Well, that sounds harsh. But think about this. Have you ever been in a situation where someone else's good news was bad news for you? I know I have. Losing is part of life.
Often we work so hard for something only to see someone else win the prize.
Whether it’s some sort of competition, a promotion at work, a coveted project you’re hoping for, a relationship you’ve set your hopes upon, or any number of other things I can think of, it’s really all the same. The honorable thing is to be happy for the “winner”, and set your hopes on something new. But in reality, sometimes we just run to the rest room and cry our eyes out, hoping nobody notices.
Have you ever wondered why opportunities escape us? Why do others seem to get the goods, especially when we don’t see any reason to believe they are more qualified or deserving than we are? Sometimes there are variable at play which we may not be aware of. After all, whether it’s in your career where someone else might be in charge of your placement in a team of other people they manage, or it’s in your personal life where we’re at the mercy of the behaviors and preferences of others, or it’s in our physical performance where any number of physiological or environmental factors can defeat all the training and preparation we’ve done… there’s truly nothing we can do to guarantee a particular outcome of success. So why even try?
Well, it’s not the trying that’s the problem.
There is much success and learning to be attained by giving our best to the things we do. Falling short of excellence is not failure if you are growing from the experience. Failing to be rewarded or recognized for your contributions is also not failure. It may be frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you are defeated.
The bigger issue is our attachment to
a particular outcome.
Someone else got the job you wanted? Someone else bought the house you bid on? Someone else took the trophy you were playing for? Yep, it’s happened to us all in one shape or another. We can, and should, definitely take a much deserved moment to acknowledge our feelings.
Then as we reflect on it all, we should realize that opportunity is not a limited resource. When one opportunity passes us by, another one, perhaps a better one, is just around the bend. “Not so!”, you say? There was only one position like that, or that was the only house for sale in that neighborhood, or that was the last competition of the season. Well, again, if we are attached to a particular outcome, then there’s always a chance of being disappointed.
There’s a difference between having confidence in our abilities in a situation and believing in our greatness, and having an unwillingness to accept an alternate path to great things. Having confidence can set you up for success, but being inflexible will defeat your every effort.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of your resilience.
Have faith. Amazing things are on their way!