Posted by: Diane | March 23, 2014

Dealing With Disappointment

I cannot tell a lie. I was really disappointed.

Yesterday was the Toastmaster Division speech contest, I gave my best speech and I came in third.

TM divisional 2014 third place 3

I was really hoping to make it to the next level of competition. World Championships will be in Malaysia this August and despite the fact that I have absolutely no desire to fly to that part of the world, I definitely wanted to compete at that level.

So, I’m disappointed.

I could write about the fact that I did my best, that many people came up to me after the competition and gave wonderfully encouraging feedback, that I touched peoples’ hearts with my speech and that next year will be another opportunity (maybe I just did?) — but to be honest, I’d rather work through this disappointment and move on.

Years ago, when I finished my very competitive gymnastics career, I consciously made the decision that I would not enter another competitive arena for the rest of my life. I had been “competitioned” out and I was more than happy to stay away from any emulous situations.

My involvement in Toastmasters has changed all that.

When I joined my local Toastmasters club two years ago, I had little understanding of what I was getting into — just meeting wonderful people at the club, developing my speaking ability and taking on different leadership roles was challenging enough. However, for the past year, I have slowly moved into the competitive arena and thrived in the challenge of preparing and presenting creative, thought-provoking speeches.

I guess that competitive spirit is still lurking within.

I’m OK with working through the disappointment. A quiet Sunday, a big hug by my husband with a great sense of humor and a loving reminder of God’s hand on every detail of my life should do it.

. . . and I’ll press on.


  1. Oh Diane!!
    You were absolutely wonderful yesterday presenting you speech. You made us laugh, cry, think, feel the hurts and joys, and learn the lessons of empathy, encouragement, and the responsibility of saying the right thing at the right time..especially to impressionable children.
    Thank you for inviting us to be there. We look forward to hearing more of your intuitive and thought-provoking speeches.
    Your enthusiasm and “realness” is what makes you a winner.

    Interesting how the judges judge…are they from a cross-section of previous speakers? Are they an even mix of male and female?

    There were so many wonderful speakers with speeches that touched our hearts and made us challenge our humanity.
    Of the three that I would have chosen, you were the only one who made it.
    To us, YOU were the winner!
    Keep up the wonderful speaking, writing, and blogging.
    We love you!
    Kathy and Larry

    • You’re the best, Kathy! Thanks for your encouraging words! Love you!

  2. You did a great job Diane, your stories are inspiring which draws us in as if we are right there experiencing it all with you. Keep doing what you love; seeing God in every circumstance. Glad we could be there to encourage you on!! Love ya BIG.

    • So happy that you were able to come and watch yesterday. So comforting to see familiar faces in the crowd!

  3. Oh Di, I’m so sorry. I know you pour so much of yourself I to your writing and even though you got compliments after I know it’s disappointing to not win. I hear ya. Thanks for writing about your true feelings and about how you are working through I them. Yet, in the end, your perspective always has a positive spin thank you 🙂

    • Thanks, friend. Life goes on, right? Attitude and perspective are really important in this world!

  4. I know you must be disappointed Diane, but to come in 3rd in this competition is a great accomplishment for sure….Congratulations! Unfortunately, politics play a part in any competition….remember Jamie Sale and David Pelletier when they competed for gold in the Olympics but they were given the silver medal instead of the gold, which they richly deserved. That decision was later overturned and they received their gold medals after it was revealed that the judges had been tampered with. Everyone who knows you Diane, knows that you have special God given gifts with your writing and speaking. Your comment ‘life goes on’ and that attitude and perspective are really the most important attributes in our life. really says it all about your character. xo ‘Mrs. B.’

    • Your kind comments make me tear up, Mrs. B. Thank you so much!

  5. Hi Diane, I won’t reiterate what everyone has already said. I totally say a loud Amen to all the comments for they are true. Defeat is painful, but moving forward afterwards is what is important. I knew that you would process all the details of this competition, and in the end, move on doing more of your inspirational writing and speaking.

    When I first met you, you were sitting on the stairs of the Taylor entrance hall, all decked in your riding gear, after biking I don’t know how many km’s, only to get back on your bike to head back home. I was in awe of you as a person then, and the feeling hasn’t changed. I knew that God had sent you to Chris for His purposes, and I was wishing his mother could see the result of all her prayers for him. She would love you and your standard of excellence in all you do.

    You have had the highs and lows of life, but the important point is that you have learned and grown in faith and character. Guess what? One day you will receive the prize! I want to be there to see it!

    Love Barb

    • Yah, I definitely need to get “back on the bike” and keep riding. I needed today . . . to process and proclaim victory in that I gave my best. Another week starts, God is still on the throne and all is well. Thanks, Barb . . for being there with beautiful, affirming words.

  6. I wish I could have heard your speech. I would have brought my pom poms.

    • …and I would have enjoyed watching your cheerleading talents! 🙂

  7. Hi Diane, although i was not there, I know you did amazingly well, considering you are a TM for just two years.

    I volunteered at our Division B contest as a judge and ballot counter. I was also there to support a member from our club competing. The reason I know you did amazing well to PLACE, is that he has been a highly talented and gifted TM for a decade. It was his THIRD time competing at that level (which is a feat in itself) and had hoped to a LEAST place, as he had not done in the past.

    I am going to my first Toastmasters conference in April. Will you be there?

    Cheers, Zelda (friend of Mai’s)

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