How To Deal With Disappointment

Disappointment sucks. It is basically a complicated vortex of multiple emotions. One of the most difficult parts of dealing with disappointment is the feeling that you need to “just get over” whatever it is you are upset about.

You worked hard and yet again you didn’t get what you had expected, or you put so much effort into that relationship and the feelings weren’t reciprocated.

You start to question:

  • WHY DIDN’T THE UNIVERSE HAVE MY BACK?
  • I TRIED SO HARD TO MANIFEST THE RESULTS I WANTED, WHY DIDN’T IT WORK?

Unfortunately, disappointment is a part of life and so this week I have 3 simple tips for you to learn to cope with disappointment in your own life. As always, the audio version is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Talk About It

Think about a child when they are upset about something. What do they do? They lay on the floor kicking and screaming until the emotions run out and then they move on.

Now, obviously you are an adult and you cannot simply just  throw a temper tantrum. However, you are able to tell someone how you are feeling.  Find a friend, a partner, a parent, a coworker and talk about the disappointment

  1. WHAT HAPPENED?
  2. WHY DID IT HAPPEN?

Now is not the time for pointing blame at everyone else for whatever the disappointment was, but it is the time for letting out the emotions of how you are really feeling so you can begin to move on.

2. Make a Game Plan

Whether it’s a missed job opportunity, a failed relationship, or an event that didn’t quite work out; you need to figure out where you are going to go from here. While it may seem plausible to just toss in the towel and wallow in a pity party, that strategy really isn’t going to get you very far in the long run.

This step is a fundamental part of dealing with disappointment and it’s also probably the hardest.

It can certainly be difficult to think towards the future when the wounds are so fresh, but you need to seize this as a new opportunity from the universe for your life to take a new course and freaking figure out where to go from here.

You’ve got this.

3. Don’t Back Down

Yes, disappointment can make it hard to keep showing up, but persistence (particularly in hard times) is one of the keys to being successful. Find that passion within yourself for whatever it is you want to pursue – relationships, career, family – and go for it.

If what you are doing or have done isn’t working, find a new approach and try again. Getting what you want isn’t often a straight road – learn to tolerate the loss, take a new risk, and go for it.

– – –

When it comes down to it, disappointment is inevitable. Feel sad, feel angry, and then find a way to move on. Seize this moment to get back on track to the life you want and remind yourself that you deserve more than settling for whatever unfortunate circumstance you have currently found yourself in.

We can only go upwards from here my friends, that’s where I am headed and I hope you will join me.

How To Face Your Fears

What is it that you are most afraid of and how does that make you feel?

I know that even the thought of facing you fears can leave you feeling unsure, uncomfortable, and full of anxiety. However, I can promise that making the move towards confronting these fears can actually improve the quality of your life tenfold. This week I am offering 4 simple tips for working towards confronting that which you fear the most.

As always you can find the audio version of this post on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Play.

1. Identify What Scares You

In order to overcome your fear, you need to really understand the concept specific to the context of your fear itself

  1. What is it that you are afraid of?
  2. How does thinking of this fear make you feel? (Think of the cues your body sends – racing thoughts, shortness of breath, etc)

By accepting the symptoms you feel as an association with your fear, you can begin to narrow down what thoughts specifically trigger this reaction.

2. Learn To Differentiate Rational and Irrational

Fear is a totally useful evolutionary response. Thousands of years ago you would have needed fear to protect you from predators. However, you live in a different world now, and you need to learn to understand which fears are useful and which fears are wasting your energy and comprising your ability to live life as you should.

Your fear to speak in public though quite common and seemingly reasonable, isn’t actually a fear that is directly related to your wellbeing. yeah sure, you fear embarrassment or rejection for doing it but you aren’t going to die from it. Focus on the rationality. Why are you getting so worked up and is that level of discomfort rational? Ask your self these questions.

3. Develop a Plan

You know that the end goal here is to face your fear. So, how are you going to get there? The thought of facing your fear can be scary, overwhelming, and even panic inducing. In order to effectively (and easily) face your fear, you need to break it down into a more manageable approach.

For me, my fear was going into a burning building as part of my firefighter recruit training, and so I broke it down into the following steps:

  1. Show up at the specified location for training.
  2. Actively listen to the instruction to figure out what my task was exactly and how to do it safely.
  3. Make sure to wear all proper PPE, and double check to ensure it is properly sealed/worn correctly.
  4. Remain calm and focus on breathing throughout the exercise.

I know most of you are likely not training to be fire fighters and that’s okay. These steps are applicable to all sorts of different fears.

For example: If your fear is flying, start by buying a plane ticket, going to the airport, etc. If you’re afraid to try a new hobby, start by researching it online, finding local classes, etc.

By understanding what it will take to over come your fear you can break it down it to much less daunting tasks. You should not have to fear the process of overcoming your fear.

4. Focus on Your Thoughts

Often our fears are based on the worst case scenario. We typically utilize failure, death, rejection, and so on as an excuse to reinforce our fears.  What I want to encourage you to do in this case is to focus on taking the negative and flipping it into the best case scenario.

For example: Take “If I start my own business, I will fail and go bankrupt” and change it to “If I start my own business I will become wildly successful”

Your internal dialogue is what controls your reactions. While you obviously can’t control the outcomes of every scenario, you are able to control your perception. So think about what other factors of this situation are in your control. Remember, your mind will quit long before your body ever does.

– – –

I promise you that the internal freedom you feel from facing that of which you are most afraid will enable you to continue to find freedom from other areas in your life. I know personally, that after overcoming my fear of live fire I am now so ready to conquer other things in my career and personal life that I have just been waiting on for so long in my mind – in fear of unknown outcomes.

At the end of the day, fear is a learned construct – fear of judgment or rejection, fear for your safety… It is is your control to unlearn it. Visualize the best case that could be, relax yourself, breathe, and conquer your fears.