You put yourself out there. You put on your best outfit, made your best speech, and really poured your heart out. You did it because you cared, and that was your only prerogative.
But you failed. They didn’t pick you, they picked the other person.
You start to question everything. Maybe if you wore a different outfit they would have picked you. Maybe if you had tweaked your speech or practiced it more. Maybe if you didn’t do that nervous tick you always have. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
You relive the moment over and over again in your head for days. You’re abnormally quiet. You’re not even crying because you’re not upset, necessarily, just disappointed. You’re disappointed you couldn’t show how much of a born leader you are or how much you would have excelled at the job. You couldn’t show that, although you act goofy sometimes, you can still be professional and authoritative when it counts.
Then, comes the worst part. You start picking out the people who did or didn’t vote for you. You think, “I bet they didn’t vote for me”. You get a little sour. It’s all in your head, because you don’t want to be mean but, in the back of your mind, you start putting those people into groups and labelling them “they voted for me” or “they didn’t.” It stings. How could they not see your worth?
Then you have that “ah-ha” moment. What they decide your worth is, doesn’t matter. You’re strong. You’re a born leader. You have a million perfect ideas that will be utilized somewhere else. You can make great strides elsewhere. Make big changes in the lives of others.
Losing an election doesn’t define your worth, it defines your strength. You have to decide to put yourself back out there. To take another risk and make more big leaps. The most successful leaders aren’t the ones that waited on the sidelines for things to work out perfectly for them, and they certainly weren’t the ones that had everything handed to them.
They worked for it. And so will you.