Monday, January 5, 2009

Disappointment Side Effects

If you're living an active and eventful life then chances are there are assorted disappointments that will show up from time to time. Disappointments can come in all sizes....little ones, moderate sized ones, big ones and super duper huge ones. The wonderful thing about disappointment is our ability to manage the side effects.

You may be thinking you have no ability to control the level of pain, anger, sadness or anguish that comes with the super duper huge disappointments. You may believe if something occurs in your life that keeps you from getting what you want, then you must react in an extreme sort of way and you must wear the badge of disappointment on your sleeve.

The truth is that although disappointments will inevitably occur for many reasons, our response need not be so predictable. As in dealing with any emotion, we are in control of how we will be with whatever it is that showed up on our screen of life. We do that by being more aware of what we think.

For instance if you get passed over for the big promotion, you may believe that occurred because your supervisor didn't like you. Perhaps you'll think that the person that got the job didn't deserve it and said something negative about you. Maybe you will choose to go down the road of thought that just puts you down and justifies your not getting the job because you're worthless. Any of these sample thoughts are likely to extend your disappointment for an undetermined period of time, keeping you in the role of victim.

Thoughts that can diminish the impact of the disappointment could be something like, "I bet something even better will come up for me", or after seeing who got the position, you might say to yourself "I see getting my masters degree will be helpful to move up in this company". Another thought could be "I did my best in the interview and that was all I could do....for some reason, it was not a good fit".

Feeling disappointment does not have to last. If you've ever noticed a child that doesn't get what they want, within a few minutes they have shifted their attention to something else and are not continuing to suffer the side effects of prolonged disappointment.

So the next time you're disappointed, give yourself some time to feel what you feel and then ask yourself how you want to be with it now. You can hold on to your disappointment or you can let it go and give your attention to something else.....your choice.

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