Day 82: Things I Learned in Therapy: Part 3

How to solve your own problems

After months of seeing my therapist, I would have a dilemma come into my life and I’d think, “I’ll talk to her about this on Friday.” But Friday was a long way away and I realized that I probably could navigate my way through what she would say by now. Indeed my therapist was so strategic that she never straight out told me the answer to my problems, she taught me how to figure them out myself.

I, like you (probably), am part of several groups on Facebook for photographers, and every day I see a dozen, “What should I do?” posts. They have a bride asking for a refund or a family unhappy with their gallery. Okay. So let’s talk about problem solving.

The first thing I learned was how to work within the bounds of my own choices. I’m not allowed to control someone else and their choices, only my own. This is a harder concept to grasp than it sounds like. I mean, how often do we beg and plead with someone to do what WE want them to do? Then we get upset when they don’t do it. Or how often do we feel pressured into doing something we don’t want to do? It’s hard to isolate my choices and his/her choices but it’s something to consider when making decisions.

After that concept is in play, you can start exploring your choices. Let’s say your dilemma IS that a bride canceled her wedding and wants her money back, however, your contract clearly states that all money is non refundable AND that was also verbally covered in your client consultation.

Explore your options:

  1. You can refund the money.
  2. You can not refund the money.
  3. You can refund part of it.

Okay. But then there are options within those options… maybe you don’t refund the money but you do offer a similar service of equal value. Maybe you refund part of it and offer the rest as a different service. Maybe you tell her you can refund it ONLY if you book the date with someone else.

As you’re exploring these options, one of them should FEEL right to you. One of them should sit well with you.

And lastly, don’t trouble yourself with which one is necessarily right. I used to hate myself whenever I would choose the easiest option. I thought “Girl you’re impressing no one taking the easy way out.” But I learned to view my decisions as not right or wrong but that they just were. “I had a bride who canceled her wedding and I chose to give her a refund only if I booked her date with someone else.” (this scenario is completely hypothetical, thank goodness, it hasn’t actually happened to me) But had I made that decision, I shouldn’t put a tag on it. I shouldn’t say to myself that it was rude or self serving or a cop out. It just was what felt right to me.

So the next time you have a dilemma, start by accepting that your choices are yours and theirs are theirs. Then explore your choices. Then explore choices WITHIN those choices. Then decide what FEELS right to you and accept that that is your choice and you feel good about it.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!¬† If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris