10 Ways to Rise and Thrive After Disappointment
The disappointments of the sincere destroy them.
The worst thing you can do with disappointment is live with it.
5 disappointment traps:
- Self-evaluation based on ambiguous standards. You’re not sure what you wanted. All you know is it feels like you didn’t get it.
- Losing yourself to the opinions of others. The pleaser in you seldom finds solace in the approval of others.
- Self-importance. Secret desires for admiration disquiet the soul.
- Unrealistic expectations. Trying to control others, for example.
- Personalizing poor performance. “I’m a loser.”
10 ways to rise above disappointment:
- Reconnect with heart. Behind disappointment is frustrated passion. Allow disappointment with yourself to clarify what’s in your heart. What contribution do you want to make?
- Realize you’ve been here before. Own your personal dark hole.
- Repeat behaviors that align with values and move toward achievable goals. Make it simple. Ask two questions before making suggestions, for example.
- Realign focus. Focus on giving more than getting. Receiving is healthy. My friend Bob Burg taught me not to be attached to it.
- Release arrogance. The thing that makes leaders important is service.
- Respond with purpose. Disappointment is a fog that obscures purpose. Leaders without purpose are lost. Why are you here? Develop a personal mission statement.
- Reaffirm potential. You aren’t the mistakes you make. You made progress before. With work, you’ll make progress again.
- Redevelop friendships. Disappointments invite you to pull back or attack. Pull down walls instead. Connect with someone who is passionate to grow.
- Readjust expectations. Feeling let down after pouring yourself into something is normal. Take a breather. You aren’t a super-hero.
- Reject criticisms from constant critics. Smile. Thank them for their feedback. Move on. I’m talking about those people who don’t respect your strengths. All they see is your weakness. Never allow constant complainers to distract you from noble goals.
How can leaders deal with disappointment?
See Facebook responses to, “The best ways a leader deals with disappointment include ________.”
Wow, I had no idea how much I needed this until I read it. Thank you Dan. I suppose this is a common place to be for people that strive for a having a bigger impact than simply filling a role adequately.
Thanks James. It’s interesting how our disappointments become shadow guests in life. We just live with it. Maybe that’s one reason disappointment keeps hang on or coming back. Thanks for affirming the value of addressing this issue and best wishes for the journey.
Thanks for the comments. I have noticed for myself and often those who I coach, internalizing the following expressions: “doing it until we get it right” and “we get lots of chances” and “up until now,” are practical thoughts to help us manage our disappointments.
Giving ourselves permission to fail, learn and grow again and again and again is how we stay human. It is part of life long learning and becoming the leader you want to be.
Thanks for sharing these important ideas.
Best to you,
Thanks Cindy. “Up till now” give hope. “We get lots of chances” encourages and relieves pressure. Glad you stopped in.
Whoa is the perfectionist (me) … what a great morning read – I love the concept that disappointment is frustrated passion … this is powerful and allows for refocus — we need to learn to empathize with ourselves — if our son or daughter or our best friend ‘disappointed’ in the same way what would you say to them … would you beat them up – would you call them a loser, would you condemn, criticize – no you would listen (actively), acknowledge, support, empathize — why is this so hard for us to do for ourselves? Aren’t we worthy, human, capable of fault, deserving of love and encouragement – wouldn’t that feel great in dark times
Thanks Colin. I remember the first time someone asked me how I would treat someone else who was in the situation I was in… it was very helpful. Treat yourself as good as you would treat a friend. 🙂
Life is what we make it. Dealing and dwelling on disappointing events is tough sometimes!
Dad always said “keep your chin up and a stiff upper lip”! “Time heals all wounds” so they say during our lives ! So disappointment can be addressed in the same fashion, think about the lesson that just occurred, focus on what we did wrong or they say we did wrong, use the criticism if present to make the moment better if you can tolerate the critique and move on in time, things will clarify most of the time. There is value in each of life’s disappointing moments, we just have to realize the value for betterment of ourselves and others. Most realistic to emphasis is “we don’t live in a perfect world” but we can make it better..
Thanks Tim. “We don’t live in a perfect world, but we can make it better.” <– Gold
I think too, that we can accept praise – and not downplay it. Often we might diminish our role or efforts when a “thanks” allows it to stand.
Thanks Bill. Beautiful!
Excellent point! Accepting compliments is nearly impossible if you have any lurking disappointments—the compliments feel misplaced, not earned.
We must accept disappointment sometimes but we must permit ourselves small victories as well.
Thanks for that
Sometimes I think we frail humans tend to see things from an “all or nothing” point of view. I often refer to this concept as “duality”, where we see things as fabulous or terrible. Fortunately, there is a lot of space between fabulous and terrible. We need to learn to see things more objectively, celebrate our strengths, and learn from our mistake. Great article on disappointment.
Thanks John. The idea that there is a lot of space between fabulous and terrible is terribly encouraging to me. Cheers
Me too! If I could just write on some topics like you do! Keep it up! J
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Thanks, Dan, for another thoughtful post. Sometimes what others vocalize as failures in us is a reflection of their own insecurities. It is important to honestly assess the fabulous and terrible, as John, above, has said.
Thanks Dan! This comes at a perfect time for me. I’ve heard it said that “when we master the art of disappointment, we’ve got the world by the balls” I’m still in the practicing of it, thank you for the new awarenesses. Your insights are spot on. Cheers
Thanks Sam. The more time passes the more I enjoy the expression, “It’s a journey.” Best for the journey.
Thanks Dan! This is an insightful post. It is not just for leaders but for everyone. Thank you for sharing.
This is some really good advice and needed. I especially like the one about leadership and releasing arrogance!