Vegas in February sounds lovely, right? Well, I am expecting it to be warm anyway. I am traveling there for a business meeting at the end of the month, and while I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the city, this trip our meeting is by Lake Las Vegas, and I love a good LAKE! So, when I learned about a conference happening in the city the following week which was on a topic of interest to me, I decided stay over to attend, and I booked my airline ticket to stay for the full week.
Last week, however, I was notified that the person I was going this conference to see was no longer participating in the conference, and it may not even be happening. I was refunded my money for the conference, but I still had this plane ticket that had me in Vegas for a full week. And as a new business owner, I do not yet feel confident in my cash flow to easily blow of the change fees, and I had also spent a significant amount of time finding a good deal on my ticket. While you may never have been in this specific situation, you may relate to being at the effect of changes that are out of your control – someone cancels their plans with you, weather causes problems, etc. It quickly occurred to me that this situation was a perfect opportunity to “practice what I preach.” OK, I don’t think I preach, but you know what I mean… to put my 7 Level knowledge to the test.
So, let’s take a look at how I could have responded to this situation… and then I’ll tell you how I DID respond! 🙂 Oh, again, it is 7 Level Sunday… check out the prior posts to learn about the energy levels of Energy LeadershipTM.
Level 1 (Victim/ Apathy) – Why did this happen to me? They changed the plans and there is nothing I can do about it, and now I have to take the time to make new plans, and pay the fee to change them. Nothing ever works out as planned, and everything in life is so hard. This is so stupid, I didn’t even want to go to this conference anyway, I basically got talked into it and now it might not even happen. I am going to call at least 3 friends to complain about how much this sucks. I will probably procrastinate dealing with changing the ticket because I just don’t even want to deal with the fact that this happened… I shouldn’t have to deal with this, and I am going to stay so focused on that fact that it will keep me from taking action. I’ll probably change it 7 days before the trip, and it will be even more expensive and stressful.
Level 2 (Anger/ Conflict) – I am so damn angry that this happened. I was supposed to have this fabulous week in Vegas, and now they ruined it. How irresponsible these people are to commit to something and have people fly across the country for it and then have it fall through. I would never do something like that. And they didn’t even apologize for the inconvenience, let alone offer to reimburse this fee. I want an explanation – they were so convincing when they sold me on this event. They should really have to pay for their mistake, you can’t get away with that in today’s world – we are entitled to have things work out. I am angry and I am going to let everyone else know about it – maybe I’ll send them my bill just to make sure they know the damange they’ve caused me. I will change my ticket to get the hell out of Vegas as quickly as possible – I don’t want to stay there a minute longer than I have to because of these people! (Taking my anger out on the city of Vegas… as if that will help.)
Level 3 (Responsibility/ Rationalization) – Well, it is pretty disappointing that this conference got cancelled. I had been looking forward to my trip, and I am pretty upset about needing to pay that fee to change my ticket. But, I guess I really didn’t look into that conference too much or know very much about it. If I am honest with myself, part of why I signed up was because it was during the time I happened to be going to Vegas so the timing was good, and I really wanted to a reason to get to stay an extra day by the lake. I am sure they would not have cancelled if there wasn’t a really good reason. There is probably some very good explanation for what happened. It would be nice know what happened, but I am not going to expend my energy worrying about it. I’ll just suck it up and change my ticket, at least I can get back home and back to work earlier. And I can take solace in knowing that when I plan an event, something like this isn’t going to happen on my watch. I’m kind of glad they screwed up, it makes me look even better as an organizer!
Level 4 (Concern/ Compassion) – Wow, that is a big deal to cancel so close to the time of the event. I don’t know what happened but I bet it was a really difficult choice. I hope everyone involved is OK. Luckily I just need to change my ticket, and I can afford to do that. I wonder if there are people who were more seriously impacted by this change… I hope everyone can make new arrangements easily. Perhaps I will see if anyone else is going to be staying out there for the week – maybe I can stay with them and split the costs to help them out since I have the flexibility to do that.
Level 5 (Reconciliation/ Acceptance) – I had been really looking forward to my trip to Vegas for a lot of reasons. There are also a lot of reasons to appreciate coming home sooner. I wonder why this is happening and what I can learn from this experience? What opportunities are available from it? There are probably a lot of other amazing people in this situation – maybe we could create something even better than this conference during our extra time in Vegas? We could put our heads together and come up with another fun way to support each other in growing our businesses while we are there together… that could be fun! Or, maybe this is an opportunity for me to just take a vacation by myself. I have been playing around with starting to write my book – maybe this is the perfect opportunity to start? Maybe I could road trip to Denver to visit my friends there. Or maybe it is just the chance to face disappointment and not have it be a setback (one of my personal life challenges is that I want to give up when people disappoint me). Another opportunity to practice NOT being stopped in the face of disappointment. WOW, so which of these many opportunities should I choose to take?
Level 6 (Synthesis/ Joy) – I am them and they are me. We are all human and therefore connected. They already know of the missed opportunity of cancelling this event, so there is no need to let them know or to prove a point. I am sure that however the time period goes, it will all be in divine right order. I have no idea what will come of this change of affairs, but I trust it will be joyful and for the good of all. I trust that they made the best decision. I am not worried about the time or money involved in this whole change. When I spend the money to change my ticket, it goes on to someone else who needs it, and it will eventually come back to me. Perhaps I will meditate to see if my intuition can give me any hint as to why this has happened right now. I certainly won’t worry about it, and I’ll change my ticket as my intuition guides me.
Level 7 (Pure Passion/ Complete Nonjudgment) – Cool, the conference was changed. What’s next?
OK, Darla, so what?
OK, so you can see there is a wide variety of ways to respond to a situation such as this. I am not going to tell you HOW to respond, nor am I going to tell you that one way is better than another. I think that you can get a sense, just by reading these, of which feel empowering to you, and which do not. You will be best served to select a level from which to respond that you find inspiring. Your gut will tell you which one feels maybe a little bit out of your normal comfort zone, yet you can see a definite benefit in choosing it. When in doubt – 1 level up!
OK, so would you like to know how the “Master Practitioner” responded? A little bit of each, to be honest. My initial, automatic response was at the default level with which I was raised, which is Level 1. I wanted to throw up my hands in frustration and pretend it wasn’t happening. Then I got angry (Level 2) and thought “I shouldn’t have to deal with this.” I wanted to yell at the people responsible. Then I admitted that I probably could have done a little more research before committing, and also that I mostly just wanted to spend that day in between events by the lake, so I took responsibility for my choices (Level 3). Next I had the (albeit fleeting) thought of concern for the others involved – I hope that everything is OK (Level 4). Because I am familiar with the levels, and my default tendencies, I was then able to quickly jump to level 5, the one that always gets me inspired. “OK, so what is the opportunity here?” I asked myself. I also did not engage in any complaining about the situation as I knew that this would keep me in the lower levels (1&2).
Once I started to look for the opportunity, I actually got really inspired by all my options. Then I went to Level 6 and did a “gut check.” I thought about it – hmmm… if I were not concerned about any of the details (the money/ the time/ the travel/ scarcity/ trying to prove something/ any of the level 2 stuff), what would I choose? In the end, while I was excited about the possibility of gathering with many amazing people in Vegas for a week, I decided that for me, right now in my business and life, I would rather be home and be in service of my clients from here. I am, however, giving myself an extra full day by the lake for relaxing, playing, writing, and gathering inspiration before I come back. I also very much see the opportunity there was in quickly facing my disappointment, changing the ticket (it was $135 and took 5 minutes), and moving on. Ruminating on problems and expending energy in fighting something I cannot change does not serve me, my clients, or my business, and at the end of the day that is what matters. The rest is all lost energy, with zero joy in return.
WHICH LEVEL INSPIRES YOU MOST TODAY? I would love to hear your feedback!