Picking Back Up After a Career Set-back

As a beloved Pittsburgh Steelers fan all my life, yesterday was a brutal day for us; we lost to a mediocre team and our quarterback threw five interceptions – yes, five.

The media were really quick to announce how poor he was but their scathing headlines, of course, elicited many nasty comments about he needs to retire and what a has-been he is (none of which are true). In watching his interview afterwards, you could see that he was disappointed in himself, and his performance, but there are lessons we can learn from this, which are applicable to not just your career but your life. Picking yourself back up after set-back is a necessity so it does not overtake you and keep you down.

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The ‘sting’ will be felt but only you get to determine how long it will linger. I look at professional athletes who are in the limelight, vulnerable for all to see and critique. How scary does that seem? Watching how they handle their setbacks gives hope for us plain folk:

  • Admit your mistake – when you know you’ve made an error, don’t try to hide it or become defensive as this only makes the situation worse, plus it destroys trust in you and your integrity. Our quarterback said he did not play well, not giving excuses. Own your stuff – people will respect you more
  • Have a way to rectify it – if it wronged someone, or the error affected others (or your work), then what actions will you take to make it correct (if possible) and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Determine to improve in that area, whatever that will be. Now, the QB on my team can’t correct what he did yesterday but he certainly can go and practice harder, as well as be in on the game plan for next week (he was not the only one involved).
  • Say you’re sorry – people are willing to be more forgiving if they hear ‘I’m sorry’; it’s been found that doctor’s are less prone to getting sued for a mistake, even if it resulted in a death, if the family hears an apology. I think we all want an acknowledgement.
  • Let it go, meaning -DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP! It’s easy to berate yourself, or feel sorry for yourself, which only affects the self-esteem and confidence levels. Cutting yourself some slack and that you’re human will lessen the blow. Focus on all the positives you have done; our quarterback has two Super Bowl wins/rings to speak for.
  • Learn from the mistake and move on – we do need to review the situation and see what our part was, and what could have averted the setback. Mistakes keep mistakes if we don’t look at the ‘lessons learned.’ This is how progress is made; as Confucius said, “Our greatest is not in ever failing, but in rising every time we fall.”

Our quarterback will rebound after this, the team is rallying around him, and the coaches will ensure better preparation for Sunday’s game. He will rebound after this setback. Now, some of Steeler nation may not be but, hey, that’s their issue (they will be hard until he wins). Just as our QB will bounce back, you can, too. As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not final; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! http://www.cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com

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