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How to Turn a Disappointment into a Breakthrough Opportunity

 

Many times I give the coaching advice, ‘It’s not about being perfect, it’s about how you respond to adversity and setbacks’. 

Recently, I had a unique opportunity to follow my own advice.

I've just wrapped up a whirlwind 5-week trip to the East Coast speaking, seeing East Coast clients, cycling through Maine with family, with a finale being a dream come true: speaking at the United Nations. But as we all know, life has a funny way of throwing curveballs. Due to (understandable) heightened security, the venue changed last minute to NASDAQ. But here's the kicker: I learned some invaluable lessons that I can't wait to share with you.

Give Yourself Permission to Be Disappointed

Let's be real: disappointment stings. I had visualized myself at the UN, sharing my insights and experiences with a room full of global change-makers. When that vision crumbled, I felt a sense of loss. But here's the empowering part: it's absolutely okay to feel disappointed. Suppressing those feelings only leads to emotional turmoil and slowed down progress. Acknowledging your disappointment is the first step toward resilience and adaptability. It's a form of emotional honesty that allows you to navigate through the complexities of life.

 Ask the Right Questions

In the eye of this particular disappointment  I paused and asked myself a transformative question: "If this event at this new venue were a 10 out of 10, what would have needed to happen, and how do I need to show up?" For me, the answer was crystal clear. I wanted to make impactful connections that could help leverage the Fearless Female Leader course into Fortune 500 companies. And you know what? Despite the venue change I achieved exactly that. Asking the right questions can act like a compass, guiding you through the fog of disappointment toward what truly matters.

Stay Committed

Commitment is not about convenience; it's about conviction. Even when the venue was switched last minute and the panel questions were delivered just days before, my commitment never wavered. I had a vision, a purpose that transcended the immediate circumstances. I was determined to make the most out of the situation, no matter the obstacles. Staying committed to your vision, especially when the path is fraught with challenges, is the hallmark of a true leader (although not always easy to be sure!).

Embrace Optimism

Once the dust of disappointment settled, I found myself choosing optimism. Why? Because despite the unexpected turns, I had achieved my core objective: making valuable partners for the Fearless Female Leadership journey to create lasting change. Sometimes, a shift in perspective is all you need to transform a perceived failure into a hidden opportunity.

Conclusion

Life is a series of unpredictable events and the lessons I've gleaned can be priceless. We have the agency to decide how we’ll show up, even in the face of disappointment. So, the next time you find yourself grappling with disappointment, remember these four pillars: give yourself permission to feel, ask the right questions to refocus, stay committed to your vision, and embrace a mindset of optimism. These are not just coping mechanisms; they are transformative strategies that can turn your setbacks into setups for something even greater.

Here's to embracing the full spectrum of life's experiences and emerging stronger, wiser, and more fearless.

Always cheering you on,

Sheryl

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