02/21/2014 01:53 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2014

When We're Not Happy With the Results

Written by Jan Cloninger

We all have those moments, days or periods in life when we're not happy with what we're experiencing. Perhaps it's in our role as parent, as a professional or in our personal life. It can start with an uneasy feeling, an emergence of uncomfortable feelings or a jolt that makes us think "what just happened?!"

The triggers can vary. Maybe you realize you could have done better in a situation. Maybe someone you thought you could count on disappoints you. Maybe you did everything right, but things didn't turn out like you hoped.

Yesterday, I had a day when a series of events threw my emotional well-being off track. All of it was out of my control; it was an emotional reaction because the results I was experiencing didn't align with what I thought they would be.

Then I watched a bit of the Olympics and I saw athlete after athlete emotionally bounce back after getting less than desired results. You could see that years of training and strong emotional support kicked in to help them quickly process through the experience, let go of the results, take away the lessons that came from their performance and ready themselves for whatever was coming next.

While they were conditioned to win -- to get the results they wanted -- they were also taught that it's about the process of doing your best. They were taught that you have to take risks in order to find out what you can achieve. And that no matter how things turned out there was something to learn -- about your skills, your character or your determination -- that would inform and impact the next experience you face.

Then I wondered, what it would be like if every parent, every person, every child was surrounded by a team of coaches and supporters that conditioned them to show up, do their best, learn from their experience and let go of the results? What if, as a society, we rewarded people for being active in the process of living their best lives versus what those results ultimately look like.

OK, so I could have done better in that situation yesterday. I know that person did what they could and would never intentionally disappoint me. Things shifted yesterday and the results I had expected didn't manifest in the way I had hoped.

It's not about the external results. It's about learning to notice, make sense of and learn from the internal experience that happens as we move through life. Allowing all of our experiences -- both the good and not-so-good, to help us develop our potential, our character and our ability to get back up and do better next time.

I marvel at the athleticism displayed in the Olympics. But I am inspired by the athletes' example of determination, continually challenging themselves, honing their skills and accepting that despite the results, as long as they are moving forward towards their personal best, they are indeed champions in their own lives.

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