3 Key Steps to Push Through Disappointment and Fiascos
You work long and hard on a new project. Maybe it’s a new part of your business, maybe it’s something new at work, or maybe it’s something around the house. It doesn’t matter which area of your life you’re working on, chances are that you’ll face disappointment sooner or later.
A client doesn’t come through, a new exciting project at work gets canceled, or you can’t get the permit you need for that new addition to the house you had planned. In any of these scenarios, you’re unable to reach your goals. That’s extremely disappointing and to be frank, it can make you feel quite helpless.
We’ve all had total fiascos in our lives. You know what I am talking about… when everything goes wrong and seems to blow up in your face. In the end, you are left with a mess and no idea where to start to set things right.
Here is a step-by-step method on how to work through these disappointments and fiascos:
Step 1 – Gain Some Perspective
When things are not going as planned, it’s hard to get perspective. Yet that’s exactly what you need before you can even begin to pick up the pieces and set things right. Your first job is to gain a little distance and get out from under the mess so you can move on to step two.
In one of my trainings for resilient leaders, I teach a strategy called “Perceptual Positions” where they have to think of a recent fiasco, conflict or disappointment. I then walk them through different positions of seeing the conflict or fiasco from their perspective (Self), from the other person's perspective (Other) and from a detached perspective (Like a fly on the wall). This helps them assess not only behaviours, but gain an understanding that if a similar incident occurs, how are they going to manage better.
Step 2 – Analyze and Learn
With that done, it’s time to get to work. Once you have that perspective and can look at the situation with fresh eyes, it’s time to learn.
Next time you have a client that is on the fence, what can you say instead? Next time you plan renovations or decide to take on a project, what measures can you implement?
It’s important that you’re brutally honest with yourself during this process. Successful and resilient people make this a part of their personal growth and development because they want to be prepared for next time and not be taken by surprise again. Pinpoint exactly what could have been prevented, if anything. This is important information to have.
Step 3 – Change Focus
You can’t stay disappointed forever or be hard on yourself and start doubting your capabilities. That clarity in the first two steps, is often all you need to learn what you can do different the next go around.
Think of one little thing you can do right now to make progress. This could be something as simple as making a phone call to another potential client, creating a new offer in your business, re-mapping renovation plans, or finding something new to focus on at work. Doing something, anything will help you take back control and feel more optimistic. Use it to propel you forward and boost your self-esteem. Keep working at it, keep making progress and before you know it, the flop of the past will be nothing more than a bad memory.
Yes, it takes some will and effort to start pushing through disappointments of any sort. But you have to start and build some momentum. The more you practice this 3-step process, the easier it becomes because you’re building your resilience muscle.
Think of it like pushing a car to get it moving again. In the beginning, it’s very hard and you’re barely making any progress. But as the car starts to roll and move along, it becomes easier and faster. That’s momentum working in your favor. It will work just as much in your favor when you create some positive mental momentum to help you push through a disappointment or fiasco.