Sometimes an unexpected event can hit you like a ton of bricks and can literally blindside you. It can be loss of a job, poor grades in school or college, a broken friendship, a relationship turned sour or even a rejection from a place from where you had high hopes. Maybe you did not get a raise or promotion you were hoping for or your much awaited travel plans got canceled. Disappointments can come in life in many shapes and guises and can hurt a lot.
When disappointment of such magnitude occurs, it is natural for us to feel let down, to feel sad, angry, hurt, cheated and just unable to go on anymore. It is also easy to give up and try no more. But this is a big mistake. It is not easy to get over disappointments in life but here are five steps that can help you to the road of recovery.
The Mourning Period:
It is okay to grieve. In fact, mourning shows how dear you held your goal and how much it meant for you. If you did not care. you would not be in pain. The magnitude of your disappointment shows your passion, your commitment and your desire so do not be afraid to express your feelings. However, it is best to reign in rage, to avoid tantrums, lashing out at others or saying hurtful words that can not be retracted.
Venting it out:
When you suffer a a major setback in life, discuss your feelings with a friend, family member or vent out your emotions by doing something that calms you down. It can be writing, painting, listening to music, meditation, yoga, brisk walking or swimming. You can also shut yourself in your room for a few hours and wallow in self pity or cry but never indulge in self harming or do anything silly.
Calming down period:
Now that you have mourned and vented out your negative energy, think rationally about your project. “Why did it fail?” “What could I have done differently?” “What other options do I have?” and most importantly “What next?” Make a list of all things mentally or on paper and analyze the factors. Be honest about your own input and your expectations. If you did not prepare well for a presentation, you cannot blame the boss for not praising you. If you are late or lazy habitually, you have no right to expect promotion or a raise.
Count Your Blessings:
It might sound very difficult but the best time to count your blessings is during the darkest period of your life. Focus on things that you have, the people who care about you, the skills, knowledge and talents that can help you overcome the setback.
This is the fifth and final phase of getting over your disappointment. Life is too short for long mourning periods so stand up on your feet as quickly as you can. Learn from your mistakes, look for new opportunities, keep your dreams alive and try to overcome any shortcomings that derailed you earlier. Improve yourself constantly by learning new skills, taking short online courses or improving your health and fitness. Seek advice and company of those who have gone through similar experiences and continue to learn.
We have to accept the fact that not everything in life goes as we have planned or wished for, so obstacles and problems will hinder our progress. Things that can go wrong might go wrong. Once we accept that we are human beings with human frailties and limitations, it becomes easier to swallow the bitterness, accept the temporary defeat and think of new strategies and goals.
Helen Keller once said. “We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.” Disappointments sometimes come along to stop us from being complacent. Sometimes they test our character and sometimes they spur us to do better and bigger things.
From experience, I can relate that no matter how much others love you or care for you, they cannot always comprehend the magnitude of your loss or the extent of your disappointment. It is up to you to pick up the pieces, to dust yourself and start anew.
Never count or boast about your chickens unless they are hatched. If you brag about your planned exotic trip in office, the chances are you are going to feel the disappointment even more acutely if things go awry. It will be difficult for you to accept disappointment because you will think you look like a fool in front of your colleagues.
And last, always be compassionate towards others. Never take delight in other people’s discomfort or losses in life. Otherwise, you might find yourself friendless when you are in need of a comforting word or hand.
Disappointments are part of life and as Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”So is you are not dead after suffering a setback in life, you are probably a stronger person. You just need to realize this, take a deep breath and move on.
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