Disappointments arise when outcomes do not meet expectations. As human beings we tend to brood longer over our disappointments but relish our successes fleetingly. Ask yourself how often you complaint, whine, criticize, find fault, get upset / angry, feel hurt, pass on blame, keep regretting, try to be alone/ silent etc. On the other hand how often do you smile, praise, thank, appreciate, remain enthusiastic, compliment others, be the company of others, say/ do something positive spontaneously etc. Your honest answers would give you a clue to how you cope with disappointments which are unavoidable but never unmanageable.
Even if we are optimists and have a positive attitude we can still be disheartened and disillusioned by major disappointments. If we are pessimistic and have a tinted outlook then it becomes imperative that we find ways and means to cope with the disappointments that we would encounter off and on.
Here are a few strategies to cope with disappointments.
It can’t get worse. Imagine you failed in your exams. You lose a year now. It has happened; but now you can honestly tell yourself that it is the worst possible outcome but it can’t get worse than this. Once you make this profound discovery moving on with life becomes relatively much easier than brooding over the why it happened; if only I studied more; perhaps I should have taken a chance and cheated and the numerous such thoughts that keep swimming in your head.
Thank god it is only this much. Recently a family member came home way past midnight and gently broke the news that he met with an accident. Obviously you are rattled and then shocked to see the person swaddled in bandages. Once you get over the initial shock the next natural progression is to seek more information about what happened all the while berating the person for being careless and irresponsible. Once we have calmed down and get hold of ourselves we rationalize that thank god it wasn’t worse. From then on we are able to handle the shock and disappointment with more pragmatism and acceptance.
Ok so how do I limit the damage? You are frantically searching for an important document and to your horror and terrible disappointment you just can’t seem to locate it. Your panic is matched only by the disconcerting feeling that you are heading for disaster. You search every nook and corner, you can rummage through every drawer and cupboard, you vent your frustration and then fall on your knees seeking divine intervention; alas all in vain. The quicker you get hold of your emotions the better the chances of finding an alternative solution that will help limit the damage perhaps even find an alternative solution.
What is good about the situation? Your team has played and excellent match in which you dominated the opponents and yet you lost the game thanks to a freak goal by the opposition. It is hard to come to terms with such heartbreaking disappointments. The results can be overturned; the missed chances cannot be retrieved; a blame game won’t help. A debriefing by the coach however can turn up a surprising number of useful and invaluable insights about the game. The mistakes made, the attitude and approach of the players, the chinks in the opponents armor than can be exploited next time around, the difference in play in both periods of the game; all of these are more seriously imbibed when the bitterness of disappointment is more acute.
Nothing can overwhelm me. You reach the airport only to be told that your flight has been cancelled and your connecting flights and holiday plans have in simply gone for a toss in a jiffy. Anger, frustration, helplessness, sadness, panic seem to engulfing you. Your mind is in a whirl, you can’t focus and you are in a tizzy. Quickly take deep breaths and calm yourself. While asking the reason for the flight cancellation may be a natural instinctive reaction, wasting time delving into it would be both fruitless and frustrating. Instead, focus on outlining the alternatives to salvage the situation. Take proactive action to implement your plans and be pragmatic about your subsequent actions.
This too shall pass. Pause and think; how many disappointments have actually ruined your life or brought it to a complete standstill. The fact that you are reading this is proof that you are hale and hearty despite the many disappointments that you would have faced in your life. The reality of life mandates that each of us will have triumphs (success) and disasters (disappointments) and the trick to overcome disappointment is to remember Rudyard Kipling’s lines in his poem IF If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; For neither success not failure is permanent… for this too shall pass.
- Click on this link and read the poem IF by Rudyard Kipling http://allspirit.co.uk/kipling.html#if
- Which of the above strategies would you adopt in the following situations?
- You overhear your best friend criticizing you.
- You were hauled up by your superior / school management for an aberration done by someone else and no amount of pleading your innocence can cut any ice with them.
- You encounter a flat tyre on deserted stretch of the highway.
- You press the buzzer during the tie breaker of a quiz final and discover that the right answer is on the tip of your tongue but alas you are unable to articulate it on time.
- You go to highly rated restaurant and to you horror the food is awful and disappointing.
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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