I felt like a balloon in a sword fight yesterday. Everywhere I went, everyone I encountered was negative, rude and incredibly self-loathing. By about 10:00 am, I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel on the whole “trying to be positive” thing.
Then I had to have a pretty tough conversation with a client. One of those, well you made so many bad decisions, that now you have no escape from the natural consequences of your decisions, conversations.
I walked up his stairs (well more like stomped because I was so irritated). I knocked on the door so loud the neighbor came out because she thought I was knocking on hers. The reality check of my behavior started to kick in.
I needed to check my bad attitude at the door because this was going to be pivotal conversation in the young man’s life. One where he either “gets it” or we probably end up losing him as a client.
The Greatest Freedom
I took a deep breath and reminded myself that ILS is all about freedom and the greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude. He answered the door with a sullen look on his face because he knew how this conversation might go and said “Hi Cassandra how are you?”
While a few seconds ago I would have said “Not good” or “Feeling really down” I put a smile on my face and said “I’m amazing! How are you?”
His eyes lit up a bit as if he thought well maybe this conversation isn’t going to be as bad as he thought. We sat on the couch and I started by saying “Do you know why I’m here?” He dropped his head in shame and said “Because I can’t stop screwing up.”
I said, “That’s one way of looking at it. But, the reason I think I’m here is because you are an incredibly powerful man and can make even more powerful decisions. Where you are a year from now is all up to you. You can be enjoying your independence, in your own home and with friends that come around more than just on payday. You have the power to choose to take your medications like your doctor wants, or you can continue to not and feel like you feel right now. My job isn’t to give up on you. It’s to make you envision the life for which you were destined and empower you to get there. Too many people care about you to see you continue down the path to failure.”
You’re more powerful than you know and all the people that keep using you fear the day you discover it.
Where Did All Your Money Go
We talked for a little bit longer and he asked me to take him to the food bank because he didn’t have any food. “Where did all your money go?” I asked. He was honest enough to say he gave it to others. I said “You know how you always say you wish you had money like all the other clients that get to go on events and always seem to have money? You know what the difference between the two of you is?”
Client: “They probably get more money than I do every month.”
No, they get the same exact amount as you do. But, they choose to spend their money on themselves for their own dreams, and realize that they are under no obligation to support anyone else. They are powerful enough to say no.
The client made a very powerful decision yesterday. To request checks of $35 twice a week instead of $150 twice a month. It is still pretty much the same amount, but the difference is now he will have money throughout the entire month so his family can’t just come take it all.
Source of Energy
You don’t know the power of a positive attitude until you have seen it change a bad situation to a good one. Be a source of energy that lifts others around you. Use the power of a smile to reverse the tone of a situation.
You are a powerful person who empowers others to reach their greatest dreams and destiny. Don’t let a few negative encounters deter you from making the impact we all know you can.