“You will find that it is necessary to let things go, simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
– C. Joy C.
Disappointment is one of life’s most unsettling emotions. It can linger in the forefront of our minds and feel like a ghost at the back, leaving us to color our inner thoughts gray.
Here are some things you can do to bounce back after feeling like something or someone let you down.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
Shift From “Why Me?” to “What Next?”
Most likely you’re similar to the rest of us and have a tendency to think “Why me?” whenever something goes wrong. Unfortunately, that way of thinking places you as a victim and leaves you feeling incompetent about dealing with a situation. When you catch yourself going down that mental path, replace it with, “What next?” Doing so puts you in the driver seat and helps you sort out what to do later.
Learn From the Experience
Sure, it’s a cliche, but it’s an important one. When you’re open to learning from an experience, you’ll discover new possibilities. Maybe things aren’t as they originally seemed and the big disappointment is really a tiny molehill. When you’re feeling like no good can come from the situation, ask yourself these questions:
What can I learn from this experience?
What can I learn about myself?
What can I learn about how I establish expectations?
How can I approach things differently in the future?
In the moment of crushing defeat, it may seem laughable to be grateful. Nonetheless, there is something within those clouds to appreciate. Maybe your daughter needs surgery; it could have been worse. Perhaps you didn’t get the role you wanted; now you have more time for your friends. Acknowledge this out loud and eventually your head and heart will catch up.
Chances are good that all of your disappointments somehow relate to people. In other words, humans. And as humans, we all make mistakes. No one has nailed that whole perfection thing (yet). So accept it. Your friends, family and acquaintances will do things to let you down. You’ll do things to let them down. Just go with the flow and look for ways to improve rather than perfect.
No matter where you’re at or what you’re going through, remember that it ain’t over till it’s over. Try just one more thing; it may be the key.