What do you do when something doesn't go your way?

Someone asked me that this week in one of our GrowBIG Training Sessions. 

Not everything goes perfectly. 

Maybe a deal you had fell through. 

You didn't perform as well as you wanted. 

Someone didn't get back to you after you wrote a perfectly-worded outreach, with a clever ending. 

My friend Luke Burgis (future author of Wanting) taught me something important this year: 

The Scapegoat Mechanism. 

Check this out:

We're hard wired to blame others. 

It saves our ego. 

Whatever happened, it was someone else's fault. 

Our brains love this process when things don't go well. 

Think of a sports team. If they underperform, I guarantee someone's going to be the scapegoat: a coach or key player. 

Someone's gonna be gone.

And after? 

We all feel better.

That was the reason. 

Fresh start. Do over. Optimism. 

We do this to ourselves too. 

We can find scapegoats anywhere: 

  • So and so is the reason the deal feel through. It's their fault.
  • That surprise meeting I got pulled into was the reason I didn't perform well. It cut into my prep time.
  • That person that didn't get back to me is a jerk. I'll quit trying.

But here's the deal:

We need to avoid scapegoating. 

It takes our power away. 

It allows our ego to blame someone else, when maybe there was something we could have done better. Or could do next.

Here's what actually works: 

1. Remember your worth. 

Since our ego is the enemy, we need to start with us.

It removes the doubt we're feeling.

I have a little folder in Outlook I named Inspiring. 

I save all my Thank You notes from our clients, friends and class participants there. When I'm down, I randomly skim these atta-boys.

Weird -- I strongly resist doing this at first.

Our ego activating the scapegoat mechanism is so strong, it tries to keep us in a down mood.

But once I read one old email, I remember my worth. I smile. I get on a roll and read others. It flips a switch in me.

2. Forgive everyone. 

Maybe someone is a jerk, but I doubt it.

Hanlon's Razor is enlightening, but a little harshly worded, so here's my paraphrasing:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by someone being busy.

Forgiving pulls the control back to us.

3. Do something. 

Pull back to a small task and do.

Deal fell through?

Ask for feedback. Offer help on a different topic. Show you care about the person more than the deal. You'll differentiate yourself.

Didn't perform well?

Make notes on what you'll do differently next time. Make progress. You'll get excited about your comeback story. 

Person didn't get back to you?

Send them a personalized thought piece on a different topic. You'll feel good when you feel helpful. 

One action starts the next. 

That snowball will start rolling. 

And lickity split, you're out of it. 

Click here to read our GrowBIG Playbook to learn the 8 simple beliefs that I guarantee will put you in the right mindset to get great at growth.

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