Over low ratings at work. Over not losing as much weight as you expected. Over a delay in being blessed with a baby. Over not getting that project you were aiming for. Over not being able following your passion.
Over opportunities lost. Over relationships failed. Over friends who cheated. For letting someone down. For doing less that you think you should!
Crippling, Debilitating, Saddening, frustrating, disempowering…. Disappointment!
Disappointment is an emotion that we have had to deal with since a young age, both with others and with ourselves! Some are big disappointments, where the stakes are high and some are small ones with the feeling of being let down. No matter how big or small the feeling of disappointment, it can take a lot out of you.
Are you living in disappointment over something for longer than you should? If yes, just think of its implications on your wellbeing! Maybe it’s time you did something about it!
So what do people usually do when they get disappointed? I have seen people react to disappointment in different ways
1) Get obsessed with it: In this case, the person can think of no other task or area. they continue to obsess and think about why things did not work and spend all their mental and physical resources to make it happen. Sometimes, this is the right way to deal with the situation because you may see some results. But most often it is like fighting against the tide, especially if what you are disappointed with what is not in your control! e.g.: In relationships where one person is abusive, the partner tries to make it work despite facing intense abuse, sometimes for years, hoping that the other will change his/her behavior some day!
2) Give up: This is another extreme reaction where the person just gives up thinking that they will never see a result and stop putting any efforts towards it. It is sad to see, people give up too seen, only because they couldn’t see the possibilities and don’t have the patience to wait for it! Everything takes time! You cannot plant a seed and expect it to sprout and turn into a tree in a few days! e.g. Many individuals change jobs frequently because they cannot deal with short-term failure, losing out on the benefits of long-term gains that a stable career brings with it!
3) Get Perspective: This is possibly the best way to deal with disappointment as it helps you take informed decisions rather than react to the feeling itself. Talking to someone who is unbiased and has no stakes in the pie helps. They will probably enable you to see possibilities that you cannot see yourself. e.g. Meeting someone from HR, speaking to a mentor, getting counseling from a professional or taking to friends can help you see your situation through the better lenses.
It important to understand what disappointment actually is. It is a message that something important to you is not working as per your expectations and that you need to do something about it.
They are 3 ways of truly channelizing this feeling it in a positive way. Instead of feeling frustrated, angry or disempowered, try doing these…
1) Review your expectations: On the first signs of disappointment, check if your expectations are fair. Are you expecting your partner to completely change their lifestyle and habits? Are you expecting your children to get perfect scores? Are you expecting your new team member to perform in his first month at work? If you feel that you are being unfair, expecting too much or too soon, correct your expectations and this will help you make the right choices.
2) Check if the situation is in your control: Is what you are expecting in the hands of god, government, luck, law or other people? If so, you can do very little to influence the situation. Do what you can and understand that some things take time and luck. If you feel disappointed over things out of your control, then you will constantly live in frustration. Channelize your energy to areas that are working for you and that will keep you afloat!
3) Are you making a mountain of a molehill? Sometimes we just get disappointed at small things that really have no long-term impact on our lives. Getting disappointed over instances like your boss not appreciating everything you do! Maybe he way just busy, big deal! We need to understand that not everything will always go our way and become sensible to avoid feeling disappointed during such times!
Feel disappointment… but don’t live it!
Get perspective, have patience and do what you can about it!
Principal Facilitator- Tasmaiforlife
(C) Seema Shenoy, Life & Success Coach, Bangalore, India