I received disappointing news last week. Since all my writing is inspired by my personal journey, I took this as an opportunity to coach myself on how to deal with disappointment. This post is as much for me as it is for you. And if you think I’ve left anything out, please let me know in the comments.
So anyway, yeah, I was disappointed. I had an exciting opportunity in the works. For over two months I struggled between being realistic and optimistic; not getting my hopes up and visualizing my desired outcome in order to help manifest it. In the end I decided to believe the opportunity was mine. I daydreamed, used words like “when” instead of “if.” I was confident.
Since I believed the opportunity was mine, the disappointment was magnified. It’s not just that I didn’t get something I wanted. I feel as though something was taken away from me.
So how to deal with disappointment? After all I’ve learned I can surely pass this exam. Here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Don’t take it personal
This is one of the Four Agreements in the aptly named book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz that I recently finished reading.
“When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Ruiz
I won’t take personally not being chosen for this opportunity. There are countless reasons why I may not have been selected in the end and many of them may have nothing to do with me personally. I know this. And if it is something personal, like the sound of my voice for example, it’s still not personal. Because I also know that what others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own preferences, their own dreams. And they are entitled to them. They have no bearing on me.
2. Don’t assign meaning or make assumptions
And in that vein, not being selected doesn’t mean I’m no good or not talented or not likeable. It doesn’t mean I’ll never be successful. I won’t make any assumptions regarding future opportunities based on this one disappointment.
3. Identify the blessings or silver linings
It’s not ideal, but look, I got a crash course on how to deal with disappointment and test all I’ve learned (and my next blog post, to boot). You take the good with the bad. I’m sure there are other blessings here I can’t possibly know. Maybe the opportunity wasn’t meant for me and I would have hated it. Maybe I dodged a bullet?
Regardless, I got really far in the process and garnered a lot of valuable experience.
4. Be grateful
Like I always say, there is always something to be grateful for. I am grateful to no longer be in limbo, waiting for a decision. That turned into a terrible distraction.
I am also grateful that although it feels like I lost something, I didn’t really. I am no worse than I was before this. For that I am grateful.
5. Remain optimistic
I won’t allow life’s disappointments to turn me into a cynical pessimist. I will remain optimistic.
6. Brush yourself off
I admit that after zoning out and feeling sorry for myself for an hour or so, I then ate a really big slice of chocolate cake. But then I did brush myself off! I got my bearings and drafted this blog post to help me process my disappointment.
7. Try, try again
Then I identified next steps and immediately tossed my hat back in the ring.
One dropped ball won’t have me swearing off the game of catch. I’ve caught (and dropped) many balls in my life. There will be more balls. And I’ll drop some.
But I have a feeling I’ll catch a really good one soon…
Have anything to add? Let me know in the comments.
Jessica is a certified Integrative Wellness & Life Coach. Click here to contact her for a free consultation.