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Disappointment Hurts But Does Not Destroy Us

© xalanx –

“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” – Eliza Tabor

Whether it’s a job promotion that didn’t happen, a less-than-enthusiastic response to a presentation, or a team member who underperformed despite your coaching and support, disappointment happens.

The good thing is that we know we are pushing and moving forward when we feel disappointed about a failure, because it means we attempted something meaningful. At the time, the last thing we want to hear is, “It will be okay,” or, “This will make you stronger.” Disappointment hurts, and how long it takes to get over depends on how much we wanted something to happen.

Processing and sorting through these feelings is really important. Talk with a trusted colleague, mentor or friend who is a good sounding board. If you have a coach, work through it at your next session. Use these 10 questions to guide you:

  1. What hurts about the situation?

  2. What other feelings do you have about this?

  3. If you lost something, e.g., a deal or an opportunity, what made winning it so important to you?

  4. What could you have done differently that may have led to a better outcome?

  5. What feedback did you get from other people involved in the situation?

  6. What did that feedback tell you?

  7. If this situation happens again, how can you be better prepared?

  8. What parts of this situation were out of your control?

  9. Which parts could you have worked smarter on?

  10. The next time you have an opportunity similar to the one you lost, what will you do?

What is a recent disappointment you faced, and what were your most effective coping mechanisms? How did that experience affect choices you made later? Please add your comment below, or share with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or email.

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