Dealing with disappointment.
Everybody faces disappointment at some point in their lives some more often than others, but we all have to deal with it. Now disappointments come in all shapes and sizes, you could be disappointed because you didn’t win the lottery again this week, a small disappointment that you expected and will get over in a second, the entire process of acceptance is rushed through in a split second and all is well again. With bigger disappointments, however, most people need a little time to process them and give them a place in their lives in order to be able to move on from them. This is often harder than you might at first think it is going to be. When you are disappointed in a big way, for example, you have been promised a big promotion at work and you have been working towards that promotion for years and it has been within reach for so long, all you had to do was wait until the old guy finally retired or kicked the bucket, I mean imagine that’s how bad you wanted this promotion and then when the old guy finally retires the company instead of promoting you as promised hires an outside hire and you remain in your position as before.
This kind of disappointments leads to many emotional responses, the first one usually being anger, followed by disbelief and a whole range of emotions. What can you do with all these emotions? Should you let it all out on your boss or new colleague, take it home with you and unleash on your spouse or kids? No of course not but you should certainly not bottle it up. Find a healthy release for your anger, go kickboxing or take your friends out for an airsoft match or find another release to give your emotions a healthy outlet. Of course, you can cry and feel helpless or betrayed, etc but important is that you have a release for these emotions that is positive and will benefit you in the long run, in this way you will turn a negative into a positive. After you have let your emotions out it is time to adjust your mindset. Take a moment or longer if needed to put your problem into perspective and if possible get input from a trusted friend or family member but ideally somebody that isn’t as close to you personally but is able to view the situation objectively, someone like a coach or a mentor, a pastor a teacher, etc.
Putting your disappointment into perspective will most times give you the realization that it is not the end of the world and with the added perspective of your coach or other trusted individual you soon see that there are other options there for you that perhaps are even a better match for yourself. If this is not the case and even with your own perspective and that of another there seem to be no positive side to this disappointment you will be able to put it at the top of the list of things you want to work towards never happening again and take steps in your personal life where you have perhaps dropped the ball a bit or could have done things differently and work on yourself and create a better version of yourself from the disappointment and again turning that negative into a positive thing for you in the long run.
When you have let it all out and taken the time to rationally put your disappointment into perspective it is important that you take a moment and be grateful. Be grateful? Why? Why on earth would you be grateful when you have just had to deal with the worst disappointment in your life? Why would you even think about being grateful? Let me tell you why being grateful will give you a positive feeling, gratefulness is a positive emotion and when you start to put things into perspective you would have seen that there is a lot in your life that you can be grateful for. You have your health, your family, your job, your car, your friends, etc, etc, and when you think of all those that are so far worse off than you, those that have no jobs at all, those that get by on pennies with benefits, those in war zones etc etc etc. When you do this does it not only justifiably minimize your problem and disappointment it makes you feel good for all the things that you do have, and it will work towards adjusting your mindset.
Now when you have gone through all that it is also okay to take a moment to reflect on yourself and nurse your wound. Take a day or two, treat yourself to ice cream, do whatever it is that makes you feel better (within healthy limits) and take some time to heal. Taking the time to heal and to reflect on what you can learn from the situation are very important steps and should not be taken lightly. You must be healed and ready to face a similar situation again before you move on.
Expectations might have to be adjusted. After you have reflected, healed and put things in perspective it could be the case that you need to adjust your expectations. Maybe you come to the conclusion that you were just not prepared enough and if you don’t make a change you will need to get used to the idea of remaining where you are.
So, adjust your expectation or improve yourself. Keep a positive outlook. All this moving forward and adjusting of mindset can be daunting in its own right and create and add a secondary strain of fear of failure to the mix. When this happens and all throughout it is important to keep a positive outlook and frame of mind. Your mindset must remain focused on a positive future outcome of a similar or identical situation. So, whatever you do keep your eyes fixed on the silver lining and if there isn’t create one by turning a negative into a positive as we have done before in this article.
When you are moving forward and have made your mind up to not look back anymore it is time to take a break before you take action again. Relax and do somethings you have always love doing or always wanted to do. Do something that will free your spirit. For some, it is something crazy and for others, it is as simple as spending time with family and friends with a cuppa. While you are having this great time there is a very large chance you won’t have forgotten about your predicament completely and now completely fresh and focused it is time to hatch, create, shape and form a new master plan. Your new plan might take you in a different direction than you expected so it is important to be open to new opportunities. A plan that was going one way is easily derailed and taken in a completely other direction. Your plan might have been to become a manager at your own company but opportunities outside of your company are suddenly becoming a possibility as well. I mean hey they didn’t value you enough so why not right? New opportunities are great, and they renew your vitality and freshen your mind. When you see opportunities and when you are able to take advantage of them of at least see the possibilities it will inspire you. Don’t be afraid to dream and get inspired over something completely out of your comfort zone, it will leave a positive footprint behind and it will act as an anchor to remain inspired in the future when you are inevitably going to face disappointment again. Facing future disappointments. When you are faced with misery again remember how you handled it before and go to your anchor of a positive outcome to remind you of the path you have to take. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t lose hope and stay focused are very important. Don’t only listen to the advice of people to close to your situation but gain outside perspective again and if necessary, go through all the steps again.
Life will keep throwing up curveballs and great big boulders in your direction, but it is our tasks to where possible turn the negatives into future positives and rely on coaches and mentors to guide us when we lose way a bit ourselves. Never be afraid of a disappointment always try and if you are stuck remember that change begins with JUST A WEE CHAT.