The Chain of Disappointment
By: Jessica Manuel
If you’re a high achiever or desire to be, you already know that the road is not easy and that it takes perseverance to be successful because disappointment is part of the process.
Fact: We all have to deal with disappointment.
Chains of experiences in your childhood that caused disappointment could be a product of peer pressure, social concerns on friendships, bullying, broken ‘love’ relationships, etc. All of these feelings cause heartbreak, rejection, fear, insecurity or an inability to trust and be vulnerable.
Without knowing, those childhood experiences (some of which are outside of your control) can be something we carry around for the rest of our respective lives, by choice. We begin to accept that disappointment is a part of life, or perhaps some of us, think that there is nothing but disappointment a head.
Inspiring people don’t allow their circumstances to define their destiny.
The practice we get from our adolescent years by juggling academics with friendships, sports, fun, dating, and potential home issues, we agree that busyness is a part of life. And let’s face it. society does a great job of translating “busyness” into “you’re valuable and important”.
Based on my experiences, here are three reasons why busyness is ‘dangerous’:
- You eventually need to slow down or you’ll be forced to shut down.
- Great expectations cause great disappointments.
- Progression can be linked to a desire for perfection (which is unattainable) leading to disappointment.
To summarize: When you sacrifice your own sense of happiness or forget to manage high expectations, you lose motivation. When you are tasked to manage the feeling of disappointment consistently, the more unhappy you become. The more unhappiness you carry, the less accomplishments…. The less you accomplish the more disappointed you’ll feel.
You get the point… It’s a cycle of disappointment.
I personally learned this the hard way. I’ve been burnt out and sick, I’ve avoided dealing with my past and filled it with busyness. I’ve even accepted disappointment as a ‘way of life’ and assumed that “success” or “happiness” wasn’t attainable for me.
My ability to accept disappointment and use it to drive me.
Understanding that failure or having ‘skin in the game’ was making me a stronger, more resilient person rather than a less capable one changed my perspective on disappointment. I started talking differently when I believed in myself, I started wearing my experiences of disappointment proudly and shared them freely with others so that they didn’t fail.
In order to be content, you must first accept disappointment for what it is. Managing expectations and having flexible daily schedules will help this. Taking time to reflect on your past thoughts, beliefs and why you do certain things… those are all great ways to allow your experiences to strengthen you, not discourage you.
Here are some tips on Managing expectations found on a great article done by Huffington Post.
- 1. Become aware of expectations you are creating.
- 2. Understand the beliefs behind your expectations.
- 3. What are your needs in the situation? Are there other ways to meet them?
- 4. Is your expectation a reasonable or a likely outcome?
- 5. When your expectation turns out to be incorrect, notice and adjust accordingly.
- 6. When you are disappointed, don’t take it personally.
- 7. Stay flexible: What other options do you have?
- 8. Be okay with “what is.”
- There is that statement “be okay with what is”….
You can also look at is the “circle of concerns” / circle of Influence by Stephen Covey:
Do not concern yourself with the things outside of your control. Influence the situations you can and control what you’re able.
Be proud of your shortcomings folks, we all have them; it’s what makes you authentically you. If you’re using disappointments in your life as an excuse to chain yourself down, know that only you are the only one responsible for your experiences and how you react to them.
Life is short, don’t be disappointed. Wear your chain proudly!