How do you get over a disappointment at work? Maybe you were overlooked for promotion or the flagship piece of work you were leading just didn’t, well, work. It can be a scary place to be, feeling like the rug has been pulled from underneath you and the added discomfort of having to face your colleagues afterwards.

Take a deep breath

You’re not alone. It is totally normal and you can get through this.

Some years ago I made a mistake at work that I felt I was never going to get over (spoiler: I did!). I like to get things right and if I don’t my mind will ruminate for hours…days…months…

I had to spend a lot of time processing that feeling. It was important for me to tell someone I trusted and get that feeling out in the open – As Brene Brown would say “shame cannot survive being spoken. It can’t survive empathy”

I started playing piano as a form of mindfulness to help me focus my brain somewhere other than on replaying my mistake.

And then I got to work on understanding what had happened and looking at it afresh with a view to how to move forward from here, with the new circumstance just being neutral instead of ‘wrong’.

I formed a new plan, I re-did budgets, I set the new course forward.

And over time I began to forget there had ever been a problem.

The irony is that I LOVE solving problems and if someone comes to me with a ‘mistake’ I’ll be the first to help them find a solution, without judgement, because I always know there IS a solution.

So if you’re going through something similar, my top tips:

  • Process the feeling and speak to someone, get whatever it is that’s eating you up out into the open, it really helps!
  • Find a completely unrelated outlet to focus on to give your poor brain a break
  • Look at the situation without judgement and try to find the facts – perhaps get feedback from your manager, or speak to colleagues who have been through something similar
  • Talk to yourself as if someone else had come to you with this, what advice you would you give them?
  • Start to process the new circumstances as your starting point, not as a problem. Create a new plan that starts from here

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