Now I’m not talking about when you miss out on tickets to see your favourite band or someone eats the last of the chocolate in the cupboard. I’m talking about when you put your heart and soul into something and do what you feel is a great job and your audience (be it friends, family, work colleagues etc) can only see the negative in it or don’t understand why you did what you did.
We’ve all had times in our lives where people have not been as enthusiastic or as excited as we have about a piece of work, project or a decision we have made. A while ago, I was working on a project, which I worked hard to get right. I researched, looked at what was currently there, and came up with a plan. I spoke with my manager and got to work, checking in at various points, which was met with enthusiasm and positivity. Once I was finished, I presented it to the team and it wasn’t met with the response I had hoped for. Instead, it was quite a negative experience, they understood what I had done and why, they just didn’t feel it hit the mark from where they were standing. Which is hard when I had the complete opposite response from my manager. I was super frustrated and annoyed, but having gone through that experience with the team a couple of times before, I realised, it didn’t matter what I presented, it wasn’t going to be right for them, as they had other ideas about the project.
I am happy to get feedback, and happy to deal with constructive and/or negative feedback, you get a boost with the positive and the learning points are great as you can put them to use for the next time or when needed. I didn’t feel I got this particularly from them so was left disappointed and wondering how I had missed the mark so much when my manager had been all up for what I was doing.
So upon reflection, here are some pointers for you to think about when things haven’t gone your way, others have been disappointed and you just feel like the world is against you! Here are my four points to think about and maybe help you to move on, I know after my experience they certainly helped me to let go of the frustration I felt, maybe it can help you do the same.
1 What have I learnt
What can you take away from this moment? What can you do better next time? What was or is your gut telling you about the situation? Were you happy with what you produced? Remember, not everyone will like what you do or even like you, so don’t take it to heart. As long as you stay true and authentic to yourself and the task in hand and are happy with the results, then don’t let others make you feel bad.
2 Do I need to change my way of thinking?
Well, maybe, just a little, most people are well intentioned and are not out to get you. So listen to what they are saying and maybe something will resonate with you as to what could have been different. Be honest with yourself, are they speaking sense? Could you have viewed things differently? Now I am not saying, go back on what you have done or believe all they say, listen and hear but take the nuggets of info that are useful and can help you in the future.
3 Why did it affect me?
What was it they said or did that got to you? Did they give you anything positive or was it just negative? Is it the first time people have reacted this way? Was feedback given constructively? What emotions came up for you? Is there a reason it got to you? Are you a perfectionist? Sometimes, we can be so focused on making things perfect, that we do miss the bigger picture. But don’t be too hard on yourself, you did what you thought was a great job and that is something to be proud of!
4 What will I do differently in the future?
This can be a tricky one as it could have just been the audience, and you did everything right. But maybe thinking about who your audience is, is the important factor. Take on board what their needs or wants are. But at the same time, if this is a personal thing and you are unsure how your friends and family will react to something you are passionate about, then you really need to go with your gut. It is your life after all, so don’t compromise for others if you have a dream to follow!
In a work situation, and maybe in some respects with your friends and family, you need to set your intentions and expectations with the group or team at the start. Explain what you have achieved or have taken action on, the reasons for it and show them, but try not to be too rigid if there is wiggle room then say it is a work in progress.
Always be open to receiving feedback and learn to take it on the chin, especially if you take it personally. Don’t set your expectations too highly for amazing feedback, but equally don’t expect the worst and set them too low.
Once you have gone through these points, take a deep breath and let it go. 🙂
Have a great week and look after you!