The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place… and I don´t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That´s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you worth, go out and get what you worth. But, you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying: You ain´t what you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain´t you! You´re better than that. – Rocky Balboa
Yes, I realize that Rocky is a fictional character, but I still love the quote. I think every boy and girl in America should have to memorize it. It 100% encompasses who we are as Americans.
When I feel betrayed by someone, I try to think about how Jesus must have felt when he was betrayed by Judas. I mean, if Jesus could be betrayed by someone, then we all must be susceptible to it. Jesus did nothing but love people, heal people, and give people grace and hope. Yet, he still experienced betrayal.
Betrayal, bad news, people that are angry at you, setbacks, etc. are just part of life. They happen to everyone. But, great leaders don’t quit when they face it. They keep going. Nobody can keep you down unless you let them.
If you are in a leadership position, there will be people that want to bring you down. That’s a fact. If you can’t deal with that, you should not try to lead. It comes with the job.
Jesus preached love, understanding, and healing. He fed the hungry, loved the scorned, and listened to the outcasts. He hurt nobody. In exchange, he was beaten and nailed to a cross. And, he knew this was part of the deal.
I have personally fallen victim to this on multiple occasions. I have had people in my life that either betrayed me or tried to sabotage my mission, for various reasons. I’ll admit, I haven’t handled it very well, and I don’t even like thinking about it. Not only does it bring back painful memories, it is also a bit embarrassing because I know I could have handled it much better. However, I am glad that I have been through this because the learning experience is invaluable. Going forward, the worst thing I can do is not learn from it and improve myself as a leader.
Here’s my take on handling a situation where someone ruins your plans:
- Acknowledge what happened. Look, it happened. Let the reality sink in and allow it to become part of your reality. Stick in the world of truth and don’t try to see it from a different light. It is what it is.
- Don’t suppress your feelings, but don’t act on them. You are going to feel anger, sadness, and sometimes even vengeance. Don’t let those feelings be suppressed. They will fester and get worse. Feel them and let them pass. Talk to someone you trust and vent out loud if you need to. But, don’t act on them. That’s important.
- Admit to your part in it. Yes, it happened and someone tried to injure you. Now, focus on what you could have done differently. Don’t beat yourself up, but make sure you take an honest look in the mirror and admit your part in it, even if minor. This will help you grow and become a more effective leader in the future.
- Erase the imprint. Betrayal or an attack of some sort can leave us wounded/branded. Erase it. Meditate if you have to. The sooner you get past the wound, the quicker you can move on. The effect that the situation has on your future is in your control. Stay out of the mindset that you’re a victim. That’s very dangerous ground.
- Forgive. Do not let this person stay with you. Let their plan be a one-trick act. The sooner you forgive and let go, the better you can move on and get things back on track.
- Don’t let that person destroy your drive. Do not let this one event, which is part of being a leader, destroy your faith in the mission or the great people that still surround you. Move on and accept it as part of the journey. Show resilience, forgiveness, and determination. That’s what great leaders do.
- Get moving
Don’t skip steps. Be honest. If you’re not honest and true, it’s to your own detriment.
The words were barely out of his mouth when Judas (the one from the Twelve) showed up, and with him a gang from the high priests and religious leaders brandishing swords and clubs. The betrayer had worked out a sign with them: “The one I kiss, that’s the one—seize him.” He went straight to Jesus, greeted him, “How are you, Rabbi?” and kissed him. Matthew 26:47-49
Even when he was betrayed by Judas, Jesus did not fail, nor do I see any evidence whatsoever that he dwelled on it or allowed it to bother him emotionally. He foresaw what Judas was to do, and he forgave him for it in advance and went on loving him anyway.
When all the forces of evil piled up against him, Jesus did not fail. He was able to take the hit and keep on going. He wasn’t going to let anyone ruin his plans.