I think this story serves as a great example of taking responsibility for our actions.
Yesterday, I got an email from an intern who worked for me back in 2000. I haven’t been in touch with her since!
My heart dropped into my stomach and I immediately thought, “Oh Lord, what did I do?! Am I about to feel like crap for something that happened 14 years ago? Take a deep breath, Amy. You got this.” (Can you say “paranoia”?)
Oh no. This can’t be good.
I felt mixed emotions as I read. Where was this going? What had I done to this poor girl? Did I impact her negatively? Did I crush her hopes and dreams or scar her for life?
Then, as I read her revelations, I realized this wasn’t about her bashing me. It really was a thank you.
I guess I wasn’t prepared to have a “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” moment right here on Earth. <wink>
I love what Joel Osteen says: “Every setback is a setup for a comeback.”
This is of course only possible if we take responsibility for our choices, much as my intern did at the time.
It’s no fun being fired. She could have held a grudge against me for making the decision I did. She could have been bitter and angry and blamed me for her misfortune.
Remarkably, she instead decided that, as hard as it was to look at herself and take note of her flaws, she wouldn’t look away. She took the time to understand the grounds for her
termination and learn from them so that it wouldn’t happen again in the future.
My intern wasn’t the only one who learned from that experience. That situation (and some other fun ones I have stories about from that same job!) taught me about leading, managing people, communicating more effectively, and setting clear expectations.
The only way to fix our flaws is to face them. (Tweet that!)
After reading her piece, I emailed her, and we chatted back and forth a bit. I told her that I
was impressed by her self-awareness and maturity and loved how she was using her turning point to inspire and help others.
We’re now back in touch, and who knows what will come from this rekindled relationship? That’s a whole other topic that we can get to another time.
What experiences have you been through that changed you for the better? Is there someone you want to reach out to and thank for firing you? Dumping you? Hurting you? I’d love to read your turning point stories in the comments, so please share!
Remember the things in life happen for us, not to us. (Thanks again, Joel.) If we can remember that while we’re going through rough times, we’ll come out on the other side shinier and smoother. I promise!
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