The Other Side of Success: 4 Ways to Cope with Disappointment

This baby’s face never gets old. LOL!

Raise your hand if you like it when your favorite team loses? How about when you get stood up on a date? Or you get fired from a job? Oh, no one? Not surprising. Disappointment kind of…well…sucks. So unless you live under a rock, it’s not likely that you’ve been spared the pain of dealing with a let down. Even though we’ve all been through it, we may not all know how to really handle it. There is an art to bracing, enduring and recovering from the gut punch from disappointment- it’s called coping. Let’s explore….

Here are 4 Ways to Cope with Disappointment:

1. Welcome to the Real World. Many millennials identify with what I like to call the ‘everyone’s a winner’ syndrome. We’ve grown up experiencing everyone on the team getting a trophy just for showing up at the game. In real life, things simply don’t operate that way. There are no real A’s for effort. Even when you put your blood, sweat and tears into a project or cause, it doesn’t mean you’re going to always come out on top. It’s real out here and disappointment is a very real part of your path to purpose. Accept it.

2. One to Grow On. I always hated getting my birthday licks. If you don’t know what those are, licks are hits you get from friends and family to demonstrate how old you are- and in some weird way how much they love you??? I’m still confused there. Anyway, sometimes you’d get an extra lick- for err good luck? “One to grow on” they called it. I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea how getting popped helped me to grow, but I do know that just like that stinging lick, disappointment really hurts sometimes! There’s almost always something that we can take away from experiencing a setback. Whether it’s learning how to make better decisions for your organization or communicating more effectively, there’s undoubtedly a nugget of truth revealed that should never be taken for granted.

“Success reveals character but failure builds it.”

3. Postured with Poise. I always say the way you handle failure is just as important as the way you handle success. Success reveals character but failure builds it. So it should come at no surprise that the biggest disappointments often occur as a result of an immeasurable portion of passion and time being invested into a project. Things may not work out with the entities you were initially interested in, but be mindful that someone else may be waiting in the wings to open another door of opportunity for you. Don’t give them a reason to reconsider.

4. It’s Not the End of the World: Passion fuels vision and when we get in our zone we can easily get a case of tunnel vision. All we can seem to think, sleep or eat is that thing we are pursuing with unbridled reserve. Yet, when plans don’t materialize the way we want them to, it’s not uncommon to take it pretty hard or even feel like we missed our golden opportunity or big break. It’s important to keep things in perspective and understand that whatever God has purposed for you and your organization is for YOU! Nothing good that’s coming your way will be withheld nor delayed! When it all falls down, pick it back up to keep the show going. In due time we shall all reap what we have sowed.

Love it or hate it, life is about taking the bitter with the sweet. For every ounce of success an equally (or slightly larger) portion of failure is sure to accompany. The idea here is not to grow into a cynical pessimist regarding the state or progress of your organization. It is rather to condition your mind towards gracefully handling the ebb and flow of your work. Even on the stormiest day, the sun is somewhere shining and waiting to make it’s way around to you!

God Bless.

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