Manhood Monday #6: Dealing with Disappointment

Previous posts have focused a lot on male leadership and decision-making.

But what happens when your big ideas explode in your face and those counting on us get let down?

When plans go awry we men are often tempted to do one or both of the following:

  1. Give in to potentially negative emotions (i.e. anger/depression)
  2. Look for someone to blame (others or ourselves)

Neither one of these approaches is ideal and, unless you quickly pull yourself together, you can end up facing a situation much worse than the original problem. When disappointment strikes  it’s important to take the following steps:

  1. Identify what went wrong and why it failed, not who was responsible.

    In the end, blaming someone-including yourself- doesn’t eliminate the problem you now face. Yeah, you might feel better after venting but then you have an  angry friend, spouse or family member to deal with (definitely not a plus).
    Moving past your anger/disappointment and focusing on what went went wrong allows you to figure out a solution. Pointing fingers leads to frustration.

  2. Plan a counterattack.

    No, I don’t mean you should jump your boss.  I mean develop a strategy that takes the reason for the first failure into consideration. Simple example: you’re applying for a much-needed raise but you’ve been frequently late to work for the past three months and the raise gets denied.Your counterattack should include a plan to get you to work on time and increase your productivity.

Men have a lot riding on their shoulders and the complexity of our world seems to increase every day. But when plans don’t work out, don’t get discouraged.

Deal with disappointment in a way that will lead to success.

-JP Robinson

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