Embracing the Suck: How to make the best of bad situations

Embracing the Suck puts you in control of your thoughts, your responses and your life


There are things that happen to you in both your personal and professional life that suck. 

If you apply “Life’s Most Powerful Question” — “What’s Important Now?” — to the situation, you will discover you fundamentally have two choices:

1.)    Allow the negative aspects of the situation to consume your thinking, ruin your day and make you miserable or,
2.)    Embrace the Suck and find the good in the situation. Embracing the Suck puts you in control of your thoughts, your responses and your life. 

Your Boss is an Ass
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. Make a list of the reasons you started in this profession and all the things you love about it. 

I bet your boss is not on the list. Be the bigger person. Be a role model for your peers and your boss. Be a great employee for your boss. Take a great attitude to work every day and love what you do. Maybe even ask your boss what you can do to make their job easier. 

They Cut Your Training Budget
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. This is an opportunity to be creative and innovative. Find low cost ways to deliver great training. Partner with other agencies in your area to host and/or share training. 

Partner with the fire department and EMS to exchange training and share facilities. Tap into the skills and talents of the people in your agency who can help to build low cost training alternatives. 

The Agency Won’t Pay for You to go to Outside Training
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. Training is an investment in yourself, in your safety and in your personal growth and development. Set aside $2.50 a day into a ‘training savings’ account — have the money come right off your pay check and you will never miss $2.50 a day. 

At the end of every year you will have more than $900 to invest in training. Find someone to share travel and accommodation costs with when you go to a course or conference. Apply for scholarships. 

Your Promotion Came with a Transfer Back to Permanent Night Shift
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. This is an opportunity to lead and inspire the people you are supervising on night shift. 

Bring a great attitude to the shift and find ways to bring out the best in the people you have the honor of leading. 

You Got Moved Out of a Specialty Area Where You Loved What You Did
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. This is a great opportunity to share the expertise, knowledge, and experience you gained in the specialty unit with your fellow officers on patrol. Patrol is the backbone of every agency, but too often they do not get the specialty training and opportunities. Become a mentor, role model, and leader. 

The Firefighters Get to Work Out on Company Time, But You Don’t
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. Quit bitching about the firefighters, get off your butt and make time to workout. It is your life — your health. When you work out, celebrate the fact that you take your health and well being enough to do it on your own. 

It Gets Really Hot Where you Work and it is Uncomfortable to wear Body Armor in that Kind of Heat
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. Body armor may be hot and uncomfortable in extreme conditions but it saves lives. 

At the end of the gunfight would you rather be sweaty and alive, or cool and dead?

You Spent Hours on a Presentation you Delivered at In-service Training and Some People Gave you Bad Evaluations
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. Read the evaluations carefully. What was it you could have done to make it a better learning experience for those officers? 

You’re never going to please everyone in your training, but you need to work to make sure every presentation you deliver is better than the one before.

You Wrote an Article for a Law Enforcement Publication and Some People Made Negative Comments Because They Didn’t Like What You Had to Say
That sucks. Embrace the Suck. At least they read the article and took time to comment.

About the author

Brian Willis is an internationally-recognized thought leader, speaker, trainer, and writer. Brian serves as the Deputy Executive Director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and is President of the innovative training company Winning Mind Training. Brian was a full time police officer with the Calgary Police Service from 1979 to 2004. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada and was named Law Officer Trainer of the Year for 2011. He is also editor of the highly-acclaimed books W.I.N.: Critical Issues in Training and Leading Warriors , W.I.N. 2: Insights Into Training and Leading Warriors, and his latest work, If I Knew Then: Life Lessons From Cops on the Street , are all available through (www.warriorspiritbooks.com). Brian is a member of NTOA, ITOA, IALEFI, and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. Brian can be reached through his website at www.winningmindtraining.com.

Brian can be reached via e-mail at brian.willis@policeone.com.

  1. Tags
  2. Police Training
  3. Police Trainers
  4. Police Jobs and Careers
  5. Off Duty

Recommended Officer Safety

Join the discussion