Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda
Last year an audition popped up in NYC for a dream job. Without thinking for even a second I booked a flight there for the next month. The idea of auditioning in the big apple and waiting in line for hours made my heart spring to life.
Two weeks later a major audition for another dream job was sent out in LA. I was at a crossroads!! WHYYYYY??!! I screamed at the universe as I couldn’t understand why it would make me choose between two insane opportunities and put me in such a situation. I tried to look for signs, I asked advice from 10 too many people, and I bit every nail off whilst I tossed and turned with my heart and mind to come to a decision. In the end I chose what I thought I “should” be doing and chose to cancel my flight and stay in LA.
That audition goes down in my book as the craziest audition to date. It was over before it began… it went so quickly in hindsight it feels like an out of body experience and I question if it even happened, I cannot tell you how I performed those counts of 8. My friend likes to call those auditions- conveyor belts. In one door and straight out through the other with barely a stop. Yep, I got cut and off ran my mind.
“ I knew I SHOULD have gone to NYC”
“I WOULD have had a better experience”
“I COULD have booked my dream”
I dreamt up all the scenarios that could have, should have and would have happened to me if I had chosen New York. Not only for one day mind you but for …months. It ate away at my heart whenever something wouldn’t work out how I wanted or expected it too and I’d think if I had made the RIGHT decision I would be touring the world dancing right now, but look where I am instead.
The funny thing is, and Ive spoken to many friends so I know im not the only insane one… when we destroy ourselves over a WRONG decision we imagine the other decision panning out in the best way possible. For instance, if we chose an audition or interview over another we are annoyed at missing a chance and often we imagine ourselves booking that chance. Getting to the end, getting the job etc BUTTTTTTTT that’s not reality. I may never have gotten into the call, I may have danced terribly, been cut straight away, maybe even gotten to the end - danced amazingly and still not have gotten it (we all know this feeling too well) or maybe have experienced the job but hated every second on it (dream jobs sometimes aren’t all we imagine). Life is full of possibilities. Once I caught my thoughts and saw I was doing this it was easier to humour myself and laugh at my insanity and see the reality.
This one situation taught me a lot. It taught me to listen to my gut and pick what I want not what I think I SHOULD do because of everyone elses intentions and thoughts. It taught me that there is no point in punching myself in the gut over something that has passed. My parents have always told me that I live in my what if situations and it couldn’t be more true.
I shouldn’t have gone to class that night and my knee would be fine
I could have danced for that artist if I had said something different
I would have experienced that if I wasn’t at home in Australia
I should have booked two days less on my holiday with my loved one and I would have made it in time
Living in these worlds and words brings me happiness…said no one ever. If anything it riddles me with anxiety, stress, sadness and living in the past. Its still a constant practice but Ive become a pro at hide and seek, catching myself out. Here is what helps me when a thought arises
“I Should have …..”
I let myself sit in the feelings and say hello as they pass through me
I say “this is the way things are” “it cannot be changed” and take a moment to accept that
I look at the situation and see if there’s anything in my control that I could work on or do differently to learn from my mistakes, get me closer to that opportunity or simply let it go
I do something that fills me up such as go for a walk at sunset, hang with a friend, journal
I kick myself in the butt and get on with living in the present ready for the next open door
When mistakes are made, our raft gets off course or we miss the boat we try to gain control by assigning blame onto ourselves and others. The “Should, woulda, coulda’s” give us the illusion that we can manipulate and control what just went wrong. But we CANNOT. Of course we can’t- it is already in the past, it has already happened. Learning to accept things as the way they are is is much easier said than done but I know you and I can practice this daily J