My case in point:
Thursday. My third time hosting my SportsBites internet radio show found me in the seemingly disastrous circumstance of losing my internet connection. So, I could not communicate with my engineers via my online messenger. My computer all but poofed out which I'm sure was directly related to my adrenaline rushing and my strong desire to scream bloody murder. If I were my macbook, I wouldn't want to stick around for that either.
Therefore, I lost all sense of timing. I did not know that my guest calling in from Chicago had arrived and was waiting patiently for me to begin the discussion I had promised to begin at a certain time. I did not have access to the comforting countdown to the break that normally makes me feel so good. All I had was one heart in my throat and a suddenly-very-nervous stomach.
I did my best, silent, do not freak out Diane that I could. But all I could think of was what an idiot I was, how EVERYONE was going to think I was the new poster child for 'amateur hour', and what a perfect fool I must have sounded like. I tried to recover in an elegant fashion but really, could hardly remember how to form sentences. And when that happens, for me anyway, I just do not come across all that clever, or articulate. All I wanted to do was close my macbook, hang up my phone (which would have ended my show since it's all done by phone), and have the earth just come up and swallow me. That would have just felt so much better.
When I finally did resume a connection with my adorable guys because the internet just popped back on, all went kind of well. I had a great chat with Grant DePorter of the Harry Caray Restaurant Group and he told the best story of what happened to that fated foul ball several years ago at Wrigley Field.
But I was still really glad when the whole thing just ended. Extremely glad, except that it crossed my mind that everyone would be judging me, and not kindly, if they'd heard any of that.
As I got ready to go out to lunch with Doll (my sister with whom I'd be spending the rest of the day with, to prepare the Italian dinner for 100), it occurred to me that maybe I could try telling myself a different story about all this.
And so I have been doing that ever since.
The first thing I thought of (that felt better) was that surely everyone who is, or ever was, on top of their game in life, had to have screwed up at least once. I always like to think I am on the verge of joining this kind of exclusive club.
Others in my inner circle have suggested that technical difficulties happen all the time! Even on Meet the Press, even on the Melinda Lee show, even during broadcasts of the most well-seasoned TV and radio veterans.
So in fact, I'm just in good company!! And I got there, wow, at warp speed - just my third show! Now, thanks to the wise suggestion of my adorable engineers, I know to say "we're going to a break now," and they can help me recover, or at least calm down (so that back on the air I can appear to have recovered) while my listeners just hear a few commercials. Perfetto!
Anyway, my point - and I do have one - is that we can in fact, make ourselves feel better just by thinking differently. Did I want to spend any longer than about 10 minutes feeling crappy about this, and prolong my suffering as a supposed loser? I did not. I want a long, successful run as a fabulous radio show host! I have a lot of good work to do. I hardly want to berate myself and stop dead in my tracks because of one glitch.
This telling yourself a different story thing is a really good idea. I highly recommend it. It's also in fact, the fastest and best way, to find the gold in a seemingly crappy situation. The truth for me, is that some gold always comes from everything.
In my experience, that gold shows up a lot faster if I hopefully expect it...rather than stay wallowing in the murky place even a macbook wants to hide from.
Let's all go have a great weekend, shall we?