Keep your expectations low and you won’t get disappointed, but you won’t get much else, either. Yes, it’s safer to have preferences instead of expectations, but what does that really get you?
Dealing appropriately with disappointments is different from setting yourself up for them. A setup might be approaching a Fortune 100 prospect when you’ve never previously conducted business at that level or selling more than your company can deliver. Not only will you be disappointed, but you could lose the opportunity to work with that prospect in the future.
Whenever you put yourself out there, you are taking the risk of a negative response from your prospect. You also have to remember that very few people take risks, and being able to do so says great things about you and your company.
A brave person is not one who rushes into battle without measuring the risks involved; it’s the one who is frightened, but marches forward anyway. It may take a good leader, mentor or teammate to point out that even though things didn’t go quite as planned, you accomplished something huge and should be proud of yourself.
Appropriately handling disappointment doesn’t mean you can’t sulk a little. It’s natural to re-evaluate after a disheartening experience. It also doesn’t mean you have to force a smile when you feel like crawling into a hole. It does mean, however, that you should learn from your encounter and take steps toward improvement. In addition, it helps to keep things in perspective, which may mean simply believing that there will be a next time.
If you have the fortitude to take your business or department to the next level, that’s quite a feat. If things don’t go your way, then plan for the next opportunity. And, there always is another opportunity. It may take a different shape, but it will be there.