Dealing with Disappointment

As I look at my pink finger and recollect the recent events, I’m tasked with the awesome job of ‘mourning with those who mourn and celebrating with those who celebrate’ as a life coach. I am more concerned about the mourners and as a psychologist I’ve penned this to minimise suicidal thoughts;
“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” ~Unknown

1. Let it out.
One of the hardest things to do in a world where everything is immediate—we are all under external pressure, and time is a scarce resource—is to just let yourself experience a feeling. Even at the most difficulties times, such as grieving, on average we only allow ourselves 1 to 2 weeks off or work, and then we mostly expect to get back into normality again.

Human beings are not very good at allowing the experiencing of emotions in full without trying to speed up the process. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling without any agenda of speeding up the process. Whatever you are feeling is OK. Take some time to just sit with your emotion and experience it without moving to fix or change it. Genuinely experiencing emotions, no matter how painful, is one of the beauties of life.

2. Get some perspective.
After you give yourself space to feel, you’re able to give the situation or individuals involved more room to breathe. Perhaps the person who you feel disappointed by doesn’t even realize they’ve done something to upset you. Giving yourself space to be as you are prepares you to allow the same to other people.

Having a broader perspective than your own view on a particular situation is always helpful. The critical point here is that you have to mean it. Rushing onto gaining perspective before you’ve allowed yourself to be with how you feel will be artificial and will not last.

3. Know your own heart.
Disappointment can ripple through to the core of who you are. If you don’t know what your core values are, you may not have a framework to support you when you experience negative emotions. For example, one of my core values is open-heartedness. I wish to keep an open heart and be ready to share love and kindness with others, irrespective of how they might behave.

I would like to always try to choose to act with love and kindness towards others, rather than with negativity.
When someone disappoints me and I feel like closing and withdrawing, I remember this core value, then pause and make a choice.
Knowing your own heart and your values gives you the freedom of choice. You can choose to be driven by what happens to you, or you can choose to live in line with your principles.

4. Practice acceptance.
As human beings, even though we know that some things are bound to happen, we’re not always willing to accept them. Every time I am disappointed, I feel overwhelmed by my emotions. I’m inclined to withdraw and blame others wanting to wallow in my disappointment. Each time, I have to accept that I will feel these things again. I have to accept that I will continue to be disappointed—that it is a part of life, part of being human. I also have to accept that I will probably continue to struggle to accept this fact, at various points throughout the rest of my life!.


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