You’ve just got some bad news. You didn’t get the job or the promotion you really wanted. The love of your life doesn’t love you anymore. Your business is officially failing. Do you:
A) Shit on yourself? You feel like the world is against you. You weren’t good enough for that job anyway. Why would she still love you? You’re obviously not marriage material. Why did you think you could succeed at your dream? Now, what are you going to do to pay your bills?
B) Believe that better things are on the way for you? You weren’t meant to get this job/promotion. You’ll figure out what’s next. You’re heartbroken, but you know that you’ll find the person who’s right for you when it’s the right time. You’ve experienced what’s not working, now you need to explore new ways to succeed in your business.
Please note: I’m not implying that person A doesn’t realize at some point that there are good things that come out of losing out on the job/promotion or the love of their life, and learning what not to do in their business. Nor am I implying that person B skips along in sunshine surrounded by butterflies every day, and won’t feel anger or frustration or sadness or loss. I’m simply asking about your initial reactions, thoughts, and feelings.
If you choose A, please skip to “I’m going to give it to you straight”.
If you choose B, please read below.
You know that acknowledging the bad, letting yourself feel your feelings, accepting the situation, analyzing the whys and coming up with solutions are the steps to come out the other side better than you were before. And during that process, you are allowed to smile, laugh, feel good, have a day off, and take care of yourself. Feel free to give yourself a pat on the back and stop reading here. Go and check out my facebook page for some interesting articles!
I’m going to give it to you straight: getting down on yourself doesn’t make things better. Worrying doesn’t motivate you to get out of your bad situation. In fact, it does the opposite – it keeps you there, viciously cycling through what he said, what she did, how this and that happened and what should have happened instead. It takes you a lot longer to push through the feelings of shame and embarrassment to where you are able to look at things clearly.
Do you scoff at those people who say that the Universe wants them to succeed? Do you think that people who think things are ‘meant to be’ are deluding themselves? Have you ever kept up with those people to find out what happened after they went through their bad situation? Have you found that, in fact, they are happier and more successful? They got an even better job/promotion, they met and married the most fantastic person or their business made seven figures last year? What do you put that down to? Good luck? Actually, it’s due in large part to their positive attitude. Their belief that they deserve good in their lives and they will get it. I’m not saying you have to start believing in the benevolence of the Universe or in destiny, but you do have to start believing in yourself. It’s likely you generally do, or you wouldn’t be here, but do you realize that even initially assigning blame to yourself or your personality instead of your behaviour or your thinking means that deep down, you don’t believe you deserve all the good things that you want? When things are going well, you are confident and sure. But when things go sideways, you get lost for a bit.
Instead, stop for a moment and acknowledge that what’s happened really sucks. You really wanted the job, the girl, the business to be profitable by now. Rage, cry, get drunk, watch Love, Actually on repeat. Feel your feelings. You are allowed to feel bad. Just don’t make any permanent decisions here. Once you get those feelings out of your system, notice how much lighter you feel. You’re ready to accept your situation for what it is. An impermanent occurrence. Figure out why it happened. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Understand that not everything is under your control, but that now you get to make decisions about the things that are under your control. Namely, what you’re going to do next. What are your next steps to getting that promotion? Is it possible to talk things out with your loved one? Who can you ask for help with your business? Make a plan and implement. And while you are going through this, take care of yourself. Talk to friends, go out and let off some steam, feel good about your progress and the good things in your life. The next thing you know, you are moving up, moving on, and moving forward. And the next time something bad happens, you’ll choose B because you know you deserve good things and you know how to get them.
Photo credit: S. Bailey