So, That Didn’t Go Well

What’s On My Mind

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.

What’s Sort Of Cool

Our podcast partner created a super easy link to share our podcast with others.


I still can’t believe that URL was available. So fun.

Now you can be talking to someone and verbally share that link with them.

​They type it into their browser and boom, they can subscribe to whatever platform they get their podcasts on.


What We Just Created

Ever had a Hint beverage?
​Kara Goldin, their founder and CEO was on the podcast this week!

​And, guess what we talked about in one episode?

CLICK HERE for her take on overcoming doubts and doubters.

It’s amazing that Kara started a huge global company in her garage.

​She’s so damn impressive.

What’s Worth Lingering On

I’ll never forget chatting with one of our clients, a top leader at a top worldwide management consulting firm.

​Love this guy and how he thinks.

​He’s a huge fan of our work and was sponsoring a couple training and coaching cohorts in his region.

​As we prepped, he shared with me that he had just gotten some assessment results that showed he was 99th percentile in something I’d roughly describe as a “get back up on the horse” behavior.

​He shared he feels the emotional pain of a setback very strongly.

​But after he feels that pain for a minute or two, he’s done with it.

​I think that’s a big reason he’s so successful. He spend a huge amount of time making progress and very little feeling doubt.

​I think this is a critical skill of rainmakers.

​They feel the pain.

​They feel the doubt.

​They feel out of control.

​It’s real.

But they only feel it for a moment.

​And then, they get going again.

What have you been scapegoating?

Where do you have a little more control than you thought?

What can you do to get going again?

​One thing’s for sure.

​Doing Devours Doubt.


Scroll to Top