The 404 Error – How to Handle a Setback or Failure
What do you do when you get a 404 error? No not a page not found on your web searches, which is the common place most would expect to see a 404 error. No, I’m talking about a 404 error on your plans, your goals, your day, your expected “how this will go!”
In short, how do you handle a setback or failure? I know from experience that there are several ways to respond. Some lead you to a better outcome while others take you to dark and dangerous places. Those places are mostly in your mind and consequently your self image. I know this all too well… maybe you’re one of the fortunate few that every seed you plant yields a bountiful harvest. Lucky you!
This is a rant, a confession of sorts and a let’s learn from this crap. This past couple of months has been a real learning experience for me. Things that I just knew would play out to the mutual benefit of all involved… didn’t. Nobody benefited, as a matter of fact they didn’t even show up.
Over the past couple of months I’ve heard every excuse in the book, from my price was too high to I completely forgot. Maybe you’ve heard those or something similar. I’d like to hear the reasons people let you down. Let’s learn together, is that a fair offer?
Here’s a list of common objections I hear…. See if the ones you hear are on the list.
Monies that were sure to flow in, the kind that clients had obligated themselves to pay, never materialized. Oh, there were many reasons. And I’m guilty of blaming and bitching about “how could they” but I also realize that the real reason why whatever it was didn’t happen was something I was doing or not doing.
I learned this in a funny way, watching our dog Oreo. How Oreo behaves is more about how Cath, John, Libby or I treat or behave towards him. Sometimes even how we behave around him changes the way Oreo behaves. You know they say dogs can sense things like that. Here’s little secret, so do humans like you and me.
I gotta tell you, I get mad from time to time. I used to have a wonderful temper. I mean, If I gave a seminar on how to be a Class A Ass or how to throw a temper tantrum that would impress a 3rd grader… I’d sell it out every time. It’d be a dandy too. I can tell you, when I was angry, you would not have wanted to be around me or even fess up that you knew me.
I’ve worked on that temper for many, many years. Not to make it even better… heck I already had that! I’ve worked on me and a bunch. I’ve learned to listen more, pause in that moment between stimulus and response, and to simply take a breath before I act or react. That work hasn’t been easy. Maybe you’ve done similar work on your self.
Here’s a little worksheet to help if you’re ever in that place and decide to work on yourself.
I get down too. Maybe you don’t and if that’s true, please count your blessings. I remember talking to a dear friend of mine and we were discussing a common friend who was suffering from being down, you know depression. My friend, the one I admire, said something like, “why doesn’t he just get off the couch and get a job.” Oh if only it were that simple. I work hard not to judge or condemn but rather to ask more questions, become curious and try to understand. It’s one of those things I’ve been working on.
In my learning of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) in Chicago, I learned a phrase (called a presupposition) that has helped me become curious. Here it is for you to consider implementing it into your life. “Behind every behavior there is a positive intention.” I’m sure some will argue… “every behavior?” The short answer is yes. Let me know if you disagree and maybe we can have a conversation around how to implement this little ditty in your life. That’d be fun.
Here is a listing of the presuppositions of NLP you can have for your growth.
I think one of the reasons I get down is that, from my point of view, I work very hard to bring value to all I encounter. When I’m working to get a new client and they don’t see that, or a friend or an existing client doesn’t see it, I guess because people think there are so many shysters out there, it really gets too me.
It’s something I’m working on for sure. This past fall I noticed a dear friend post something on social media that to was a call for help. I immediately reached out… and sure enough, she was in a very, very bad place. As a matter of fact, she had researched ways to commit suicide and was headed in that direction, I later found out. We met and we talked for an hour or so… I encouraged her to seek professional help, a minister or someone qualified to work with such things and I stayed in touch. Every day or two, checking in to make sure everything was getting better. That person has risen above where she was and is getting better day by day.
We all need to be aware of those around us. I don’t ask for help much… this past couple of months… I’ve tried reaching out… asking for help but to no avail. I find it strange, how could I not be heard? Now recently a couple of people have reached out and have become closer to me by doing so. I am appreciative of their friendship and I do my best to tell them frequently.
I mentioned in the beginning of this post, that it was a rant, a confession of sorts and an offer for us to learn and grow together. There is a school of thought that says “don’t let them see you sweat” you know don’t reveal who you really are to anyone lest they decide you’re not the person they want to associate with anymore. I usually, that is until now, follow that but this is from me, from my heart and sharing what’s on my mind and how I feel. Should you choose not associate with me anymore because of this expression… then I have two words for you… “see ya!”
For those who read and make the decision to learn and grow together… let the adventure begin! Share with me what you need, what you’re struggling with and where you are. In turn, I’ll be as open and as honest as I know how. This means sharing what is working and certainly, what isn’t. As John Maxwell says, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
Leave me a comment and we can chat!
Register for the Next LeadershipInsights Webinar
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Leave a Reply