Has there ever been a time when you tried something new, but you thought “That was a waste?” Was putting yourself out there the worst decision of your life?
You may find yourself always looking at the “what ifs” or “what could have beens.” Your brain is scattered everywhere, wondering what might have happened if you had tried something different.
Try to look at the situation this way, though: When you tried something new, did you at least make friends?
If the answer is “yes,” then that thing you may regret doing wasn’t a total waste. And, if you did succeed at that new thing you tried, the new friends you made are just the icing on top of a delicious cake.
When I took a job as a call center collections agent, I struggled, but I was able to make a new friend in the process. I was so excited when I got this job because after 3 years of looking, I was finally done doing warehouse work. There were many people who felt I wouldn’t succeed at this job, and guess what? They were right! But, was trying out the job a mistake because I didn’t succeed? No, because I made a new friend. There was this woman who walked into my training class every day and smiled every time she saw me. I always smiled back.
With just a click of a mouse, we became friends.
When I left the job, she stayed one month longer. After we both moved on from that job, we kept in touch, and now, we call each other family.
Another time I made a new friend after a difficult experience was when I went to Canada to try to land a speaking opportunity. Traveling out of the country for a speech I possibly wouldn’t get was an expensive risk. But was it worth it? Absolutely. I went all the way to Canada, but didn’t get to speak. I was disappointed, but on the ride from the venue back to the hotel, I made a new friend.
Was my trip a waste because I didn’t get to speak? No.
Why? Because I took a bad experience, made a friend out of it, and ultimately turned my sadness around.
Any experience, no matter how horrible, is never a waste if you are able to make a friend out of it. You may feel like you’ve wasted your time or money on something that will never work out, but you’ve gained something even more valuable: a new friend.