Dealing With Disappointment
Everybody hates to be disappointed.
We can feel disappointment for many reasons. We can be disappointed in ourselves. We might be disappointment in how a circumstance played out. Or we might be disappointed in another person.
Google defines disappointment as, “the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”
If we use The Model* as a lens to look at Google’s definition of disappointment, we know that disappointment is a feeling, as the definition states. As the model teaches us, we have to have a thought before we can have a feeling. Our thought is about a circumstance that we think did not play out the way we wanted it to. As Brooke Castillo says, “a circumstance isn’t a problem until you have a thought about it.”
So, before we can feel disappointment, we have to have a thought about our expectations not being fulfilled.
Through this perspective, we cause ourselves to feel the disappointment. Meaning we have control over whether we feel this feeling or not.
When we feel disappointment, we are hinging our hopes on things that are out of our control and most of the time it is to our detriment.
As defined above, disappointment is sadness or displeasure, which can turn into a vicious cycle of self-loathing and frustration. As many can attest, once this cycle starts it is hard to put the brakes on and start spinning the other, more positive way.
The feeling of disappointment is a yucky feeling that tends to feel like a wet blanket on us. And when our feeling of sadness or displeasure is “caused” by someone else it can feel frustrating and we are at a loss.
However, in reality we are the ones causing these hard feelings, because we are the ones having the negative thought that results in sadness or displeasure.
So, when all is said and done it doesn’t matter whether you or someone else caused you to feel disappointment, because the reality is that you are the only one that can be responsible for your feelings.
You have a thought, that causes a feeling…then you have an action, which affects your results.
We deal with disappointment every day.
We hope something is going to happen and it doesn’t. I dealt with disappointment just this last week.
I had an expected outcome and my hopes were unfulfilled. I was putting on a workshop and no one showed.
When I was not keeping up with my mental cleaning, I would have made the reason for the poor showing about me. I am not a good enough coach. Nobody cares what I have to say. People don’t like me. I am a terrible human, etc., etc.
But instead of feeling sadness or displeasure, and spinning this story into this crazy self-loathing event, I asked myself why it was a good thing I didn’t get my desired outcome. My brain got right to work for me. I thought: it gives me more time to practice my presentation, I can add more content, I can start practicing in front of the video camera.
By shifting my thoughts, I was able to skip the self-loathing period and move the hell on.
We cannot control our circumstances to outrun disappointment. But we can control our thoughts, which will then tailor our feelings to become more constructive and more positive rather than self-deprecating or negative.
Much love, my friends.