Sometimes, no matter how talented, accomplished, creative, witty or inventive you are—you lose. You’re not chosen. You’re out. The deal falls through, the new client reconsiders, the job offer doesn’t come.
I’ve seen a bit of my own disappointment lately and took time out to figure out how best to move on. Essentially, for me anyway, I was numb, then stunned, really annoyed, and ultimately concluded it was their loss, in the end.
After a bit of web outreach, I related most to BeliefNet’s 21 ways to overcome an “unsuccessful outcome,” shall we say. These five ways, in particular, hit home with me:
1. Take a Step Back
Think of an impressionist painting–you can’t make sense of it until you back away a little. Up close, all you see is dots of different shapes and colors. But with some distance, the painting comes alive. It tells a story.
2. Join the Race
(That’s the human race I’m talking about.) Because no one is perfect. The human experience is an exercise in collecting disappointments and mistakes, ruminating on them for a little bit, and turning them into wisdom and growth.
3. Throw Away the Evidence
Lest we forget, let’s remind ourselves that Albert Einstein failed his college entrance exam. Walt Disney was fired from his first media job. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Get it?
4. Write and Recap
Recent research by Dr. James Pennebaker, chair of the psychology program at the University of Texas, concluded writing about painful feelings and emotional events relieves stress and promotes healing on many levels.
5. Start Over
Every disappointment is an opportunity to start over. It’s a blank slate, a clean, white piece of paper. And don’t worry–if this time you still can’t color within the lines, you’ll get another blank sheet, as many new beginnings as you need.
Here’s to better days for us all.