On getting disappointing news – and dealing with it

Water with ripples spreading outwards.The other day I got some disappointing news – a ‘no’ to something I wanted to do. In my newly contemplative mode I thought I’d track my feelings about it and how they changed and shifted over the first week:

On hearing the news:

  • shock
  • sadness
  • worry – ‘if this is a no, what other no’s are out there waiting for me…
  • worry 2 – what are the financial implications of not getting it (interesting since at no point had I looked at the financial implications of getting it before)

Later that day:

  • sadness still hanging around
  • anger (was there something wrong in the process? had someone made a mistake?)
  • self recrimination – what else could I have done to have made the decision different?

The next morning:

  • sadness still there, but lessening
  • anger and self recrimination still there, but lessening

Three days later:

  • opportunistic – where else might I be able to follow this thread?
  • opportunistic 2 – by not doing this, what else might I be able to do?
  • self-reflective – I began to look at the map of my reactions rippling outwards

A week later:

  • I can see the flaws in my initial proposal
  • I’m rewriting it for somewhere else
  • I’m writing this

Basically, it didn’t take me long to get over myself and start looking for other ways to follow the idea through or to begin looking for new doors to open.

Watching myself ripple outwards was fascinating. Everything began up close: my immediate feelings were about protecting me and my safety and security – how had the news impacted there? Once I recognised all would still be well, the blame game began.

Any decision has a process, and all processes can be (and often are) flawed. Of course its important to stand up and challenge poor decision-making. Equally its important sometimes to accept that a ‘no’ isn’t always a result of poor decision-making! Often there is a combination of the two, but we have to accept that what is, is and we can’t change or influence it – the decision is made.

Then we have a choice – mull and moan about it or practically take action.

After a few days of the former, I’m thankful I moved on quite quickly this time!

Photo thanks to Phillie Casablanca  and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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