How do you deal with the disappointment when you don’t achieve what you set out to? Perhaps you didn’t get a job you wanted, or secure the new business you were hoping for, or make it into a sports team you tried for.
How many times does that have to happen before you give up? Or do you keep going and follow your dream?
It’s easy to start telling yourself that you’re not good enough, that it’s a waste of time or that you’re never going to make it. It’ so much harder to find the resilience to keep going. The language you use can influence that more powerfully than you might think.
I was really inspired by my friend’s daughter, a talented actress who even in her teens was auditioning for key roles in some of the West End shows. Several auditions for one role is the norm, with the field narrowing to a final two or three at the last one. Imagine the tension when you make it that far. So much would be hanging on that last audition.
My friend used to worry about how Hattie would handle the disappointment if she didn’t get selected. Hattie however had a great approach. If she’d not been successful, she would come out of the audition saying ‘Not this time.’
How might adopting a similar mantra help you?
Saying ‘not this time’ comes from a slightly more open mindset even than a simple ‘I didn’t get it’ and a far more open mindset than ‘They didn’t want me.’ Imagine the effect of continually saying that to yourself and what a negative impact that could have.
‘Not this time’ sets the implicit intention that not only will there be another time but that there’s also a possibility of success on one of those other times. It’s another example of how important it is to pay attention to the language you use to yourself.
Sometimes in these situations the reason you weren’t selected will simply be that someone else was more appropriate for the particular role, not necessarily that they were actually better than you. In acting, that can be for physical attributes such as height or build, hair colour etc. In a similar way, this can also apply to teams, where they are looking for someone who has different skills to bring than the people already in the team, whether that’s at work or on the sports field. The reason you don’t get selected may not be anything to do with something that you can change. You simply didn’t get selected this time.
Sometimes though, there will be things that you can change. That could be anything from developing your skillset, improving your timekeeping or even improving your appearance. It may even be that you take stock of what you’re looking for and revise your plan of action for getting it.
‘Not this time’ implies an onward journey rather than an end in itself. There will be that next time.
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