“Not today, Sister!” These 3 words taught me a huge lesson once that will stick with me for life. I had worked for months planning an employee event at my job and I was super pumped the day it was going down. I was excited and walking around the building encouraging people to attend.
I had pretty much made my rounds when I walked into a crowded room and lobbed my cheerful, sing-songy invitation to one gentleman in particular. He retorted back sarcastically with, “Not today, Sister!” I was crushed! I felt all of the enthusiasm of the day drain out of me. The massive number of hours I had put into the event was all for nothing as this one gentleman unraveled all of the passion I had been building for weeks. I did not ask one other person to the attend and his comment ached inside of me for days.
I recount this story for my clients rather frequently. I learned something about myself that day. I learned that ONLY THREE MEASLY WORDS can take me over and change my course. FIVE SYLLABLES! THREE WORDS! Really?! Nobody should have that kind of power over me! Ever! How could I let someone ruin my day and all I had worked for with such a callous utterance?
The truth of the matter is that I gave my power over to this fellow! Why did he say it? . . . Bad mood? Trying to be funny? So insecure that he has to snot off to others to be able to feel good about himself? I will never know. What I DO know is that his comment had nothing to do with me. He popped off his little comment and walked away, but he left me with a choice. I could let his comment ruin my day and all I had worked for, or I could choose to recognize that it wasn’t about me and stay on course.
If I choose to let something like this ruin my day, then I am effectively handing my power over to someone else. On that day, I unfortunately chose to let his insensitive remark drain away my enthusiasm. That choice could have negatively affected hundreds of employees, and potentially thousands of people, since it was a charitable event. One man, in one moment, should never have the kind of power to do that!
I had a client once who came in very depressed after leaving a bad relationship. I’d been seeing her for months and she was finding moments of joy and hope. We were both so pleased with her progress! One morning she came in all tearful and depressed again because he had called her that morning. She didn’t talk with him, but just knowing he was still reaching out to her dragged her back down into the pits. Sitting there tearful and depressed on my sofa, I reminded her that she had a choice. Her day did not have to change just because he decided to dial her phone number. She did not have to change her course at all. The only thing that had changed since the day before when she was happy and hopeful was that her phone had rung and she saw that he had called. Nothing else changed! If she decided to let it ruin her day, she was giving him her power. It was like light bulb went off in her head. She collected her power, left my office and had a great day!
Who do you give your power to? Do you allow your power to be drained so easily? Is your spirit so fragile that someone can come up and prick it like a balloon and deflate you in seconds? Remember, when someone says something to you and your mood takes a dramatic shift, you have a choice. Are you going to let them ruin your day, or are you going to be true to your cause and keep moving forward? Choose wisely!