The Choosers Guide to Failure Winning, an 8 Point Plan

I know life hands us some pretty crappy things. And we can orchestrate some spectacular failures for ourselves. We all fail. But what happens after that?

It’s your choice. You get to choose.

Be a chooser.

Do you move forward or let it weigh you down?

Some of my failures could be considered masterpieces of failures. Hall of Fame worthy. I’ve failed as a mother, a partner, a leader, a business owner. I failed. I learned. I improved. I grow.  Here are eight points I have learned and use to win from failure.

1. You’re not that special. [Recognize]

Rarely is your failure a one-of-its-kind. Other people have screwed up in the same or similar way. Think about it: in all the ways to mess up, are you really that special that you created a failure that is a first in history?

I doubt it. So cut yourself a break. Why not find people who made the same mistake and learn how they bounced back.

2. Short time in the ring. [Permission]

It is natural to beat yourself up when you fail. Instead of making it a new daily routine, try this: give yourself permission to do a little beating up then forgive yourself.

Take yourself in a boxing ring, throw a couple punches, then get out.

You don’t get a full round. Ten to fifteen seconds is all you get to give yourself your best shot, a jab or two. Then get out. Period. Take off the gloves. You’re done beating yourself up.

Forgive yourself and let’s move forward.

3. You’re still here. [Perspective]

As trite as it sounds, you’re still alive. If you’re reading this, the worst did not happen. And if your still here, you’re not done. You have more to do.

I’ve been there where after a massive failure, my starting point to move forward was, “Well, I woke up today, I’ve got more to do.”

Start where you can. Start where you are.

4. It’s not who you are. [Release]

Failure chains itself to us when we take it on as a character trait.

Failure is an event, not a personal attribute.

Failure is what happened, not a definition of you. Babies fail to walk across the room on their first try. You don’t label them a failure. Why be so hard on yourself? Stop it.

5. It’s a tool. [Learn]

Failure, as an event, is also a teachable moment. A tool. We all fail, it is how we learn. Remember the babies learning to walk? With each step then learn and build on their skills. They take these lessons and put them into practice. The walk. Then they run. Learn to use it to your advantage.

6. Use your brain. [Investigate]

Failure can be very emotional. I’ve melted into a puddle of tears before, which made the short stint in the boxing ring ugly. But then I flip the mad switch. It’s my personality. I tell the emotional side of my brain to go rest and let my analytical side take over.

Look at your failure from a neutral, deconstruction perspective. Ask yourself a series of questions to explore and dive into the fullness of the event:

“What went wrong… Where were early warning signs… What did I miss… What could I have seen… What actions did I take that helped or hindered… What can I learn that can help me make better decisions in similar situations… What did I do well… What resources do I have that I did not use…, etc.”

Dive deep. Keep asking questions. Answer honestly. This emotionally-detached deconstruction will serve as the blueprint for your growth.

Don’t ask only negative questions, recognize the positives in the situation, too.

7. Do something about it. [Ownership]

This is the chooser’s guide to winning at failing. So it makes sense that you need to make a choice and do something. Choose to move forward. Introspection, insight, and blueprints don’t mean diddlysquat without action.

Start. Take one action. It doesn’t have to be big, but there has to be a step. Build on it. Chart your progress. Celebrate your success every inch along the way – no matter how small.

8. Don’t be stingy. [Empowerment]

Share your experience with others. This will reinforce in you that you rock. You turned around a bad situation and it will encourage others that they can do it too. We are not isolated islands on this earth. We’re all in it together. We all get better, grow and benefit from our positive interactions and when we learn from each other.

 

You can do this. You can triumph. You can be an inspiration. You’ve got this!

 

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As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing professionals get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

Or let’s have a conversation to get you moving forward now. Click here – Let’s Talk! – to schedule a free phone consultation.

 

Resumes & Interviewing – What To Do With That Wackadoodle Job

I have purple hair. Wasn’t supposed to, didn’t mean to – but there it is. It is a lovely combination of deep lavender melded within dark silver…

Whatever. You can put a pig in Armani and it’s still a pig.

My hair is purple.

It’s about now that one of my favorite sayings comes into play: failure isn’t fatal. Winston Churchill, Mike Ditka, and Don Shula said some version of this, but the bottom line is the same:

Failure isn’t fatal.

This is not fatal. Now I find it hysterical. Because it freaked Chief out.

I have long hair and a boyfriend who really likes my long hair and really, really likes it blonde.

When he first saw it, I can’t count the number of “𝘖𝘏. 𝘔𝘠. 𝘎𝘖𝘋. 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙙???” that came out of him. It’s 𝙢𝙮 𝙝𝙖𝙞𝙧 but he’s the one having a meltdown. One more guy thing I don’t understand.

But I digress.

My point was this isn’t going to kill me. No mistake or failure is really can’t be classified as a failure if you learn from them.

What I have learned – some people aren’t the best with toners and my hair really takes to purple and not in a pretty purple sort of way.

So what does purple hair have to do with careers and resumes? Don’t freak out over your purple hair position. Temporary purple hair is your wackadoodle job.

Maybe somewhere in your career, you had a job that made absolutely no sense to your career. It was a filler or a mistake. Whatever it was, you feel like it is the pink elephant in the middle of your resume or in your interview.

It’s not.

There is something to be learned or gained from every single position that you take. You learned or reinforced a skill. Discovered something new. That discovery doesn’t have to be positive. You may have learned that you really, really don’t like that industry or type of position. That’s still learning something.

Now take it to the next level. If you learned you didn’t like a certain aspect or job, turn it into a positive. It pushed you to dive into another aspect, more education, training, or something that was a better fit.

Spinning the experience to a positive show maturity and intelligence. That is something an employer wants to see and hear.

Pretty much everyone has had a weird job that made no sense, was a disaster or a mistake. And pretty much everyone survives from them. It’s all in your perception and what you choose to do with the experience.

Have some fun with it. The more positive and light you can be about it, the less it will concern others.

For me, I’ve got a couple weeks before my next speaking engagement… I may let the purple reign just to torture Chief a bit longer. That’s not too mean, give me a break here, I’ve got to have some fun with this purple hair!

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As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing professionals get career happy.

Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.

Saying the F-bomb in Front of Your Mother

saying the f-bombMy mother is one of those women who does not curse. Ever. In, clearing throat, forty-something years I can only remember my mom saying one word she would consider a curse word.

We were at a little league baseball tournament and there was a coach berating his team during warm ups. Now, I know sometimes motivation comes with a rough edge, but his words were sharp and cut deep; things that should not be said to young children. Things that should not be said to anyone of any age.

After hearing one of his rants I looked at my mom and she said, “Yes, he is a real prick.”

My mouth dropped open because that was the first – and last – time I ever heard her say a word that she would consider a curse word.

Me, on the other hand, well…. I will admit, I dropped a bomb or two but not, that I recall, in front of my mother.

But I am not talking about that f-bomb. I am talking about the glorious, wonderful, often-dreaded-but should-be-embraced f-bomb of FAILURE!

Yes, failure. It seems people find it more repulsive than the other f-bomb.

Failure, although difficult during the journey is the most wonderful teacher. It is from my worst failures that I have learned the most and been able to succeed with strength.

You can perform a skill 100 times to learn perfection; or you can screw it up really bad one time and get there sooner. Failure is a wonderful teacher. It reduces us to our core. It eliminates fear because there is nowhere to go but up from there.

I do not like failing at things and I am my own worst critic. I have made some doozies in my time, so there are no stones being thrown. Some of my “finer” moments were followed immediately by the “Holy crap, I’m going to get canned for this, better pack that box now to make the walk of shame less painful.” And yet, they did not.

When I fail I beat myself up for failing more than what I failed at in the first place. If you understand that, welcome to my world! However; I have learned that once I let go of the beating myself up, there are wonderful lessons in failing.

Freedom – to let go of preconceived ideas and learn from a broader perspective.
Adaptability – learning to try something a different way.
Humility – nothing will put things into perspective like a great big screw up.
Humanity – we are all human, we all screw up and we can all move on.

I was talking to an executive the other day about interviewing. He said that he immediately discounts a candidate that only talks about their successes. The ones he is really interested in is the ones that talk about their failures.

He wants to know what happened, how it affected what was going on, how they responded, how they lead others and what they learned from it. Good interviewing tip right there!

It is not always about the failure, but what you do after that counts the most. Embrace your failures, share them with your mother!

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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:

Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility

Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.

–Lisa

Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at companies, professional organizations and colleges speaking to leadership, sales and teams; transitioning or downsized employees and networking groups about career mobility, personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.

The Only Time It Is Important To Look Back

I had dinner with a very good friend last night who always inspires me and never fails to make me laugh at myself and the world in general.  She is my very wise friend whom I admire and respect greatly.

 

At one point in the conversation, I was telling her about a little fit of doubt I was having in myself based off a situation with a past client.  I asked if she had every gone through that and how did she get through it.

 

She told me to look back.

 

I am not a fan of looking back.  Normally.  Too often we look back and instead of seeing what we have accomplished, we tend to look at the woulda, coulda and shouldas.  Then we fall into the trap of “if only”s and “why didn’t I do it this way”s. 

 

I am a fan of looking at situations from the perspective of what can it teach me for next time then letting go.  Learn and grow, do not dwell and get stuck.

 

But her advice was perfect because it was specific.  You have to look back at your successes.  So one client or boss or interviewer thought you stunk.  It happens.  To all of us.  But that is when you need to look back to the ones that thought you were the cat’s meow.  That helps you remember why you do what you do and that you bring great value to what you do.

 

After saying goodbye a couple of things hit me: an email I received from a client saying they have been offered a job from a prestigious company and asking to set up a time to tell me all about it.  Another very excited email from another client telling me that she got promoted and gave such gratitude for helping her through the transition and to be able to see that she could do really well in this field.  An email from a client who was writing after an interview to let me know the interviewer told me they felt compelled to interview him after reading his cover letter and resume.

 

At first blush you may think it was the compliments on my work that helped me re-center and refocus; but that wasn’t it.  It was the excitement from all of them.  That they came to me from a much different place and together we were able to identify and communicate the value that already existed.  From there, they were able to fully own it and make happen what they wanted to make happen. 

 

It was their joy that made me beam.

 

That’s how I chose to look back, remembering the process and their journey.

 

If you are feeling stuck in your position, frustrated with the job search process or a little self-beating up over lagging sales; look back at the joy.  Why do you do what you do?  How have people benefited from what you do?  How do you define your wins?  What have been your wins – and what did you do then to make them happen?

 

Rediscover the feeling of the wins, remember how you approached it, remember why you do what you do and remember the value you bring.

 

Not everyone is going to think you are amazing, that’s a fact of life.  You know the old saying: you can’t please everyone.  We all hit the blocks of a bad interview, a down period, unhappy client; those come and go.  When they happen look back at the joy and you will find that the lows are not quite as low as you first thought and you have a lot more wins that you thought.

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Every Failure Has the Opportunity to Present in its Equal a Success

The Difference Between Failure and Failing

 

Fails are proof you have tried something new, gone outside of your comfort zone or on the path of discovery.  Failing is a part of every day life.  Failure is the speed bumps that help us correct our path.

 

Fails are not necessarily a bad thing, I happen to think it is a great opportunity.  Thank goodness I have had the fails that I have for that has helped me improve, grow and gain greater value.  Had I succeeded then I might have stayed at a status quo.

 

That would have meant stagnation.

 

Had I stopped trying and not worked through the fails, then I would have had a failure.

 

Failure is not trying.  Failure is giving up.  Failure is accepting status quo in order not to move forward.  Failure is not fun.

 

However if you utilize a fail as it is truly presented – as feedback, then you really do not have failure.  You have opportunity.

 

To avoid fails or failure would be to know everything.  I have yet to meet the person that knows everything.  Although I have met some that think they do, but that is a different story.  We don’t know everything.  It is not our nature; it is not a one-stop shop.  We are continuing to learn, to improve to grow personally and professionally.

 

I absolutely love what I do, I love working with clients one on one and transforming their personal brand, creating resumes, LinkedIn profiles, coaching, giving seminars and workshops.  As long as I have been doing this and as often as I write, speak and coach I still learn every day.

 

I still have fails every day.  When I first started it would freak me out when I had a fail.  I took it personally seeing it as a negative.  Then I realized a very simple thought: you cannot learn multiplication without understanding addition, in learning addition you learn by mistakes.  I come from a very mathematical family so bear with the example.

 

When children lean addition the have to understand the concept, try it out, practice, miss some and learn from this.  Once they master addition it leads the way to subtraction, multiplication and division.  The world begins to open up from that one concept.

 

Think you have mastered multiplication?  Great, now it is time to move on to Algebra.  Got that mastered?  Awesome, let’s move on to Calculus.    Get the point?  It is a continuum.

 

If you had a phone interview and feel like you bombed it, stop beating yourself up and start looking at it as a learning opportunity.  Remove yourself from the experience and look at it as a postmortem.  Where was a fail, how could you have improved, what can you do differently next time, what lead to it and how can you avoid it the next time?

 

There – you have turned a fail into a positive.  You now know how to handle the situation the next time.  Next time you will improve on your technique, clarify your language or message.  You did not fail, you learned.

 

It is a simple concept but difficult to employ.  No one wants to admit they failed.  It could be seen as weakness.  Weakness is unwillingness to change, grow or learn.

 

I had to pretty much force myself into this way of thinking.  I’m an overly analytical person and my own worst critic.  Others may think I did a great job on a talk and I can tell you the five things I did wrong.  I always looked at it as a negative, very critical of myself.

 

So when I finally got that fails were opportunities, I had to practice.  This is yet another reason I love my dogs.  I could turn to them and say, “Well, that was a big ol’ fail.”   They would look at me with happy puppy eyes, wagging tails and I could swear I could read their minds saying, “Yes, but it is over – can we have a biscuit?”

 

If the dogs could see it was done and over and it did not scare them for life, I could too.  So I would dutifully hand out biscuits to the pups, write down the “fail” (remember the over-analytical part of me? It doesn’t give up lists or writing things down) and play devil’s advocate.

 

Was it really life-scaring?  How was it a fail, what could I do next time in that situation, how could I avoid that situation in the future and most importantly – what did I learn from this.

 

Then I would file it away as lesson learned and move on with my day.

 

I have failed many times in my life, I have failed daily – but I am not a failure.  Because with each one I have learned, gained understanding, appreciation and positioned myself to not make that mistake again.  That, my friends, is on the whole other end of failure.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist, Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

 

 

Learning by Looking Back

In April it will be three years that I’ve had my biggest puppy, Luke.  He was about a year when he came to me and he hasn’t changed much.

 

He’s gotten bigger.  A lot bigger.  Now instead of a medium size goof with a long tail, he is a big goof with the tail of destruction.  He still gets excited and bounces backwards in the air with a twist.  It is quite acrobatic and weird.

 

He still pees a little out of excitement when he sees my son.  He still likes to explore and attempt to eat anything within and out of range.  He still slobbers like a mad man when it is dinner time.  He still has separation anxiety when I leave.

 

I learned one thing I hadn’t known after I brought Luke into my home – Labs take a really, really long time to get out of puppyhood.  He isn’t out of the woods yet.  He’s just a bigger, stronger puppy.

 

There have been some changes.  He no longer jumps on me, which is good because I am pretty sure he outweighs me.  He has learned to go grab a toy when he is excited because chewing helps calm him down; although sometimes he confuses the little dog for a toy. He has learned some commands, although I have determined he follows them at his own choosing not because I have trained him.

 

He is a great guard dog because his size and devotion to me and our little pack.  If they hear a noise the other two run to the window to check it out and Luke immediately comes and stands guard in front of me.  It is a nice sentiment unless I’m curled up in bed reading, then I just end up having a huge puppy looming over me.

 

People get dogs for different reasons.  This one needed a new home.  He was too exuberant and too much work for the single mom with two teenagers always on the go.  He takes a lot of work and even more patience.

 

I hoped by this time he would have calmed down quite a bit.  A dog that stands almost as tall as you and probably outweighs you is a bit of a handful to say the least when he is exuberant.  He gets exuberant just because it is Monday.  He doesn’t need a reason.

 

I’ve had big dogs before, a Husky/Sheppard mix and a Great Pyrenees at the same time.  They were both well behaved and calm.  I used to take them on walks with each walking right next to me at the same time without an issue.  Luke, let’s just say we’re working on it.

 

I think I got him putting expectations of my past pack leadership in mind.  I’ve had up to five dogs at once; I’m used to it and wouldn’t have it any other way.  So there are times that I am quite frustrated with this big bundle of joy bouncing at me and possible behind me creating quite the risk going down the stairs.  I was hoping he would change.

 

But the one thing that hasn’t changed one bit is his exuberant and constant show of affection and excitement.  When I work, he is the one that comes into my office and lays his head on my lap.  He will then look up at me with huge almond eyes and smile.  He just wants to be loved.

 

He continues to stare at me and if that does not break my concentration he leans.  He is a leaner.  He leans into my desk putting my computer and work in jeopardy or into my chair moving me away from my desk.  He gets me to play.  He reminds me that we need to play every day.

 

Would I trade this unconditional love, unbridled excitement for life and joy for play for a well behaved, quiet dog?  No way.  Sure there are curtains that need to be replaced, and doors and some flooring…but I can’t replace him.

 

I had expectations and got frustrated because he did not meet them.  But then it hit me – those were my expectations based on other dogs.  Luke is like no other dog I have ever had.  I stopped looking at his positive qualities and only saw the things I felt were negative.  Shame on me!

 

He is being a good dog, it is my job to change the conditions to adapt to his uniqueness in order that he can continue to thrive and my “expectations” are met.  Duh – I should have known this, I have had two packs of over 4 dogs.  I should have known this.

 

As I was chastising myself, I realized I (and many others) do this to ourselves.

 

I think sometimes we expect too much of ourselves.  We see only the negatives, the “I should be doing more or betters”.  We stop appreciating the good and focus on what we perceive is the bad or not quite good enough.

 

We set goals and aspirations, which is great; however, when we haven’t reached them at a certain point we claim failure.  They are not failures, they are lessons.  Sometimes painful, sometimes humorous, but lessons none-the-less on our way to mastery.

 

Remember the old phrase, crawl before you walk, walk before you can run, and run before you can fly.

 

Let’s stop looking at where we are not and take a moment to look at where we are, and more importantly where we have come from.  Perhaps I have not mastered a certain project yet, but, I have learned a lot from my failures and I am knee deep in the project rather than just starting out.  I have some degree of knowledge, I know better questions to ask, better methods to try and the ability to persevere because I have come this far.

 

As a mother I never had a child lock on the pantry, but I had to get one because he likes to open doors.  It was worthless.  He learned how to open the child lock.  No kidding.  The dog can open child locks.  I had to remove the handles from my side tables because he knows how to grab them and open any drawer they are attached to.  It is always an adventure.

 

While these could be negatives, I choose to look at them as positives.  Every day is a new adventure with this puppy.  Everything is fun and exciting for him and you just can’t help but laugh when he somehow manages to lock himself in the bedroom.  I know keep the key on the outside instead of having to remove the door handle.

 

Maybe you are looking for a new job, contemplating moving to a new company or making some other life change because you are not happy or feel something is missing.

 

Before you do I ask you to stop for a moment and take a look.  Is something really missing or could it be your view is a little skewed?  Are you comparing yourself to others?  Are you thinking you should be at a certain point because everyone else is there?  They aren’t, by the way.  Are you putting expectations on yourself without giving yourself credit for the good?

 

Remind yourself of your good qualities, what good is brought into your life by being where you are and what you could possibly forgo if you make a change.  Which items tip the scale?

 

Sometimes a change is needed, and if so make sure it is for the right reasons.  Not because you are trying to be anything other than yourself.  Could I train Luke to scratch at the door or make a bark when he wants to come inside rather than bouncing to the top of the door?  Doubt it, but then again, any dog can scratch, this one has over a four foot vertical from standing still – beat that with a stick!

 

 

Lisa K McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Everyone Succeeds – Some Are Just Successful At Failing

Anyone who knows me knows I am directionally illiterate. When meeting friends anywhere it is not uncommon for them to ask, “Do you know where you are going?” and I take no offense to this because more often than not I don’t. Sometimes they are even waiting for me in the parking lot just to make sure I get there!

I’ve lived in my town for over a decade and still do not know where everything is and how to get there. My son made the comment once that he had only been driving for a year and new the roads and locations better than I did. I told him that at least I was consistent. I consistently fail at directions – I’m ok with that.

What I am not ok with is being successful at failing with the steps that are going to help me achieve my goals. Too often we begin to take on these failures as commonplace, typical or the norm. They are not, they are results of choices.

If you are pursuing a goal whether it is securing a new position or landing a new client it is important to pay attention to the entire process, not just focus on the end result.

Often times it is the steps we take that give us the most information, value and lessons rather than the ultimate achievement or failure of the goal. As you are working through the process be sure to continually evaluate to make sure you are getting the most out of each step. Also be sure to celebrate your wins throughout the process – this will give you momentum and confidence moving forward.

For example if you are job searching after each networking event take some time to review your introductions and discussions with each person. Were you able to engage them, were you able to clearly communicate your value, what did they respond to positively, what did they respond to negatively, what actions did you suggest, how can you assist each person, what if anything did they offer to you etc. If your networking is not producing the results that you want you can start questioning each interaction which will help you identify patterns that have created successful failures. Armed with this knowledge you can change your behaviors to start seeing positive successes.

Reflecting throughout the process is difficult to do as the main goal seems to take the lion’s share of our focus, for example if you are applying for and interviewing for a certain position. If you are not selected for the position it is critical to review the entire process to see where improvement can be made – and where you succeeded.

There are positive successes even on the road to failure. The point of looking back is not to criticize yourself and make yourself feel worse – it is to see where you can improve and congratulate yourself on your successes.

In the job example – ok, so you didn’t get the job; however, you interviewed extremely well, built strong rapport, perhaps have the foundation for a networking relationship, performed excellent research on the company and were able to prepare in a moment’s notice for a request that they made. These can all be significant successes and you should feel pride in accomplishing them. Combine them with the identified challenges and with a little tweaking you can build upon your positive successes list. Perhaps it was a matter of one element of experience. Is it possible to gain that experience through education or volunteerism?

Focus on the positive wins and see if there are any clues in there as to how you can change some behavior to move the perceived failures into the win column.

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong instead focus on what to do next. Spend your energy on moving forward toward finding the answer.” Denis Waitley

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.
http://www.CareerPolish.com

There Are No Shoes Lingering Above Your Head

Everyone needs a person in their life that helps them get through the bad times, but equally as important, helps them let in the good.

I have an amazing best friend – she is my life accountability person, my gut check, my reality check and that annoying little voice in my head at times. She is the one that knows me so well and respects me enough to tell me at times, “Really, you really think so?” which just annoys that heck out of me because I know she is right in calling me out on something.

And we are exactly the same so I know I serve this same value to her – which brings me great joy knowing I’m the annoying voice in her head sometimes – payback!

Yet it is so common to adopt the tendency of resisting good things that come into your life. This may sound ridiculous – who would not want more good things in our life and why on earth would we resist them? Ask yourself this, have you ever thought to yourself:

• This is too good to be true…
• What good can come of this…
• I’m just waiting for the second shoe to drop…
• Wonder how long this is going to last…

If so, then you, my friend, have resisted something good. We all love positive things, but we get so ingrained to prepare for the best expect the worse that we tend to under-appreciate the good or let it pass all together.

This is a choice. Change your choice. Now.

Think of any type of good, no matter how big or small, as a compliment. Most people I know are terrible at receiving compliments. I had to learn how to shut up and say thank you. So when any type of good comes your way simply tell your mind to shut up and say thank you – period.

I do a bit of contract writing. This is a small project and not especially lucrative; however, with every assignment I stop and say thank you aloud. It helps me remember to be grateful for everything positive that comes into my life.

Sometimes we get so fixated on the larger, end result that we neglect the simple everyday positives that come along the road to achievement. When we start to neglect or ignore them our path can be diverted. If we end up not achieving that goal we can tend to become even more negative.

A couple of months ago I was working on a collaborative project with an amazing woman who also owned her own company. We had a goal and a target and I was very excited about seeing this project come to fruition. To date, it has not, and quite possibly will not.

Now, I had a choice – on one hand I could be upset that this project did not pan out like we had hoped and grumble about time or opportunity lost. But I chose the other hand. I am grateful.

Had it not been for this project I would not have gotten to know this woman as well as I do, and I can say that she is bright, intelligent and business savvy. We process information and create vision in a very similar manner. She is a good sounding board for ideas and thoughts.

I also enjoy her humor, wit and personal commentary. I am grateful that I was able to spend some time getting to know this person in a personal and professional manner and consider her a friend and ally on both counts.

You may not get the job you want or land the prospect you want – but that does not mean that the journey was worthless. Take some time to step back and look at the entire picture to find and appreciate the good.

With this choice in attitude your next adventure should heed you even more positive results – if you are willing to recognize them and let them in.

Next post…Everyone succeeds; some are just successful at failing. Why it is important and how to recognize your successes and build on them.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.
http://www.CareerPolish.com