Disappointment promotes Courage
When we are faced with disappointment we usually get discouraged. Recently there was a question posed on disappointment as to which of two extremely unfortunate scenarios would make you more disappointed. The scenarios were something like this: getting a failing grade after studying so hard, having your ATM thieved after saving for one month for that special present for your girlfriend, and being educated at a top university then sitting home unemployed.
Every situation described above would dishearten and disappoint me and probably you too; my typical reaction would be: anger, sadness, then, at times, helplessness. This creates clouds of haze, confusion, and uneasiness in my body that interfere in my thinking, my emotional output, and my physical output. At these times I will be moody, uncoordinated, and temperamental. Maybe you share a degree of these symptoms, maybe not; but if this is a version of what you would go through I would like to share my revelation.
Staying on the negative, ruminating on the disappointment will discourage, dishearten, upset, and debilitate you. What I am experiencing and experimenting with (when I can) is instead of dwelling on the bad shift your mindset quickly to how you can change the bad to good. What this does is it allows you to bypass all of that negativity and let you live your life. Though this sounds like a cliché, it’s true. I noticed that when something goes awry: does not meet my expectation, does not go according to plan, or fails to produce the outcome I am looking for I get disappointed and upset. If instead of dwelling on the why, the blame, or the frustration, I divert my mind to focusing on something else I come up with a solution that much quicker. I just bypassed all the negativity and blockages that would have manifested and came up with a solution while ‘smelling the roses.’
When we get an outcome that does not match our expectation we get disappointed and then discouraged. Getting a C instead of the A we had our hopes on, not being selected for the promotion we worked so hard for, being discarded by the boy we tried so hard to impress, or not being able to buy that car we saved 3 years’ salary for are examples of situations that cause disappointment. If we are not careful this can quickly lead to discouragement and negativity. If instead of dwelling on the disappointment we take this step of failure as a learning experience, you can view disappointments that were once discouraging as encouraging.
Life is a journey meant for the experience, and because we get so caught up in materiality: wanting the most money, the newest gadget, the most popularity, or the best appraisal we often forget the meaning and purpose of this journey. Changing our view on disappointment and taking a step back allows us to enjoy the experience instead of getting caught up in it.
It is difficult to change your attitude, very difficult in my case, but if I can do it you can too. Try not to dwell in your disappointment: divert your focus and once your mind frees itself from any negative energy go back to the disappointment and see how your next attempt may lead to a different outcome. Let your disappointments become forms of encouragement instead of discouragement and try again until you get it right. Don’t get disheartened; the most courageous people learn from mistakes.