Disappointment Happens. Now Let's Deal!
Picture it. A Friday afternoon after a long work week. You are anxious to get home for some much needed rest and relaxation. The only chores on your “to do” list are a hot bath and a good book. It’s going to be a lovely evening.
As you sit in traffic, trying to drown out the sound of honking horns in gridlock traffic with the jazzy tunes flowing through your speakers, you keep telling yourself, “I’ll be home in no time. Relaxation is waiting for me.”
And then it happens… As soon as you open the door you are assaulted by a tear-provoking odor. At first you are confused, wondering what died. And then you realize what happened.
Yep! That’s right. You forgot to take out the trash this morning. And on a day where the temperatures ranged between 99 degrees and hot lava.
You quickly grab the trash and take it out of the house. And then you start lighting candles to help counter the smell, knowing that you won’t be able to relax in your bath with funk wafting through the air.
As you get ready to run your bath water, you discover that your hot water heater seems to be malfunctioning because the water is tepid at best. You want that hot bath so bad you consider reverting to that time when you were a kid where a hot bath meant boiling batches of water to pour into the tub. But you just don’t have the energy.
You settle on cozying up with your book only to discover you must have left it at work in your haste to get home. And now you’re hungry…and there’s no food in the fridge that can be easily prepared.
Overcome by the disappointment and frustration you feel because nothing went as you hoped, you plop yourself down on the couch and pout, wishing your life wasn’t so stinkin’ difficult.
Here’s the thing… From plans that don’t work out to relationships that end sooner than we’re ready to let go, Disappointment has a way of showing up and upending everything good, leaving us feeling like life just is NOT as amazing as it truly is.
And yes, it’s easy enough to wallow in a sea of Disappointment. I mean, there ARE all those OLD, TIRED stories in the back of our mind, just waiting to shine a light on the “truth”… You just are not meant to get ahead, have anything good or enjoy life in general.
Fortunately, you have a choice in it all. You can decide to hang with that old narrative. OR, you can decide to turn things around, understanding that one moment in time does NOT define your purpose or promise in this life. It IS just a moment in time. An opportunity to learn and grow.
So, the next time Disappointment shows up on a Friday afternoon when you are ready to Netflix and Chill or on a Tuesday when you find out you didn’t get that 2nd interview for your dream job, take a step back and think about the following…
Please, just let me pout! We all know disappointment sucks! And because of the ick that comes along with that we often try to “hurry up and feel better” so this moment can quickly become a thing of the past. But, the best way to deal with a (seemingly) big (or small) disappointment is to acknowledge the fact that you have indeed experienced a disappointment that has triggered feelings of sadness, frustration, angst, etc. and then ALLOW yourself to pout, cry, sulk, etc for a bit (not forever, just a period).
Let’s think about this for a second. While it is not always easy to do in the moment, it is important to take some time to think about what you learned from this disappointment. Maybe you are now aware of what you need to do in the next interview to land at the top. Maybe that breakup allowed you to see that you don’t always expect the best FOR yourself in relationships. Maybe you learned that it’s best for you to set a reminder on your phone to take out the trash before work on Friday mornings. Taking time to find a positive lesson in disappointing situations helps lessen the sting as we move forward.
Tell YOU somethin’ good! The natural inclination, after experiencing a disappointment, is to make a decision to do everything possible to NOT experience that feeling again. So, we decide we’ll stick with the same old job, never date again and never make plans to relax on a Friday evening. But the reality is that tough situations come up for us all but we have to remember that we are worthy of experiencing great things and that if this particular thing did not work out as expected, there is a lesson in it all and something better on the horizon. So, as you prepare for all the opportunities ahead, create a list of affirmations that you can say to yourself before, during and after the process that will serve as reminders that, no matter what happens, you will continue to be an amazing person.
Who are you talking to? When facing a really tough disappointment, one great way to move through it is to confide in someone close to you what is going on and what you are feeling behind it all. This is not always easy, but it IS always important. A trusted confidant can not only offer a shoulder to cry on but also an objective voice that may help you understand the lessons in the situation.
When it is all said and done, disappointment is something that, if we had a choice, we would avoid at all costs. But, since that is not an option, it is important to remember our human-ness amid disappointment and take the steps necessary to ensure we move forward with a sense of understanding and ease.
Need help figuring out how to manage disappointment? Connect with me. I would love to support you on your journey!