We’ve all had experiences in life where the chips just don’t fall in your favor. You’ve done the work, sacrificed the time, and held onto the hope that this one effort would yield great results. Yet at that final moment you’re left standing wondering what more you could have done.
I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself and I’ve seen it in a wide range of clients- professional athletes, CEOs, military leaders, and even educators. When the outcome doesn’t live up to the expectation, a wave of disappointment washes over them and I have seen them struggle upwards for a breath of fresh air.
I’ve seen two types of responses to loss and rejection. Some people have a default setting of self-pity or self-loathing, followed by a period of inactivity and reflection on all of the things that went wrong. After mentally rehashing each painful mistake in detail, they struggle to collect a plan to make another move forward.
The other type of response is quite different. I’ve witnessed an athlete devastated by a loss pick himself (and his teammates) up and immediately begin to talk about winning the next match. Instead of leaving the field with his head hung low, he began to pat his team on the back for small individual achievements and used the passion he felt over the loss to fuel the next few training sessions. Instead of putting himself into a mental fog of “what no to do in the future”, his only focus became identifying areas for growth and achieving it. Instead of pondering the causes of the loss, he decides to commit the lessons learned to memory and work on not repeating them in the future.
The truth is, as human beings we are capable of orchestrating our own success in life. Our greatest weapon to combat failure is confidence. A leader must always show confidence and begin to lead others forward when they would be inclined to lie down and give up. It is that quality, above most others, that will change the tides of fate and allow the chips to begin falling in your favor.
Monday Morning Perspective:
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”- Marie Curie
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”- George Eliot
This week I want to challenge you to stop focusing on the past- get your eyes off the rear view mirror. Take a hard look down the road at where you want to be six days, six months, and even six years from now- and set achievable milestones for getting there. Choose to resource yourself and others for success. It’s been my experience that those who ask for help often receive it, but those who never ask, never get it. Hindsight may very well be 20/20, but looking backward merely prevents you from seeing the path forward to your goals. With a forward focus, a goal in mind, and the right support structure there’s nothing out of your reach.
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2011. All rights reserved.