You know when you’ve been waiting for ages for something to happen, something that you have no control over but that something could change your year if it happens in a positive way? Well we had been waiting to hear about 2 major grants that we had applied for, one for €350,000 and one that would have given us an extra €6000 bonus if the project was successful. Well we heard about both in the space of 2 days.
Now it wasn’t that both were a complete failure, one was the other wasn’t, not totally, we did get something to work with , and something that we can hopefully turn into more so that we can bring the project to fruition. It’s always the same when you are applying for grants, it seems that the grant is the only way, you need, obviously partners and supporters, people who can help you with portions of the amounts you are looking for but the grant is the main thing, the thing that gets you over the line.
You invest so much time, so much effort, so many resources into developing the project, scoping it out, contacting the partners and people who can help, you get really excited by it, you see the scope and the impact of what you are trying to do, BUT…. you don’t have the final say, or at least you don’t perceive that you have the final say over whether that project gets the resources it needs to be a success and then to determine is a scaled down version of the same project really has the same impact and if you have the same enthusiasm for it. So when you get that notification that you didn’t get the amount you want, what do you do then? Do you give-up, continue as if nothing happened, walk away or say f*** it I’m going to do it anyhow without really thinking about the consequences. This feeling is horrible, you feel angry, annoyed, frustrated, emotional, irrational and totally devastated. You read the report that comes back and you totally disagree with all of the comments on it, you blame the person who wrote the proposal even though you know from the feedback you had that the project was written well but there it is, you’ve got less than 30% of what you asked for, so what the f*** do you do now?
The simple answer is nothing, nothing at all. At least for the next 24 hours live with it, feel it, absorb it, don’t do anything rashly, just sit with it. Sometimes it is good to do things when you are in a totally emotional state but deciding what to do with other peoples money in the same way isn’t one of those occasions So no, just sit with it, put the letter in a drawer and leave it there for 24 hours, then bring it out and ideate your options, your ideas.
So it’s not really the fear of failure that I’ve been talking about, no more the fear of what it i’m not successful. How many times does this stop you doing something and how many times do you react in such a way when you get that rejection letter? I know I have a stack of them and I hated them all, up to certainly point. A friend of ours keeps all of his in a file and brings them our periodically and reads them, a great way to face failure is to face its reality. The reality is that failure makes you stronger, taking time to think about, digest your options makes you stronger.
And in most cases gives you a better end project. We’re still waiting for the 24 hour period to end so I’ll keep you posted 🙂