Have you ever worked really hard for something that didn’t work out? Maybe it was a golden job opportunity. You made it to the final round of interviews, but didn’t get the job. Or perhaps that side project you’d been working on for months didn’t receive the recognition that it was due. Or maybe you gave your all to a project at work that completely tanked. And as a result? You felt disappointed, rejected, or hurt- emotions that most of us work hard to avoid.
One of my most vivid experiences of work related heartbreak occurred one Sunday afternoon. I’d worked diligently over the prior weeks to prepare for a product launch. I had high hopes and expectations for the results I’d achieve. I’d gotten feedback that things were looking good and that I was on track to hit my goals.
I promoted my offering all week. And with each passing day I felt more worried. I lost a bit of sleep. No one was buying. Everything came to a head that Sunday afternoon, the last day of my promotion.
I was out with my husband on a beautiful day walking around a new and interesting part of town. But the sunshiney day and the good company were completely lost on me. I was in a terrific funk. Everything looked hopeless. I felt like crap. I couldn’t get over the news that my work hadn’t worked out. My husband attempted to help me see the bright side, but I struggled to see it. I was in an emotional thunderstorm that left me feeling ragged and raw.
And then, after a few days, the storm cloud I was under passed. I returned to work. I got on with my life and my business. After several months I launched again, with additional support, more knowledge, and much better results.
When we put our hearts into something, when we really care, there will always be the potential for heartbreak. Heartbreak certainly isn’t something that I’d choose to sign up for every day of the week. It’s unpleasant to go through tough feelings. But every now and again I think it’s healthy to step up in a bigger way, put ourselves on the line, and if necessary, endure the pain of things not going our way.
We’re capable of surviving tough emotional states. Unpleasant feelings pass through us like weather systems. They don’t last forever.
Stretching ourselves and yes, enduring some heartbreak, helps us grow stronger. We learn that feelings are temporary. We can step back and keep perspective, knowing that this too shall pass. Ultimately the pain of a heartbreak that comes from stepping out of our comfort zone is short lived. It’s intense, but it ends. I’d much prefer that sort of pain to the perpetual feeling of disappointment that comes from never trying.
If you’ve had a heartbreak recently, take heart. Have courage. Lick your wounds and get back up. Try again. You’re strong enough to make it through.
Have you ever endured a work or career related heartbreak? What helped you get through the experience?