Bad Hand or Just Bad Vision? - On Finding Professional Perspective
I don't play much poker, but I understand enough about card game rules to know what getting "dealt a bad hand" looks like. Your chances of winning decrease right out of the gate. It doesn't matter that much if you're playing a friendly game of Go Fish - but if you're involved in a competitive game of Texas Hold 'Em, the stakes are higher and "bad hand" has more significance.
When we say this phrase in everyday life, it usually means we're experiencing negative circumstances that are beyond our control. If you're human, you've probably experienced getting dealt a bad hand in life at one time or another. I want to focus on how these struggles relate to our careers or professional lives, and how the way we respond can make a difference in the outcome.
Maybe the bad hand you've been dealt is a struggle with something outside of work that makes focusing on work difficult, or that you've recently been let-go and are under a lot of financial and emotional stress. Or maybe you've been job searching for a long time and can't seem to get a foot in the door anywhere. Giving up seems all too easy.
But the way onward is sometimes inward; reflecting on how your perspective impacts your response to your circstumances. Can you look at a bad hand and actually see its potential for a royal flush? As the author Henry David Thoreau once said, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Maybe you'll find that even though your situation is objectively difficult, your attitude isn't helping you get through it - and might even be holding you back from building character.
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau
Here's a quick 3-step process I use when presented with personal and professional challenges. It helps me respond by reflecting and taking ownership of my situation:
1. Face the facts of your circumstance - "Yep, this situation is tough!"
2. Reflect on the opportunities for progress and growth - "Even though things aren't great, I'm going to redirect my thoughts. Are there ways I can grow despite the situation?"
3. Respond by taking action toward growth - "Sure, I can't change it, but I can own my response and do xyz to grow."
This process is based around the Creatis "Doing What's Right" value. It's an especially helpful value to review after being handed a difficult situation at work. We coach our employees to find the right way to balance their individual needs with our clients' needs for the greater good of Creatis.
Your bad hand won't just magically disappear - but you might see it a bit differently. Maybe as an opportunity for you to try something new or test your resiliency.