It’s not always about how well you do, rather how well you respond to how well you do.

I was getting roasted in front of my whole Sales team. Been there? It ain’t fun! My blood pressure was rising. I started to feel hot. I could swear the room was getting smaller and smaller.

Ultimately, I felt embarrassed. And I sure don’t like feeling embarrassed. Who does? In our recent Sales meeting we were doing some role-playing. I was asked to pitch a new product to our customer as a compelling reason why they should do business with us. No problem right?!?! I thought so too. His first objection had some sort of miraculous power to wipe my brain clean. Emptiness (How did he do that?). No thoughts were coming. “Come on Wells, no biggie, get it together and keep going,” I told myself. I couldn’t. It felt like I’d just been hit smack dab in the nose. I started bumbling. I was scrambling hard, but to no avail.

At the end of the exercise feedback was asked to be given by the rest of the team. So, “How’d Wells do?,” our fearless leader asked. I think it was rhetorical, but the team didn’t take it that way. I’ll allow you to use your imagination as to where it went from there.

Here are some lessons I’ve taken away from this humbling experience.

  1. We Mustn’t Take Things Personally

    This is my natural tendency. But it’s a huge mistake. Doing this doesn’t allow us to accept the feedback, takes us longer to get past the experience, and robs us of the great opportunity to focus on growing. Plus, most of the time it’s not personal.

  2. Emotional Intelligence is Key

    Growing up when things didn’t go my way I would lash out. Verbally and physically. It’s something that I still struggle with today. But I’ve been working on it. I’m pumped that I was able to show some emotional intelligence. Instead of lashing out I was able to keep my emotions in check. And looking back, it feels so great recognizing this growth. Huge positive to take away from the experience!

  3. Failure Vs. Opportunity

    Did I succeed in this task? Well, it depends on your perspective. I sure don’t look at it as a failure. It was an experience that will no doubt be invaluable to my growth and development as a man. Instead of wallowing in the setback, I’m able to recognize that true growth only comes from difficulty and challenge. I grew today and that is something I can celebrate!

  4. Get Bitter or Get Better

    This goes along with taking things personally. Getting mad would be useless and only further inhibit growth. Instead, I choose to focus on maintaining a growth mindset. I’ll use this experience as motivation to work harder. I’ll choose to use this setback to propel me toward success. As former British prime minister Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” I choose to maintain an enthusiastic, positive outlook.

There’s so much power in our beliefs. This experience in no way, shape or form defines me. I could let it. But because it’s up to us to choose how we are going to view things, I’ll use this as motivation to work harder. This experience taught me a lot. I’m thankful God has allowed me to view it in the right light. I guess this experience wasn’t so bad after all.

“If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”
(Proverbs 15:31-31)

Keep the faith,