Disappointments are unavoidable in life. Better to prepare for it.
The first step of the professional disappointment ladder is classic, impersonal: like a negative response to a grant application.
The second disappointment degree is more intense as you suspect (rightly or wrongly) dishonesty or malice under the final choice.
The third degree is when your proposal is refused by people or artists you know and respect, and who also know you. That hurts!
The fourth level is when you learn through the media that the super-high-profile project organized by colleagues who never returned your calls /emails, will go forward … without you. Here, the long silence prepares the final shock.
The 4th degree, as described, has happened early in my budding career. Its impact was devastating. Doubt entered my life as an artist. I never found the same confidence in my art, my abilities since then. I became invisible in my peers’ eye.
It took decades and a new generation of artists/creators to get rid of my impostor syndrome. Drawing this comic, baring my soul was most difficult.
My suggestions to manage your professional disappointment:
DO NOT respond or react before 24 hours have passed.
DO NOT name the organisation or express anger in public, nor share your bad experience and victim status on socia media. Accusing the agency of discrimination adds new problems: those feelling targeted will deny it anyway (not to mention the high trollin potential as soon as you mention the thing). And if the choice has been fair and perfectly innocent, you harm the organisation.
DO: all romping in private that feels good. Physical exercise, running, gardening, climbing up the curtains … help to evacuate the excess of energy. Afterwards, relax, read a good novel, savor chocolate or ice cream.
AND : work on the next project!
I found a constructive way to manage my disappointment this week: scripting this comic. The next day, instead of moping, I wrote two new complete science fiction short-stories (quite short). One was written in 20 minutes, edited, then sent as a submission in the next half hour.
Opening myself for a potential disappointment…