We must accept finite disappointment,
but never lose infinite hope.
Getting the Bear
There is an old saying- yes, I am old and I know a lot of sayings. There is an old saying that says, “Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.” Some days you win, and some days you don’t win. Because life is not always perfect, everyone gets to experience situations that bring feelings of disappointment from time to time. So, it is important that you develop your own personal tool kit of ways to deal with, confront and combat these emotional upsets so that you can move past them and go on to better things.
Suggestions for your basic toolkit:
1. Feel it and acknowledge it. Allow yourself to feel however you feel. When a troublesome event takes place, it is completely normal to feel disappointed and a little let down or deflated. Your feelings are a normal, natural part of you, and a natural part of the process of grief. And, you are entitled to feel disconcerted occasionally. So, take a little time to think about what has made you upset and how you feel about it.
2. DO NOT DWELL! Don’t get stuck here. Refrain from attributing too much importance to the situation that brought you the disappointment. Often people make the mistake of exaggerating the consequences of the event. Don’t blow things way out of proportion relative to the event, or what may come of it.
For example, if you have been passed over for a promotion, you may begin to think, “I’ll never get an opportunity to advance at the office again. I guess my career is over.” Instead, be realistic about the impact of the recent disappointment. Okay, it’s a setback. But it’s just one hitch. You will have other opportunities to recover and shine.
3. Check in with Yourself. Revisit your goals. What is your ideal or optimally visualized outcome? What are you seeking in life? Where are you going? Have you established both personal and professional goals that stimulate, motivate, and excite you? Now that you have allowed yourself the time to sort through your feelings of disillusionment, it is time get up and shift gears, and figure out what’s next.
Spend some quality time reviewing your personal and professional goals and renewing your efforts to achieve them. Don’t be surprised if your goals have changed since the last time you thought about them. This is all part of your growth process. For me, the goals that I have now are a little different than those I had 20 or 30 years ago. Reassess.
4. Dream Big! Construct a dream board or a vision board. Are you working on getting some clarity in what you want in life? Making a dream board will help you do exactly that. Also known as personal collages, a dream board can include pictures, drawings, and sayings about everything in life that you are seeking.
5. Narrow the field. Pick 1 or 2 goals, and focus on those. Everyone has a long list of things they’d like to do. Choose at least one personal and one professional goal to focus on for the next month. Keep that goal in your thoughts each day by placing it in your calendar, a note in your car or a sign on your mirror. Like a laser beam, concentrate your efforts on one or two goals at a time. This way, you will leave your feelings of disappointment behind all the sooner, and begin to replace them with more positive feelings and actions. You will also be able to focus on and commit to achieving a result that is very important to you.
6. Open your mind. Recognize that life offers you all kinds of possibilities and opportunities. Actually, there are probably plenty of ways to expand your horizons at your place of work and in your field. Avoid letting a single disappointing occurrence or setback become a constant and continual source of nagging negativity. Look around yourself at all of the opportunities you have now. Realize that more will be coming along every single day.
7. Press on. Onward and upward…to infinity. Sorry, couldn’t resist. When you are moving forward in life, you are less affected by the occasional setback or disappointment. Consider your disappointment a thing of the past and vow to yourself that you will leave “this thing” behind you and move on. Make a short list of what you will do over the next few days to achieve the goals you have selected to focus on. And actually do them!
These are just a few of the many available strategies you can use to help get past the disappointing times in your life. By making the time to make a vision or dream board, focusing on just 1 or 2 goals, and moving on with your life, you will give yourself permission to leave your disappointment behind and embrace renewed faith in your almost-perfect life! When you allow yourself to own your feelings, avoid placing too much emphasis on an upsetting event by getting stuck there, and review your life goals, you are well on your way to better and brighter days.
What’s in your toolkit?