The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

When You’ve Lost The Deal

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, October 02, 2017
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You’ve spent days and weeks preparing for this opportunity. You’ve enlisted colleagues to give you advice. You've practiced what you want to say. You’ve written many scenarios and improved each time. Those who know the process exclaim, "You’ve got it for sure."

Not so. After all that work, a rejection email appears. You sit in bewilderment: angry, confused, hurt, stunned, and potentially even considering just plain quitting.

I’ve been there. And I bet you have also. Plug in whatever context you wish and we all—to a greater or lesser degree—can recognize the response. Perhaps you feel stupid, worthless, and incompetent. You might also feel like giving "them" a not-polite gesture and exclaiming "What do they know?"

None of these responses will move the needle forward. I know. I have done them all. Over time, consider these resiliency options.

First: Get angry. Pout, cry, yell, whine, moan and eat dark chocolate. Whatever is your comfort food.You’ve wanted this for so long. You worked so hard. You are allowed and encouraged to have this emotion. But then—time to get over it.  Anger and self-pity won’t move you forward.

Two: Remember the past "setbacks."  I’ll bet if you think about it, you can recall a time when the door slammed shut and you thought all was lost. But today, you realize it put you in a different place that would never have happened otherwise. Example:  Early in my career, I was a senior public relations consultant in a PR firm. I got to the place where I hated writing press releases. I didn’t want to do this work. My escape was waiting for my husband to win a large contract and we’d move to Seattle where I would be the communications director for a new project. Yahoo! Alas, the deal was lost. I had to make my move. I resigned and now, years later, I realize I would never have started my business had we won the contract. Wow!

Three: Reframe. Is there another way you could frame the event that shows something positive? What did you learn? Did you make new friends? Can you use any of this experience for another project? Remember that glue that refused to stick became 3M’s famed post-it-notes.

Four: Express gratitude. The first wealth is health. If you have that, say thank you. In the end, love is the most meaningful of all. Do you have people who love you? Say thank you. Do you have the basic necessities of life? If so, say thank you.

Fifth: Begin again. A mountain is toppled by a rain drop. An elephant is devoured by an ant. Small drops, small bites. One at a time. Take a deep breath.Move forward.

Be blessed.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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