“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Eliza Tabor
None of us want to face disappointments in any form but we try to be ready to face it when it comes, for the one reality we all agree upon, is that disappointments are an inevitable part of life. While not getting a ticket for a big game could be a small disappointment, missing a connecting flight could be a bigger disappointment and for a start player missing out on playing a big game because of a freak injury could be a devastating disappointment. Funnily enough disappointments could also take on varied hues depending on one’s perspective. A student hell bent on standing first could be bitterly disappointed if he/she misses goal that mark by a single mark but it is also possible that the person standing first is more devastated that despite standing first he/she could not get admission to a college of his/her choice. Disappointments are therefore all a matter of perspective.
The real challenge, irrespective of how terrible the disappointment is, hinges on coping with it. There are 3 ways of doing this and the three ways can be used individually or in consonance with one another which will actually turn the disappointment into affirmative success.
Accepting the reality. When faced with a disappointment, we console ourselves that perhaps it was inevitable and thereafter we attempt to ignore it. While this is a good strategy when no other strategy works (as is the case where we miss a connecting flight because of a delay in our original flight or when an unexpected injury denies us the opportunity to play in a big final game) it leaves us feeling a wee bit sorry for ourselves. However when we face a disappointment as a reality that cannot be wished away we come to terms with it and see it as an inevitable part of growing up and a slice of life. (The penalty shooting expert who misses his shot in the shootout could be so overcome with remorse that he may lose all confidence in his/ her own ability unless they accept the fact that 100% success is never guaranteed )
Seeing the positives. This is tough because we need to make that extra effort to overcome our disappointment and actually try to connect dots to visualize the learning and the positives. Here the battle between our emotional self and our rational self is inevitable and the latter takes much more time to embed itself in our psyche. However with a healthy dose of self esteem, a sense of proportion and the tenacity of purpose one can train the mind to be more stable, visualize more pragmatically and creatively assimilate the facts to draw up a blueprint of success and overwriting the script of temporary setbacks and disappointments. Edison exemplified it when he attempted as is said more than a 1,000 different items in his quest for the filament for the electric bulb and with each failure is remarked to have said ‘ now I know that this too will not work’.
Moving beyond the past. Most of us are guilty of either gloating on our past success or more frequently ruing the past disappointments. While me must soak in the success that come our way and reflect on the disappointments so as to learn from it, it would be foolhardy to be caught in a time wrap and remain in the past. Particularly when it comes to disappointments, we must take up the challenge of recouping, reinforcing and redeeming ourselves by displaying our resolve, learning and performance in overcoming our disappointments. It is when we succeed that we really put behind our past failures and recognize the core of our spirit and ability.
Remember: “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” Robert Kiyosaki
- Think of the 3 big disappointments and how you coped with it
- In your school days
- In your teenage days
- In your professional / personal life
- How will you cope with the following disappointments?
- Your favorite sports team loses at the last moment in the finals to a much less fancied opponent.
- You misplace your free VIP ticket to your favorite singers live concert
- Your prized mobile gifted by your spouse /girlfriend/ boyfriend/ parent slips and is crushed to bits by a passing car
- You have presented a well researched and well drafted report but you are humiliated in front of an outside audience by your boss for a typographical error that you believe is relatively insignificant to the overall contents of the report .
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