Healthily Growing After a Missed Promotion
By Chris Brown
Missing a promotion can be a major hit to your self-confidence, leaving you feeling defeated and lost. That is why it is important to face this obstacle in a healthy, productive way that allows you to grow stronger as a worker. Like with other life disappointments, such as a relationship breakup, the key is seeing this setback as an opportunity for growth. Regularly turning negative losses into positive opportunities is what separates highly successful people from, well, the rest of us. Who knows, with the right mindset, you may just find that missing a promotion is, in hindsight, the luckiest possible path in your unpredictable life journey.
Find Opportunity in the Disappointment
Experiencing a setback is always an opportunity for positive reflection. This reflection can kickstart you towards harder work and newer innovations. It all has to do with transitioning every negative emotion into a positive challenge that catapults your depressed sad-sack state into a more successful mindset. For example, swapping the internal lament that your coworkers misunderstand you for a personal challenge to show them you are an amazing worker, can motivate early work arrival and higher performance. Whatever you do, don't complain or act out at work. Letting job performance slip will only re-enforce your own internal thoughts of inadequacy and make it more difficult to recover positively.
Be Candid About Your Flaws
It is important to be honest with yourself about areas for improvement, especially when you experience a setback like a lost promotion. Its tempting in these times to push the blame to a boss who doesn't like you or some other external factor. But, truthfully, there is likely a less comfortable reason you weren't selected for the position: you are missing an attribute that the position was seeking. If you want, you can always request honest, constructive feedback from a coworker or manager to help identify areas for improvement. Once the truth about your flaws is faced, you will often find that they are not as bad as you may subconsciously be fearing and, with some focused effort, fixable.
Make a Plan for the Future
Now that you have faced your flaws, it is time to construct a plan for your future. Putting together a one-, five-, or 10-year plan can help you to regain the feeling of control that a lost promotion took. It also can be an opportunity to reevaluate your current life trajectory. Perhaps, after further introspection, you find that you never really wanted the promotion in the first place. Or, your desire for the higher position could become solidified further. Refocusing any negative energy towards accomplishing this goal instead can provide the drive required in the present to accomplish your idealized future.
Moving on after a life disappointment, such as a missed promotion, is all about mindset. Rather than defining it as a psychological hit, facing such an event head-on can improve your mental state and give you the feeling of greater control over your destiny.
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