I am reminded of a quotation from Charles R. Swindoll, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” He’s right about disappointment becoming a powerful springboard to unseen opportunities. How many great inventions, discoveries or business deals would never have seen the light of day if disappointment turned into discouragement?
During my coaching sessions I’ve seen women business owners handle disappointment in one of two ways; it either makes them stronger and more determined or, they become discouraged and give up. How do you handle professional disappointment? Does it motivate you to succeed or stop you in your tracks?
Here are a few ways successful women entrepreneurs turn disappointments into positive personal and professional growth opportunities.
1. Learn the lessons. I know, that seems obvious but it isn’t always easy when you’re faced with the negativity of disappointment. It may be wise to step back and take a long hard look at the root cause of the disappointment.
Honestly ask yourself:
- Did I do my homework and was I prepared?
- Did I push too hard without knowing all the facts?
- Is it because it’s the wrong opportunity at the wrong time?
- Did I ask enough questions and listen carefully to the answers?
- How can I be better professionally prepared next time?
- What positive lesson will I take away from this experience?
2. Remember that it’s not personal, it’s business. For many women, disappointment becomes personal. In some instances it may become difficult to emotionally and intellectually separate personal feelings from the professional aspects of the situation. When emotions become involved, it has the potential to turn a small setback into an enormous disappointment.
If you should find yourself becoming emotionally discouraged, it’s time to ask why you’re taking the situation personally. There’s nothing wrong with sorting through your feelings. Understanding the personal feelings involved in professional disappointments is one positive way to look at the bigger picture and discover the opportunities.
3. Develop a support network of like-minded success-oriented women. A strong support network is one that “tells it like it is” and doesn’t sit around commiserating. You’ll want to align yourself with a group of positive women who are willing to learn, grow and succeed together.
Choose your network carefully because you will probably be sharing personal and professional information. A true support network provides a positive boost to your professional self-esteem.
Disappointment is a way of life. It’s how you choose to handle these disappointments that can make the difference between discouragement and greater success. You have the power to create unlimited opportunity out of disappointment – it is your choice!