Picking yourself up after a setback
This past Monday I found myself watching the snowfall while quietly shedding a few tears in my room. All our kids were home (as they are EVERY day) and I didn’t want them to see me upset. So I closed my door, hid on the floor next to my bed, and let myself have a good cry.
My biggest strength, and in turn my biggest weakness, is that I’m very sensitive. Things hit me hard. And the past two months have felt “hard”, especially with blogging. I seemed to be getting no after no, and hitting one roadblock after another. And Monday it just got to me.
As a blogger, most of the “work” I do comes from me going out and finding it. Hunting for the next project. And there was one “hunt” I had been working on for a while. It was a brand I had been courting for a while that would be a partnership for our kitchen remodel. It was in my eye the deal I had been working towards. I felt like my content was GOOD. I was ready. So I put myself together, created a great pitch, and went for it. And you guys….they said YES.
I was so excited.
We went back and forth for a few weeks about details and it was becoming more and more real. It was going to be a great long-term partnership and my biggest deal to date.
Then Monday afternoon, in the middle of this crazy blizzard, I got an email that after “further consideration we are unfortunately unable to move forward at this time”. Que the tears.
I know it seems silly (and as I’m typing this I feel ridiculous complaining about a brand deal falling through when so many people right now are out of work, have no power, and are dealing with much bigger issues), but at that moment, it felt very real.
In that moment, that “no” felt really big to me. I let it beat me up the whole day. Am I just not good enough? Why did they change their mind? If only I had more followers, more page views, better images, better content. If only I were BETTER.
The reality is we ALL have days like this. We ALL have setbacks. We’ve all faced rejection. We all have days we question if we’re good enough. Even the most successful people. No one ever got it right, or landed the deal, or had success ALL the time. In fact, things don’t work out MOST of the time…until one day….they do.
What matters in those moments, is how we handle it.
The difference between successful people, and those who aren’t, has little to do with how “good” they are. It’s not about talent or being “good”. It’s about resilience. And it’s about being able to make it through the “No’s” ENOUGH TIMES (because there will be many) that you can last until the yes.
We have no CHOICE but to pick ourselves back up. And for the good or the bad of it, I feel like I’ve had to pick myself back up a lot over the past few years. Here’s what I do when I have a big setback….
Have a good cry.
I give myself the gift of time and space to be upset. Let it sink it. let the suck, just suck. Sometimes there’s no sugar-coating things. Not everything happens for a “reason”. Sometimes things are just crap. And that’s ok. It can be just crap.
Then I pick myself up, figuratively and literally.
I get up off the floor, dry my tears, wash my face, maybe put on some lipstick and a great dress, and get the heck back out there.
This is usually the hardest part. Getting back out there. Whatever that means for you. Whether it’s as heavy and hard as just getting out of bed. Or applying for another job. Or going out on another first date. Getting back out there can be hard. This is where I find that I get stuck the most. Don’t get stuck. Nothing good happens still sitting on the floor.
Then, when I’m I’m ready, I take a moment to pause and see if there’s something I can learn.
Sometimes there’s a lesson waiting to be learned. Other times it’s just as simple as “well, I won’t do that again”. Not everything has to be this big life lesson. So don’t stress over it. It can be just as simple as “that’s not for me”. And that’s ok. That’s a lesson too.
See if there’s any good mixed in there.
There usually is, but it can hard to see when we’re too close to it. Space helps here. Time too. Most often I find that the good has something to do with me. Not in a self-absorbed way – but in an honest, self-reflective way. Did I put myself out there? Did I try something new? And did I live to tell about it? That’s growth. That’s good. Sometimes that’s enough “good”.
Do it all again.
For whoever needs the reminder (me included). You are enough. You are perfect. Not everything in life is meant for you though. And that’s ok. Things don’t work out, not because of you, but FOR you. Because there’s something bigger waiting on the other side.
Failure, or rejection, or struggle isn’t a failure of YOU. Or your worth, or your talent, or your capability. It’s a failure of that specific “fit” at that specific moment in time. That’s it.
Have faith. Trust the universe. As hard as it is. There is more waiting for you. But getting there is a process. We get it wrong over and over again, until one day we get it right. Relationships don’t work out over and over again, unit one day they do. Things don’t work out over and over again, until one day…. they do.
But you have to keep trying. you have to keep putting yourself out there. You have to keep having enough faith in the universe and YOU to show up.
Get knocked down. But then get back up. Wash your face, put some lipstick on, and KEEP GOING.
Chip up, buttercup. We got this.