I received some disappointing news yesterday. As much as I coach others about expectations, that they’re pre-meditated resentments, darn if I didn’t have an expectation. When I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear, my attitude plummeted.
I have been involved in a credentialing process for over a year. It’s expensive, and time-consuming. I’ve worked very hard to prepare myself for the test. And I did not pass the first time. I knew right away what I did wrong, and while some of the circumstances were out of my control, I knew it was bad. When I received the news of failing, I just rescheduled the follow up test. (I am afforded three tries)
The second test was written, rather than oral. This gave me lots of time to think, to really put a concentrated effort into it. I took nearly the two days afforded to me. I worked hard felt confident that this time I passed.
I just wasn’t ready to read that. I thought for sure I passed. What now?
My attitude plummeted. Self-doubt and negative self-talk rattled around in my head. Embarrassed, defeated and in sore need of a hug, I shared my bad news with my husband, who tried to console me. It was just going to take some time to allow the news to settle in and then figure out what to do next.
I’ve learned that when I’m in an emotional state, take no action. My first thought was to just chuck the whole thing and that probably was a bad idea. I had a day planned with my niece who’s here on spring break. What good would come from ruining her day too? I needed an attitude adjustment. It’s not easy to just push away from negative self-talk, but I had to move forward with my day, even though I wanted to wallow in my self-pity.
The best way to get out of oneself is to become interested in others. We headed to the beach, and whenever I thought about my test results, I asked my niece about her life, got the focus off myself. While we baked in the sun, I read a book, went for a walk and just put my bad news away for the day. In the evening, I worked and once again, concentrated on helping others.
This morning I woke up without the pity-party. I am still not sure what to do about the next test, but realize that I need some help before I take it, so that I know how to pass it! I know the material; I just don’t express myself that well in a testing process. I’m embracing that in myself and will look today for solutions to this new challenge.
So I failed a test. That doesn’t mean I am a failure. I’ve just come up against a road block on my path and know that there is another way to deal with it. And I know that this experience will come in handy to help others who may face disappointment too!
You know, it’s easy to write when things are all hunky-dory, but that’s not life – life has its ups and downs. It helps me to know that others have gone through similar challenges and have come out on the other side. I’m in that process and hope to hear your success stories, how you faced disappointment and what appears to be failure, without feeling like a failure yourself.