Perseverance: A life lesson learned young

Oct. 2, 2017  |  Stephanie Schmidt

My daughter is a natural athlete. When she decided to try out for travel basketball last year (having never played a day of organized basketball in her life), we were thrilled when she not only made it, but got on the “A team” nonetheless.

It was a season of meeting new people, making new friends and learning about the game. She loved it! During the offseason, she went to camps, programs and even had a one-on-one coaching session.

Fast forward to last week. Tryouts had come and gone, so we were just playing the waiting game. While certainly not a shoo-in, she felt confident that she tried hard and played well.

Imagine her disappointment when she found out she was the only one of ten who didn’t make the “A team” this year. CRUSHED!

With empathy being one of my top five strengths, I wanted to cry along with her. But I knew, as a parent, this was a teaching moment.

Throughout our lives, we all face disappointment. We interview for a job or try for a promotion and don’t get it. Maybe someone else gets assigned a project we really wanted. Or we work tirelessly to gain a client and they decide to take their business elsewhere. CRUSHED!

What I told my daughter applies to disappointment throughout any stage of life.

  1. Throw yourself a pity party. It stinks and it’s OK to feel like you got a bum deal. But then you must move on.
  2. Stop playing the blame game. Wasting energy being mad at your boss or coach, your colleague or teammate, your client or (most importantly) yourself doesn’t get you anywhere.
  3. Learn from the situation. Consider what you’ll do different next time. Practice more, prepare differently, seek help from others, etc.
  4. Look ahead. Set a new goal and use what you learned to determine how you’re going to achieve it
  5. Persevere. Keep trying and growing and come back stronger than ever. CRUSH IT!

Disappointment is inevitable in both your career and personal life. It’s how you move on from it that defines who you are. I’m going to do my best to show my daughter how to turn disappointment into opportunity.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” - Anonymous

Topics: Personal development

Stephanie Schmidt

Stephanie Schmidt is the MNCPA’s director of membership and marketing. For more than 10 years, she has expertly managed numerous member programs and events. Her skillset comes in handy when also planning sleepovers and birthday parties for her family. Stephanie has also earned the MNCPA’s unofficial title of office fashionista. Step into her office and you’ll see her knack for fashion, design and décor. She’s also a hugger, which you’ll appreciate if you’re ever trapped in a scary escape room with her. Stephanie can be reached at 952-885-5523 or

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