Have you ever had a time in your career where you felt shaken, stuck and unmotivated?
Most likely, you answered YES.
As a communications career coach and strategist, I often hear about disappointments my clients face, especially around confident communication. Maybe you lost your train of thought in front of 50 people, you did not get the job offer or you let your nerves get the best of you with people you REALLY wanted to impress. There are challenges we all face and although they may be inevitable, our setbacks don’t need to be permanent.
If you’re struggling with believing in yourself and feeling confident, here is a method that can help you get back on your feet.
The Accept, Evaluate, Release, Plan (A.E.R.P) Strategy
Accept what happened. Try not to get stuck in the pain of the disappointment: the rejection of not getting the interview or bombing the speech. Rejection is never a good feeling and there is always going to be some level of rejection in our lives and careers. Even the great Dr. Seuss had his first book rejected 26 times. So remember that the rejection along the way does NOT determine your destination.
Evaluate the situation by asking “what can I learn from this experience?”
Success doesn’t come without setbacks. I encourage you to think of setbacks as feedback about what you can change in your thinking or strategy. For instance, if you were passed over for a promotion that you thought you deserved, ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?”
Release the incident from your identity. One of the most common things I’ve noticed from my clients over the last several years is we often feel like our work and titles define who we are. This is because such a large part of our self-esteem is tied to how much we make and what we do!
If you have ever felt this way, then releasing rejection from your identity is very important for you because you’ll start to train your mind and realize that what happens to you does not define who you are as a person. Instead, what you do with what happens to you does.
Unhealthy statements: “I keep getting rejected, what’s the point of continuing to try?” “I’m just not meant to do have this kind of salary.” “I’m just not a natural born speaker.”
Healthy statements: “This rejection from this job/person is not my identity.” “Even though they didn’t pick my application to speak at the conference- I’m going to keep trying and putting myself out there.”
The last step here is Plan. Based on your assessment of the last 3 steps, put an action plan together for what you’ll try next. It could be implementing a new strategy, adopting a different belief system or hiring a coach.
I highly suggest writing and journaling about your goals, lessons and insights. Writing is one of the most effective therapies. Whatever changes you make, understand disappointments are always a possibility in any endeavor. But with these steps and the right action plan, success will follow. Plan for obstacles on your journey. And then plan to rise above them and accomplish your goals. Plan for victory; and plan for greatness.