Pick yourself up and move forward
Failure sucks. It stings our ego and makes us doubt our abilities regardless of our past achievements. It makes us feel at best like we've a hard road ahead and at worst like we can't do anything better and need to get out right now.
Remember this because it's important. Everyone fails.
Everyone fails more times than they succeed. Knowing this makes it no less easy to manage but it is a truth. What we do with this failure is what matters. It is not an ending but a beginning; an opportunity to learn and prepare yourself to take steps towards your next great success.
A Cruel Mistress
It's hard not feel embittered and ready to point the finger, diverting the 'blame attention' away from yourself. Giving in to bitter feelings and resentment cannot help you learn and move forward. Let them go.
Remember the value which you bring to the table.
Let's say a proposal missed the mark. This doesn't mean your proposals are never right. You're professional and know your area of expertise. Hold on to that. Find out what didn't work this time by asking for feedback. It can be tricky but is worthwhile doing if you're ready to ask in the right way.
Try this: "Thanks for reviewing the proposal. Although we're not working together this time, I'd like to learn what didn't work for you so that I might improve my proposals in the future."
Think About Someone Else
You want me to think about someone else. Right now? But I am the one who failed! But are you though?
I am not saying that you should point the finger and find all the reasons that it wasn't on you that failure happened this time. You should, however, consider the other person in the context of this challenging scenario.
You didn't get hired this time. Why not? Were you too expensive compared to the competition? Did you demonstrate the relevant experience? Think about the true value of that which you were offering. If the other party doesn't value the quality of your specific expertise or understand that renting your time comes at a cost, their priorities were never going to align with yours and you could never come out on top.
What I'm trying to say here is that value is one-hundred percent subjective. Yes, you need to go to lengths to educate and sell value when professional services are involved, but what one person perceives as high-value someone else sees as an expense they don't want to incur.
Cave Dwellers Never Thrive
If you've seen animated movie 'The Croods' you'll understand how hiding in a cave, whilst feeling safe for a time, isn't leading you to your goal. The cave is a dead end. Don't dwell in it; get up, get out, and get ready to do better.
Learn from the feedback you've gathered; understand the perspective of the other people in this conversation. You've been confident before and you can be again. You're aware of what it is you can do, what you want to do, and when you can do it. Put yourself in the position where you do these things for the right people who need it and value it.
"Staying true to ourselves no matter what, is key."
Denise Jacobs, Banish Your Inner Critic