Accept disappointment, but don’t wallow in it

Advice is always easier said than done. I recently spoke to first year law students at Stetson University School of Law and I shared that quote with them. I presented “How to bounce back from No”, a discussion aimed at recognizing and accepting failures and providing tips on how to do not wallow in the feeling of “failure”.


My husband and I use what we call the “goalie” rule to accept our failures but not to wallow in it. The rule came from a former Tampa Bay Lightning goalie, Ben Bishop, who discussed how he handles disappointment coming from a bad game or a loss. He said that he takes 12 hours to accept and deal with the failure, anger, or disappointment. After that though, he says it is time to get back to work. That is how my husband and I handle our failures or disappointments. You get 12 hours – if you want to sit and play video games, nap, cry, head to the bar, head to the gym, take a day off work – you can do that. After those 12 hours though, it is time to get back to work. That is how we allow ourselves to accept failure, but not wallow in it.


This is my suggestion for you: Find a way to accept disappointment, but don’t wallow in it. Persistence, not perfection is what sets us apart. Determine how you will accept your disappointment – will you go to the gym, go out to a nice dinner, eat ice cream, take a road trip? Then, give yourself those 12 hours to accept. After that, get some sleep, take care of yourself, and start again.


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