I'm a member of a Facebook group that recently had a very lively discussion (as can happen with online conversations!) that started with one person who had paid for a service and felt that she had been overcharged because the service wasn't what she expected. She used the post to make a statement about everyone who provides similar services and the prices they charge.
The discussion was shockingly civil for the internet and included good points from all sides. I even participated a little bit because I always enjoy a healthy debate.
But I've been thinking about the underlying issue that prompted the post. And why there were so many different view points from a relatively similar group of people. I've concluded that there are two types of people...
Those that need everything to go as they expect and get upset when it doesn't.
Those that believe they always get exactly what they need.
Before I go on, I want to be clear that I'm not talking about scams or situations that cause actual harm.
But let's say you've been taking yoga classes regularly for a couple of years and one day your instructor mentions that yoga teacher training is coming up. She talks about how amazing she thought the class was and how much she loves teaching at the yoga studio. You decide that you want to become a yoga teacher so you sign up.
You envisioned a candle-lit studio with a few other dedicated yogis led by an earth goddess instructor showing you how to become the perfect, centered yoga instructor with all the skills necessary to work in any studio.
What you get instead is an online course with 80 people enrolled led by a yoga studio manager. Once you complete the course you don't find a job teaching yoga right away.
Are you celebrating your accomplishment or lamenting that you didn't get what you expected?
You're human so it's maybe a little bit of both. But you do have a choice.
You can feel cheated that you paid for an experience that wasn't what you expected. You can criticize corporate yoga studios and the fitness industry as a whole because you believe you were overcharged and didn't get the results that you wanted. You can point to all of the evidence as to why you're justified in feeling this way. And you may be right.
But next time an opportunity presents itself you probably won't go for it. You'll tell yourself that it's probably not worth it and you won't get the results that you want. You'll point to the yoga teacher training as the reason you shouldn't try anything new. And those other chances will pass you by.
You can celebrate what went well. There is always something to point to even when you wouldn't choose the experience again. You can ask yourself:
What's one thing I can celebrate?
What's one thing I'm proud of?
What's one thing I learned?
You can celebrate that you are a certified yoga instructor. You can be proud of the fact that you stayed in the class and did all of the work. You learned more about yoga than you knew before.
So the next time you have the opportunity to go for it, you probably will. You might do some more research before you swipe your credit card but you've realized there's value in participating and showing up. Not everything you do will be your big break, but each step gets you closer.
One of those options keeps you stuck. One moves you closer to where you want to be. Which one will you choose?
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