Well, I finally got my results for something I was waiting to hear more about and it wasn’t what I had hoped for, which brings me to something I want to talk about – it’s disappointment. I like to think of disappointment as the gateway drug for a lot of other negative emotions. Generally, when we reach disappointment, it is because we had hope or faith in something and then we were let down. For whatever the reason, it just didn’t work out.
Last night, to say that I was feeling disappointment would have been an understatement, but after a lot of thinking, and spinning through some of those stages similar to grief, I made my way back to the really, real world of logical thought and reasoning to work through it all and write about what I learned today.
Here are some of those things:
Disappointment is a lot like losing someone. You will literally try to wrap your head around it like someone died. You will become angry, there will be some amount of denial and isolation needed, you will try to bargain, you might even cry through the depression, and finally you will come to terms with whatever made you disappointed. Just like I explained to my daughter about the recent passing of her uncle, “you may even relive these stages more than once for the same reason and they may not even go in order, but time does heal.”
When you lose faith or hope in someone, something, or even an ideal, you lose a little piece of yourself. You can allow negative feelings and a lot of bad juju into your mind, which creates a lot of unproductive inner-monologuing to take hold in your consciousness. You question your worth, you question your resolve, and you question the fiber of your being. These are things that can be dangerous to your core. It is damaging to think that you are not worth your own accolades, and when you begin down a self destructive path, you begin to only provide yourself with hollow platitudes, which compound the negative spiral.
Don’t believe the inner snarky little bitch that pops up when you are disappointed. I know you all know what I mean by that too. She is the one that reminds you of all the wrong and regrettable things that have occurred in life so far. She tries to tell you that you aren’t good enough or that you suck, but she is just a SLB and even more importantly, a figment of your imagination/learned behavior. Often she pops up for me is when I lose confidence in myself.
It is easy to lose confidence if you have been rejected or disappointed. I know that having a photographic memory can hinder me as much as help me. For example, to keep a perfect record of all the negative things or moments in your life can seem highly unbalanced when you are feeling low. Being able to recall memories like the boy who said you were ugly in 3rd grade or the girl who called you fat in high school is not helpful when your mind floods with them because you are upset. I can only equate it to when people say they see their life flash before their eyes before they had a near death experience, except it is all the bad things that have happened or that you have experienced that put you in a low place.
Now, how do you stop that from happening?
The simplest answer is that you don’t. When you try to deny disappointment, you are just repressing it and pushing it down. This is the recipe for brewing a perfect storm to have it jump up and kick you in the ass over something smaller later like a sock on the floor. The best solution I have for dealing with disappointment is to ride it like a wave; acknowledge its existence, accept that you are going to go through some negativity until you reach some clarity in the end. Do things that will promote removing this emotion from you too. If you need to talk or hug it out, do it. If you need to separate yourself from the disappointment by playing mini-golf or talking to friends about work or the new shoes you bought, then do that. The biggest thing you can do for yourself is to cope and cope in a way that works for you. For me, it was baking, it was talking to my bestie, it was watching mindless television, it was quiet meditation and finally it was writing on this blog.
Another thing I wholeheartedly believe in when it comes to disappointment is that you find a way to make it right inside yourself and do that. Forgive yourself for the negativity, forgive those things that may have led you to the disappointment, and take the clarity of the moment you are in at that moment with you for the rest of the day.
Finally, the most important thing in all of this is to not let your faith or hope in things diminish. It is the toughest thing to do out of everything, but it is the most important step out of all of them. Without it – without hope – what is really left of the human spirit?
For me, I plan on using this long weekend to soul search, catch up on being in my own mind and above all else left the creativity flow for school projects and personal work.
Until next time, I wish you all a blessed and beautiful day and be sure to go easy on yourself if you have felt any disappointments recently.