What happens when we put ourselves out there, step out of our little modesty bubble and put ourselves forward for a task or an award – and then fail?  It’s not the nicest of feelings to be not wanted, to come second best, or not shortlisted at all.  It’s only natural to have our pride hurt and to feel a bit rejected, after all we often wear our hearts on our sleeves, put our best foot forward in these moments, and come up short.

If you watch Strictly Come Dancing on a Sunday night, when celebrities get eliminated, they invariably talk about the ‘journey’ of their dancing experience and the importance of ‘taking part’ and ‘rediscovering themselves’.  They show their sadness at leaving the TV show, and the sense of letting their partner down, but they leave feeling happy that they’ve done the best they could possibly do.

Love or hate Strictly, it’s a great reminder about the art of not winning.  To grow as parents, managers and leaders we need to be willing to push out of our comfort zone into our stretch zone.  We have to learn how to be a learner again and embrace the experience of ‘knowing that we don’t know’ everything in front of us.  Putting ourselves forward for tasks and projects that make us gulp, is a signal to ourselves and others that we are willing and ready to grow.

When we fail and don’t win that award, the dent to our pride is our negative mindset response.  It often masks our positive response, which is all about really caring and believing in what we put ourselves forward for.  We invariably focus on how it makes us feel in the moment, without turning it around to consider what else is it saying about us.

To help you navigate your emotional response, here are a few questions to ask yourself in or after the moment:

  • What have your learnt about yourself or others in this process?
  • What is possible now, having gone through this process?
  • What surprised you about yourself?
  • If you could do this again, how could you make it even better?
  • If you were to look back at this moment in 12 months time, what would be important?


Just to remind you, you can book a free one to one coaching session with us to explore the issues raised in our Blog post, or anything you’d like to explore in a confidential session.  Sessions last about an hour.  Book your slot online, or contact Kate for any specific enquries.