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Overcoming Disappointment

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want. Plain and simple.

In fact, I found myself disappointed earlier this week. Though the situation wasn’t a big letdown (a “first world problem” if you will), it still had me a little wound up inside.

So, I decided to stop in the moment and actively reflect back on other times in my life when things did not go according to my plan and times when my expectations weren’t met.

We’ve all been there.

  • Sales aren’t matching up with your goals and the year is running out …
  • Your kid didn’t get accepted into the college of their dreams …
  • That new sales superstar didn’t quite work out or a key team member is leaving next month …
  • and more.

I get it! It happens to all of us.

This introspection got me thinking even more, and I asked myself,

“How have I dealt with disappointments in the past, and how I have overcome
those disappointments and behaved proactively to gain new perspective?”

I grabbed my notebook and wrote down a few things that popped into my mind quickly; things that have helped me bounce back from disappointment and look to the future with optimism and rejuvenated motivation. I wanted to share my little list with you …

  1. Trust the Process – If you look back over past disappointments, you may find that when something didn’t work out, it usually led to something better happening in your life. The lack of sales in your business gave you the motivation to restructure, which led to an increase in profit all around. Hindsight really is 20/20!
  2. Release Expectations – Someone very wise once told me, “You can make plans, but you can’t plan outcomes.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made plans with the expectation of everything going according to them … only to find out that they didn’t work out at all. Of course, it’s crucial to your success to have goals and vision in your life. The key is to not place too much emphasis on the outcome. Broaden your expectations and just enjoy the journey!
  3. Just Say “No” to Tunnel Vision – If you are uber-focused on a goal, a very close-minded approach can develop which can stifle your motivation and creativity. Expand your horizons!If something doesn’t work out as you had hoped or planned, ask yourself “What else is possible?”Let it percolate. The answers will come right on time!

Many years ago, early in my career I was bitterly disappointed when I missed a goal of winning an award that included a trip. In speaking with my mentor at the time he asked me, “Bill, did you do everything possible to win this trip?” My response was, of course, yes, I believed that I did! What he said next has stuck with me ever since. “Then that’s all you can do. If you do everything possible to reach a goal but don’t achieve, you have to let it go.” I continually pass along this advice to other agents and team members.

When you set a reasonable goal, not too far stretch and you make a plan and follow it to reach that goal. You have done everything you thought possible. You can’t beat yourself up about it; you have to let it go.

If my answer had been no that I had not done everything possible to reach the goal – then that is on me.

If you look back over past disappointments, some of them probably turned out to be gifts in disguise.Keeping yourself open to new discoveries and possibilities after disappointment can only lead to better outcomes for you and your agency!

Here is a great saying I found online that goes along with my philosophy of Goal, Plan, Action –

A DREAM Written Down With a Date Becomes a GOAL

A GOAL Broken Down Into Steps Becomes a PLAN

A PLAN Backed by ACTION Becomes REALITY!


Published with permission from BGI Systems. Source.