazing! I had so much fun getting to meet some really incredible women IRL, and holding the space for growth at both the breakfast and the workshop was inspiring in a really grounded way.
How do you handle situations going awry?
Are you cool and calm in a crisis, yet fly off the handle over the little things?
Or do stressful situations totally overwhelm you?
Either way it's totally fine to feel however you need to in that moment, but remember (without getting into any woo-woo about The Universe being neutral) that ultimately, everything is un-fuck-up-able. While we can't change the past, we have the ability to shift our perspectives and we can immediately feel better before we even take action.
All you really need to do is start by taking a big deep breath, and be willing to pull up your big girl pants.