There's a feeling that creeps in when you experience disappointment at work. The dark clouds roll in, you wonder why you even tried to get that big client to sign up for your marketing campaign, you slump in a chair. It's depressing and discouraging.

Yet, the worst thing you can do when you have a major setback is to give up hope. Here's why.

Hope is like a fuel. It is already coursing through your veins. It's best to keep it coursing. The reason you even tried to attract that big client or pursue that new investor for your mobile app is because you had the sense that it was going to work out. You had already built up a platform. When you decide to stop, even if it feel warranted, it cancels out the momentum you had. It sucks the fuel out.

Maybe no one else is telling you this, but I want to address the problem of giving up hope on a new project, a new career, or something else that is causing you agitation: Don't stop. Keep pursuing the dream you had and remind yourself there's a reason you had that dream in the first place. There's a reason you had an inkling you could sell a new service. There's a reason you had the skills, talent, timing, and drive to succeed.

In many cases, the reason there's a block is because someone just had a bad day. In many cases, it's not because you had a bad idea. You believe in the product; the person who disappointed you doesn't. OK. Find someone else. Try a different tactic. Stay up all night and revise the presentation. Jump on a plane and arrange a meeting with a different investor...tomorrow. Jump into action. The setback is a bit like a challenge. Are you serious about this new endeavor? Are you willing to give up on it?

I'm no expert in treating depression, but I can tell you that I've worked with people who have given up hope on projects and careers. There are two common denominators. One is that there's always a block of some kind. They've met some resistance. The other common issue is that the block won. Hope had run dry for some reason and there was a decision to let the hope slowly drain away. In many ways, depression (at least the kind I've been around or experienced myself in business) is the sense that there isn't any hope anymore. You're saddled with a lack of hope. It's the new normal.

Again, I'm not an expert. But I can tell you that the right way to deal with a setback in the workplace is to try something different and keep going. Make a decision right now to see this thing through and keep trying. Call it a pivot if you want, but really it's just a decision to pick up the baton again and keep running no matter what.

Published on: Nov 6, 2015
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