We talk a lot about the need to fail and there are lots of great nuggets of wisdom like “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” and “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” But doesn’t that all sound like a bunch of hooey when failure visits you personally?
The best example of this phenomenon is when one doesn’t get a promotion. As Amy Gallo puts it in her HBR blog post “Didn’t Get That Promotion?“
Getting passed over for a promotion can be disheartening and even humiliating. Whether you thought you deserved the job or were promised it, no one likes hearing that they didn’t meet the mark.
It is a rejection that’s more painful than any save for unrequited or lost love. One can brush off a failed project or presentation fairly easily… at least compared to hearing that one didn’t quite cut it.
Gallo and her experts hit on familiar points up front: act ( but don’t react), get some outside perspective, no whingeing. However, I found the last two points the most valuable from my experience. I would go even further: reframing the experience and reenergizing one’s network are essential to make the obvious work. One can’t exercise patience, get “outside > in” feedback, then take appropriate action without taking those two steps first.