“Don’t let today’s disappointments cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.”
People will always spread rumors about you. People will always cause drama involving you; but the only thing you can do is rise above them, and smile.
Don’t feel sad over someone who gave up on you, feel sorry for them because they gave up on someone who would have never given up on them.
The ultimate potential of life depends upon the art of discovering one’s talent and making the most of it. Nature has given everyone some kind of talent. However, most of the people do not recognize their true talent. They keep themselves busy in a futile attempt of making comparison with others better in certain aspect of life and develop an inferiority complex, which lead them to feel useless.
Comparing oneself with others is a root cause of the sense of feeling useless. The moment you compare oneself or give attention to the idea of being compared with someone more successful in life, then the sense of feeling useless occurs in your mind. By making comparison you waste your mental as well as physical energy at such a level that you do not have enough energy available to concentrate on positive aspects of life.
Hence you should learn not to compete with others because you will always find someone better than you in any given aspect of life. According to the law of nature, the collective potential of everyone is the same, but no two persons have exactly the same talents. So there is no scope of true comparison left in life.
Therefore, you should learn to make use of your own unique talent and try to live with your limitations comfortably. No one is going to compete with you for being you. If you do not give importance to being yourself by discovering your unique talent and making use of it, then you degrade your reputation in your own eye and develop the sense of feeling useless.
Finally, life is a gift to cherish. Figure out your own gifted talent and make the best use of it. Do not waste your energy and complicate all things in life by making comparison. You are destined to enjoy the beauty of life by the virtue of your own unique talent. Be yourself and make use of your talent.
Dealing With Disappointment – Constructively.
– Put yourself in a clearer mental state.
Whenever you experience disappointment, you are pulled down into a lower state of consciousness, where your thoughts are predominantly rooted in fear, sadness, grief or even apathy. There may be times when the feeling of disappointment is so overwhelming that it feels like the end of the world.
Being trapped in such a state it prevents you from thinking logically and clearly. When dealing with disappointment, your first focus should be to bring your consciousness up to a more neutral or positive level such as desire, neutrality, willingness and reason so that you are in a better position to react to your situation.
Look for positive activities where you can recharge yourself. What activities do you most enjoy doing in your life? Identify them. It can be writing in your personal journal, playing games, walking in the park, watching a happy movie or talking to positive friends. If you find that reading your favorite book uplifts you, then pick up the book and start reading it. If taking a stroll along your neighborhood makes you more relaxed, then get out of your house and enjoy the breeze outside. If playing games can make you feel happier, go ahead and play them. Do whatever makes you feel better. Sometimes, simply spending time alone might be the best way for you to clear out your mental clutter and regain personal energy.
For me, I find that a combination of activities including alone time, talking with my good friends, watching my favorite shows, reading novels and dancing help to lift me up considerably. I absolutely love dancing; whenever I am playing them I get a lot of exhilaration and fun out of the exercise. In times when I feel really down, I would rather prefer spending time by myself. This alone time allows me sort out the thoughts in my mind, think without external interference’s and gain clarity on what to do in my situation. Talking with my friends, on the other hand, makes me privy to other perspectives and thoughts which I may not be aware of in the beginning.
– Attach with your desires, not your goals.
When you are disappointed, your source of disappointment is rooted in your over-attachment to a certain outcome. When an outcome does not manifest the way you envisioned, you become disappointed. This is a perfectly natural response. However, understand that your expectations in the outcome, or goals, is a reflection or external projection of an underlying desire you have. They might or might not be accurate projections, because they are merely subjective interpretations of what you think is needed to live up to your underlying desire.
For example, let’s say you went for an interview with Company A. You love the job scope, the benefits package is great, you have heard rave reviews about the place. All in all, you see a career at Company A as the equivalent of your dream career. However, you are passed over for another candidate whom they deemed as a better fit for the role. Company A happens to have a policy of only accepting applications from the same candidate once every 2 years. There is no way you can try until 2 years later. What should you do from here?
The second step toward dealing with disappointment requires you to attach yourself to the desires behind your desires, not your goals. Start off by recognizing that a job in Company A is just a projection of your inner desires. Your inner desire may be to get a career which challenges and stretches you in a dynamic working environment. If there’s the case, there are many ways you can do that, such as working in Company G, Company X, or even setting up your own business. Working at Company A is just one of the many ways which you can achieve that.
A common example where people tie themselves too much to their external projections of their desires is in relationships. For example, you like person A. You want to be together with him/her, but the person A does not reciprocate the feelings. While you may feel disappointed, stop and think – What are your underlying intents? It is to be in a loving, authentic relationship with someone. Person A is just one of the many people in this world who can make you feel love. He/she is not going to be only person you are capable of loving; there are many other people out there whom you will love as well. Instead of tying all your expectations to this one person, link yourself with the underlying desire to find real, authentic love.
Ask yourself this question: What are your actual desires that are driving your expectations? Understand what they are and list them down. Say you are at point A and you want to move to point B. When you link yourself with these desires, you will realize that point B is just one of the many destinations you can go to. There are many other possible destinations, such as point C, D, E.. all the way to Z, then there’s even A-1, A-2.. and so on, where you can achieve your desires just as well, if not better. Attach yourself to your desires, not your interpretations of what will achieve your desires.
– Release yourself of your mental illusion.
The next step in dealing with your disappointment is to release yourself of your mental illusions of what reality should be. Many people remain in a disappointed state because they are hung up over their expectations of what reality should be. If you are disappointed over something, you are harboring certain perceptions of what it should be. These perceptions are not the reality; they are figments in your mind which are untrue. If they are true, why are they causing you disappointment?
These mental illusions are dis-empowering because they keep you caught in the negative state you are in. As long as you are trapped in them, it prevents you from progressing toward where you want to go. Dealing with disappointment requires you to let yourself go of the mental illusions.
When you are disappointed, ask yourself this – what is it that I am getting hung up over? What false perceptions am I still clinging myself on with? What am I expecting from the reality that it is not giving me? Seek these illusions out, one by one. Question yourself how and when you came to have the illusions. Become aware of them and release yourself from them. These illusions are giving you an inaccurate view of reality. They are preventing you from acting constructively on your situation or living your life the way you should.
If we look at the same relationship example from above, you are disappointed in the situation because you wanted to be with person A. You feel that you have lost what could have been a great relationship. However, that is actually just an illusion in your mind that you are playing in your head. If person A does not want to be with you for whichever reasons, he/she is not going to be the person who can achieve your desire for a relationship. He/she is not going to be the person who can give you want you desire. Your belief that he/she is the one for you is actually an illusion that you need to release yourself of.
– Understand the outcome is not a setback.
Disappointments are good is because it represents an opportunity for growth. Many people become disappointed with occurrences because they view that as a setback or a failure vs what they want to achieve. They feel like they have taken a step back from what they have come to acknowledge or expect.
For example, say you did a lot of preparation and late night studying for your exams. You had the belief that these actions, along with what you knew about your reality, would result in you getting high flying results. However, instead of achieving that outcome, you fell short of your expectations.
While you may be feeling disappointed, this experience is actually showing you that there is a misconception in your thinking. What you originally thought is sufficient to achieve your outcome actually isn’t. Instead, you may need to increase your resources or change your approach to achieve the results you want. Your disappointment is actually helping you to move toward your goals, not away from it as you originally thought.
Your experience has resulted in you obtaining new lessons, whether about yourself, the situation or even the world. You have gained something which nobody else is privy to. How can an outcome be a setback if it gave you something new to learn about? As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” With this new learning, you walk away from previous experience as a better person. You will become a stronger individual. You reach a whole new level of awareness, consciousness and growth which you never had before.
– Moving Forward: Focus on doing the best you can.
Dealing with disappointment is definitely not an easy task, but if you work hard at the steps mentioned above, it will eventually help to pull you out of the void state you are in. As you start living past your disappointments, focus on living in fullest alignment with your desires, instead of your goals. Continue to have goals. Let them drive you forward. However, take note not to attach yourself with these goals. When you do that, you start to fall into the trap of associating your existence with them. This is not sustainable because those goals are just external outcomes which are impermanent.
I have a good friend who once said to me – “Life is not just about reaching the goals; it’s about living it to the fullest.” And he is right. In every situation you are in, choose the action which lets you live in alignment with your inner desires the most, within your abilities, within your situational contexts. As long as you are doing that, there is no reason why you should feel down or bad, because you have done all that you can. When you start doing that, you will find that you are able to live consciously and freely instead of subjecting yourself to outcomes. You are able to constructively channel the passion of your inner desires to live the kind of life you want.
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” – Fried-rich Nietzsche.
How do you normally deal with your disappointments? Do you block them out of your life? Do you sleep them off and hope that you will feel better when you wake up? Do you tap into them as a source of energy for your future goals?
Avoid Dealing With Disappointments In Destructive Manners.
Many people are caught like fish out of water when they are faced with disappointment. Because they are not taught on how to deal with it, they end up adopting various destructive approaches instead.
1. Avoidance by numbing yourself with other activities.
Some people try to drown out or tune out of their disappointment by engaging in anything that takes their mind off the subject. They may take part in activities such as partying, hanging out, sleeping. They push themselves into going through the motions of daily life so they can just operate in auto-pilot mode without thinking. Some turn to addictions such as retail therapy, playing games, emotional eating, sex or even stimulants such as alcohol and drugs. These people seek solace in whatever that is within their radius, in their effort to avoid being alone with their disappointment. Rebound relationships are commonly formed for this reason, where the person tries to get over the previous relationship without having to deal with it directly.
While these give a temporal uplift in the short-run, they do not resolve the issue. Soon after, they face another situation which leads to disappointment again. Instead of properly resolving the problem, their immediate reaction is to turn to the same set of activities and actions to drown out the emotions. This eventually continues in a downward spiral.
2. Denying your goals and dreams.
In the longer term, some block out their dreams and goals in life, pretending they don’t exist. They develop dual personality halves – on the outside, they erect a wall which serves as a form of defense mechanism; on the inside, they hide their real self and desires underneath. They condition themselves into not setting any expectations, since disappointment will not occur where there are no expectations.
For example, people who have been scarred by negative relationships tend to develop barriers to love. On the outside, they appear aloof and cool; however on the inside they long to find their special someone. Because they fear getting hurt, they deny their desire for relationships and refuse to let people into their lives. At some point in the future, this denial catches up with them and it creates a backlash. Have you ever met such people before? They look like they don’t care, but you know on the inside, they really do care. As they block out their desires, they in turn make themselves more miserable in the long-run instead.
3. Giving up on your goals and dreams.
There is another group of people who give up on their goals and dreams. While they still long for their goals, these people resign to a fate where they will never reach them. They become depressed and self-depreciative, devaluing their own self worth and thinking they are not meant to achieve anything. They spend more effort everyday trying to convince themselves and people around them that they will never ever achieve their goals, as opposed to acting on them.
What Happens When You Deal With Disappointments Destructively?
If you have ever dealt with disappointments in the above manner, you are not properly dealing with them.
One of the reasons disappointment is good is because it represents passion for a cause. The higher your disappointment, it means the stronger your passion is.
Whenever you try to drown out your disappointment, deny your goals and dreams or even give up on them, you are really just rejecting who you are on the inside. You are denying your desires, your wants, your goals, your dreams, your visions, your real self – everything. These desires originated from somewhere inside of you, for a reason – and that reason is not for them to be denied. To quote Esther and Jerry Hicks from the book Ask And It Is Given, “If you have the ability to imagine it, or even to think about it, this Universe has the ability and the resources to deliver it fully unto you.”
When you try to deny your real desires, you are just hollowing yourself from inside out. You can try to pretend everything is fine and lead your everyday life, but you cannot fool your subconsciousness. Everyday, living feels like an empty act. Over time, you will find yourself sinking from a state of disappointment and dissatisfaction to a state of apathy. You start living everyday in a lifeless, zombie-like manner, with no passion or zest. You feel like you are just swiveled up on the inside; everything through your lens just seems barren and empty.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way at all. You are not alone in your disappointment. Everyone has faced disappointment at some point – your friends, family, teachers, managers, co-workers, etc. I have faced disappointments as well, from all different areas of my life. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to you. As much as disappointment is an emotion triggered without your conscious undertaking, you can proactively deal with it in a conscious manner. As long as you learn how you address your disappointments properly and pick up from here, you can lead life the way it is meant to be led – in alignment with your passions and inner desires.