The magical power of anger
That’s right: magical! There’s magic in our ability to transmute our anger, not just for our business but for all aspects of our lives.
Personally, I don’t know any business owner who doesn’t, at least occasionally, experience anger in running their business. One of the hot spots are tricky experiences with vendors.
Ideally, vendors support you in your business so you can fully support your clients and customers with ease. You rely on your vendors, and they become part of what makes you and your business successful.
In worst case scenarios, though, difficult vendor experiences can actually harm or derail your businesses. I don’t need to list the potential difficulties for you…and we don’t need to dwell there, either.
In your anger and frustration with the situation, your instincts might have you making rash decisions you’ll regret and send you scrambling to find alternative providers.
LOA savvy business owners know that is a trap: ‘what we resist, persists’.
Any action you take will reflect the energy with which it was taken. The angry journey reveals an angry result.
If you don’t clean up the anger with one vendor, you’ll just experience similar energy with the next, and the next, and the next. Worse case, that anger will seep into other aspects of your business and cultivate more resentment.
However, when you embrace the magical power within your emotions, you’ll gain understanding of your limiting beliefs, and get clues to resolving not only the current issue, but any future issue, as well!
Navigate tricky vendor relations
The most reliable, and sustainable way, to manage difficult vendor relations is by understanding the energy of your emotions and the magic that is within.
This past week, I was pondering various topics to write for my next blog post, and then I received a gift of an intensely frustrating vendor experience. Don’t you just love when your real-life business hands you such opportunities?
OK, for some of you, that sounds like a ‘trick question’. It’s really not! Aware and savvy business owners learn how to manage their energy and transmute the difficult experiences into growth opportunities.
Now, I don’t go out of my way to seek anger, but over the years I’ve learned that it’s worth my energy and attention to transmute the anger, first, before taking any actions. Below is yesterday’s story broken down into the steps that helped me do exactly that: Transmute the anger into magic!
The time it takes to work through these steps will depend on your situation, and how long you’ve been practicing these skills.
STEP ONE: FEEL IT, FULLY
When you notice you are angry, give yourself a moment to really feel it in your body. This serves three purposes: 1.) Increases your awareness of your own emotions, 2.) Allows the limiting beliefs and stories (which hold the emotion in place) to surface, and 3.) This is the starting place for transmuting the emotion.
Feel the emotion doesn’t mean dwell there. Or stop there. Or let it derail you. It means allow yourself to feel what you really feel, including all levels of anger and sadness, before you continue with your inner work. Without giving yourself a few minutes to really feel your emotions, you might stuff them and the magical transmutation never has a chance to start.
So, here’s how I applied this step. Late on Monday, I became aware that a vendor had charged me for services I never requested for the second month in a row….and was only just finding out about it. It was too late in the evening to do anything, so I decided to deal with it on Tuesday.
I was so angry about it that when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was ready to fire them on the spot, and see if they had broken industry regulations by not notifying me sooner. The anger in me was so intense that I felt vengeful. I kept wanting to pick up the phone to chew someone’s face off. But each time I started to dial the number, I realized my energy was too intense and I needed to step back before going any further.
STEP TWO: NOTICE THE ‘STORY’
When we’re angry, odds are pretty high that we have a ‘story’ in place that made us angry and keeps us stuck there. In some cases, it’s not just one story, but several ‘stories’…past, present, and even future ones!
Once you’ve properly given yourself some time to feel the feeling, start noticing what story is playing in your head about this situation.
Admittedly, I was so angry yesterday, that I wasn’t able to do this immediately after I became aware of my feelings. In fact, it wasn’t until after I ordered myself to calm down, that I eventually heard myself rehashing the ‘stories’ I had going on: They are really pissing me off! This is so wrong—I won’t let them get away with it! What makes them think they can take advantage of me? I’ve been a good client for them for years, I don’t deserve this! This cannot be legal…I should report them! What kind of slimy business are they running? How many other people are they abusing?
Spot the stories? I had already concluded that they had willingly wronged me and were doing it to others. Feeling victimized, and stoking the stories that kept me a victim. Ready to get revenge! They were running a slimy operation and needed to be stopped!
Yeah, it was the last one that got my attention. Extremes often show up in ‘stories’ that keep us stuck in anger and vicitimhood. In the past, I would have sat down and made a list of these crazy stories so I could address them, one-by-one, but having done this so often…I took mental note and quickly moved to step three.
STEP THREE: QUESTION THE ‘STORY’
Or (multiple) stories. Question them. In my case, I did The Work: Is this really true? Can I absolutely be sure this is true? How do I feel when I think this thought? How would I feel if I didn’t have this story? Turn it around.
For me, the first story being questioned looked like this:
They are really pissing me off!
Is this really true? YES!
Can I absolutely be sure this is true? YES!
How do I feel when I think this thought? UGH! It makes me even angrier!
How would I feel if I didn’t have this thought? I might not be so angry, or I might not be angry at all. I might be calmer and thinking more clearly.
Turn it around: I am pissing them off!; I am pissing myself off!
Oh, yeah…there it is! Truth prevails.
As soon as I stated the second ‘turn around’, I immediately saw how I was the one who was creating my anger and I was blaming them for making me feel angry. No one can make me, or any of us, feel anything unless I/we give them the power to do so.
Just questioning the first story made it easier for me to de-escalate, and calm down. I started laughing at how I had frothed myself up in anger without having all the details or information. I was already feeling better as I sailed through questioning the other stories that propped up my anger.
STEP FOUR: LET AWARENESS BRING CLARITY
The transmutation was in process! Once I had calmed down, gained awareness by questioning my stories, it became really clear to me: When it came down to it, I didn’t have the full story. I was only seeing ‘my side’ and needed to communicate with the vendor to get the full story.
All I had was a statement showing that they had billed me for non-requested (and un-received) services, and I had allowed myself to stir up my own feelings of anger.
What do I really want to experience? I wanted to speak to the vendor to get the full story, to have my account corrected, and monies refunded.
I grabbed the statement and a piece of paper. At the top of the paper, I wrote the date, the vendor’s name and phone number. Under that, I wrote 3 words to describe how I wanted the situation to unfold:
Calm, Smooth, Easy.
Then, I wrote my objectives:
- Ask about the statement.
- Get the account corrected.
- Get any refund, if applicable.
The magic was activated and ready to launch!
STEP FIVE: TAKE ACTION WITH CLEAN ENERGY
By now, I’ve felt my full emotion, noticed the stories, questioned them, and gotten clear on what I want to transpire and set my intentions. I felt so much calmer, relaxed, and at ease. Knowing that this was all going to work out, I picked up the phone and dialed the number. While it rang, I reminded myself: Calm. Smooth. Easy.
The first person I spoke to couldn’t answer any question and seemed confused. He was reflecting some of my earlier wonky energy. I knew it was time to get my energy clear: I silently re-affirmed Calm, Smooth, and Easy.
As soon as I did this, he transferred me to a second person. I re-explained the problem, and this second guy had answers for ALL my questions! His voice was pleasant and helpful as he pulled up my statement on his computer, saw the charges, then researched the requests which triggered the charges. In a calm and helpful tone, he saw the error (another client’s charges were showing up on my statement), and began apologizing.
“Let me fix this immediately. I am so sorry for this mix-up, and so glad you called!”
A computer error — that explained a lot! Immediately, in just a few minutes, he fixed the error, refunded monies automatically charged, corrected my balance due, asked if he could do anything more, and cheerfully wished me a good day.
Talk about a magical experience! I never had to raise my voice, and was easily able to remain calm during the entire encounter. The experience was smooth and easy, just as I had written down while I was getting clear on my preferred outcome. Doubt that would have been the case had I called earlier in the day when I was so angry!
STEP SIX: REST AND REVIEW
I was smiling when I got off the phone. I had been on quite the magical ’emotional journey’, going from vengeful white-hot angry to calm and satisfied, in just a few hours.
After taking a break, I came back to my office and took stock of what happened. (That’s when it became obvious that writing this post was the next step.) Take the time to learn from your experiences. If you could have done better, take note. If you did a good job, acknowledge yourself.
Without a doubt, I did a REEEAAAAALLLLY good job of feeling my feelings fully. (giggle) Although, it might have served me to notice the stories sooner. Giving myself some ‘space’ so I could, finally, notice the stories…essential to this whole process! So glad I didn’t take action when I was really angry. Very happy that I questioned the stories, and was able to laugh, before getting clear on what I really wanted. Making the call with clear energy and intentions completed the anger-to-magic transmutation.
Come to think of it, if this vendor hadn’t made the mistake to begin with, I wouldn’t have gone on this emotional journey or learned so much about myself in the process…let alone, been able to share it with you. For that, I am very appreciative of that vendor and their mistake. Bless them!
Did this post give you some insights into transmuting your own anger? Or how to work through a sticky vendor, client, or employee situation? If so, share your insights below.