Let’s start off with a heart opening song today.
Disappointment is certain in this life. It has been my Achilles heel since childhood. Today, I’m going to blog about my struggle with this D-word.
I learned very early from adults to expect disappointment. I’ll get into the details in my upcoming book. Maybe I’m the only one, but every time an adult made a promise and broke it repeatedly, my immature pattern of coping was to erect a wall, slip inward and render the person dead who disappointed me. I remember thinking, “They’re dead to me!”
That statement resulted in me giving them the cold shoulder as if they did not exist! Some actions I took were completely ignoring them, passing by them and when they spoke I refuse to acknowledge their presence. As I grew up, it became very easy to just cut and go.
For me, this was my strategy to numb the pain that came from disappointment. I rationalized if that person is dead for me mentally, I don’t have to deal with the fact that someone I loved, who should have protected me, didn’t. Does this make sense? Can you relate?
I took that coping mechanism all the way to adulthood. Cutting off folks left and right. But that didn’t stop it from happening. In fact, it kept coming back until one day, “The Voice” said to me? “How long are you going to keep this up? Does everyone who disappoint you automatically get a death sentence? People will disappoint you personally and professionally. You cannot just bury them, they are still alive!”
As much as I was set in my ways. Those words penetrated my walls. I realized I needed a new strategy to process the pain of disappointment.
I’ll share an article that has helped me to get past disappointment and even use a positive approach to confront my troubles.
I’ve used it now in both professional and personal settings. Yesterday, I realized something very profound, that had I continued along the cut & go path, when my own kids disappoint me which they will and yes they do, they would collide with my deadly silent treatment. How horrible would it be for myself & my family, if I rendered my own children dead!
That’s why it’s important to deal with it, in a healthy way. Let’s be clear, I’m in no way suggesting that you open your heart to chronic heartbreakers. So friends here are my five steps to handling and processing intense disappointment.
If you’re facing something today, my prayer goes out to you. Go through each step as soon as it happens, ask the hard questions, and answer them. Open up to “The Voice” in your heart, He will instruct you how to proceed. Realize if you don’t learn the lesson, the test will keep coming back.
Drop me a comment with your own disappointment proof strategies, please like and share if this blog helped you in any way. Don’t forget to check out the article below.
We’re all in this together. Merry Christmas!
How to Cope with Disappointment
By Sophie Henshaw, DPsych
~ 2 min read
Disappointment is an emotion that many of have a difficult time understanding and managing. For instance, when your favorite sports team loses the championship game (as ours did recently in Western Australia), it can be a bitter blow indeed.
With this kind of disappointment — and even more serious ones — I suggest that there are five steps to follow:
1. Manage emotion
2. Don’t take it personally
3. Review expectations
4. Take a big picture perspective
5. Try again — or try another tack
Let’s explore these five steps on how to cope with disappointment below.
1. Manage emotion.
This step would be No. 1 when dealing with any difficult and perhaps unexpected life circumstances. You need to experience your emotional reaction to the event. It’s important to let yourself feel so that you can figure out what the event means to you. Don’t be tempted to make any important decisions at this point or even to take action on your feelings. It may be a few hours or a few days before you reach a calmer state of mind; when you do, only then should you act.
2. Don’t take it personally.
So may of us are all too ready to attribute negative life events to our own personal failings. We say that we deserved it, or attracted it to ourselves or were not “good enough” to have a different outcome. The reality is, life will simply do what it does, whether you are there or not. In this instance, you happened to be present during the event, which actually had nothing to do with you.
When you take something personally, it unnecessarily narrows your point of view and prevents the acquiring of wisdom, which is an ability to see life from a deeper, broader, more meaningful perspective. Instead of making it “all about me,” allow yourself to “not know” by reminding yourself: “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
That way you can be available to a real understanding of an event when it arises and not one you just made up for the sake of expedience. You may eventually discover more about yourself and life but not within the time limits you set. Remember just to wait. When it comes to insight, impatience is not your friend.
3. Review expectations.
When you take a good look at your expectations, you will be getting closer to a true understanding of the event. Perhaps your expectations were unrealistic. Perhaps they could be adjusted a little to cope with this new reality. Either way, now is the time to question whether these expectations actually serve you.
4. Take a big picture perspective.
The ability to self-reflect is the essence of good mental health. Take some time to explore what is happening for you around this event – what it means to you and what it has taught you about life. Talking to a therapist, someone who really listens and has your best interests at heart, is useful. It can help you recover, reevaluate, gain insight and clarity that will surprise you and make you feel better.
5. Try again or try another tack.
Having followed these steps, it’s now time to make an important decision about what to do next and how to take action. If you genuinely think it’s possible to succeed by trying again, then by all means have a go. Alternatively, the wisest course of action might be to try another tack. With greater powers of self-reflection, a deeper understanding and newfound resources in dealing effectively with disappointment, you are now more likely to experience success.