I speak with the utmost authority on this topic today. Mostly because a rather large potential deal fizzzzzled before my eyes this afternoon.
And this? Did not exactly make my day.
But it brings me to the topic: Setbacks.
They happen. They suck. They have that way of making you feel kind of loserish, and nervous, and like you need to sidle on up to the bar stool for, oh, an hour or 12.
But they happen. And if you want to keep things rolling forward for yourself and all the people in your circle, you really have to remind yourself of a few things.
My best collection here:
- All of the worst case scenarios that run through your head seconds, hours and days following said setback? Usually don't happen. At all. So cut it out. My guess is that in a month, or worst case, a few? You'll totally get why this setback occurred, and may even be really glad for it.
- Remind yourself that panic is going to paralyze you and make it difficult to think up a new direction or plan. I like to give myself a day or two, max. Panic away, Jenny. But on, say, THURSDAY, Panic Hour is over and it's time to get moving again.
- Your entire value as a person is so not tied to this one setback. Really. Treat it as the esteem blip that it is. Be nice to yourself. Nice in a healthy yoga-ish way, not in a "I like vodka, I think it'll be nice to drink a fifth of it" way.
- Don't go into bunker mode. Share your fears and feelings with your most supportive crew. They'll help keep you sane during this window, and probably have some ideas that will help redirect and/or motivate you.
- Laugh. It's way more fun and can (for real) reduce your stress level. No matter how disastrous the setback, chances are you can find a little glimmer in there to chuckle about. If you can't, tune in to 'Last Comic Standing' for an hour.
- Review your master career plan (you do have one by now, don't you?) or write out some goals. This exercise is sure to give you a dose of enthusiasm and point you in a positive new direction.
- Recognize that you are not the only person on the planet experiencing this type of suckitude. Even the people you admire or even (shame on you) envy? They have PLENTY of setbacks along the way. It's just your turn right now.
And now? Time for me to chase down the next big deal.