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Dealing with disappointment - 30th September 2020
Sometimes we get disappointed in life when things don't quite work out how we had hoped. What happens next is what's really important!
Recently I've begun to realise how in the past I was always emotionally invested in a particular desired outcome. Hence, when that outcome did not materialise, I soon got into a downward spiral. Having registered disappointment, my mind would move swiftly into victim mode.
"Why do things never work out for me?"
"Life is so unfair!"
"I don't deserve this!"
"Now what am I going to do?"
Any of the above sound familiar? You probably have your own versions as well.
An alternative view
Life is lived moment by moment. The disappointment happens in a moment. Is it possible to register the disappointment and then simply move on to the next moment? Does the next moment have to be coloured by your previous disappointment? My best answer to that is, no it doesn't, but you have to believe that it is possible to let go of that desired outcome and for it to not matter.
Not necessarily easy, but even if you can entertain this possibility then you are opening up a new sense of spaciousness inside. Maybe that's quite a stretch right now? Next time you feel disappointment try to be the observer of your own reaction. What will you do? Maybe you will still revert to the old script, similar to my example above? It's a pattern you have learned and are comfortable with after all. If this happens then at least try to notice how actually, this pattern is far from comfortable in reality! It's full of self-criticism and self-pity, neither of which is comfortable in my experience. Quite the opposite in fact. Even if you can only witness your attachment to disappointment, this is a big step forward.
You are not trapped
What I've noticed from my own life experience is that there is a pattern which looks like this:
Hope → Disppointment → Self judgement → Victim mentality → New hope → Disappointment → Self judgement → Victim mentality
The more firmly I became lodged in this state of self-judgement and victimhood, the more likely it seemed that future hopes would be thwarted. To be honest I really did get to a point where "Hope" was never very strong, because I fully anticipated "Disappointment".
Note how it was my "head clutter" that was preventing me from moving through disappointment. All those judgements and criticisms etc, were in my head from a long time ago. They simply got triggered by the disappointment.
I am currently practising getting less attached to my desired outcomes. My view is more inclined to be, it would be nice if this happened, but if it doesn't, that's also fine!
A recent example
Towards the end of August I put a lot of time and effort into promoting my 28 Day Declutter Toolkit to start on 1st September. I only had one person commit to doing it, so of course I had to cancel it. Yes, I was disappointed, as much for this one person as for myself. However, once it was clear that I couldn't run it, then I chose to let go of any attachment to it.
I knew it was not my fault that I didn't have enough people. I also decided to hold the view that in the bigger Universal scheme of things something needed to happen in order for me to have a really good experience of running the Toolkit. That things would ultimately line up so that all the right people would be together in just the right place to take part.
These days I also recognise that holding onto the Toolkit related disappointment would have marred my pleasure in life in general and would also have stifled my creativity in relation to work in general. As it happens, I have had two new ideas for work projects and am feeling inspired instead of feeling deflated and hopeless.
Over to you!
I would love to know your thoughts on your own experience of 'disapppointment'. If you would like to work towards feeling differently in regard to your disappointment or have something to share in regard to this blog please drop me an email.
Could it even be that this fear of disappointment is what stops you from decluttering your home? Something worth exploring?
Keywords: beliefs, head-clutter