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Would you describe yourself as someone who handles disappointment well?

Until recently, I think I would have. I’m pretty resilient and adaptable, with enough grit to plow my way through just about anything. Sure, I needed to work on letting things roll off my back a bit more, but in general, I thought I’d outgrown letting other people how I should feel about myself.

But lately, I haven’t been so sure.

A few things have happened that have been, for lack of a better word, disappointing. Nothing terribly tragic or disastrous has happened. A few things in my life have just unfurled in unexpected and undesirable ways.

And, you guys? It’s messing with my head.

I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth in the last five years overcoming most of my insecurities, and for the first time in a while, I’ve felt them start to creep back. And I don’t like the reminder of how I used to feel and think.

In my first draft of this post, this is the point where I actually listed a few of them out. But the shame I felt at even seeing the words was a bit too much for me to share with you guys. Suffice to say, I think they’re things everyone feels sometimes. Suffice to say, I feel a lot like that unfortunate dude in the photo above.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doubting yourself from time to time. I think it’s normal. The problem is when it starts to become a weight to carry. The problem is when it starts affecting your will to try again.

Whenever these feelings start creeping in, I always reread my Happiness Project post. I remember even when I was writing that thinking, “There is going to come a time when this is not going to feel so easy. There will be a day when I am so down, I will feel stupid for even writing these words. When I’ll scorn my own hubris at thinking I can control my happiness.”

But I still wrote them. And I still published the post. Because even when those two sides of my are at war, I want it on record that the most rational part of me sides with the optimist.

And I’m trying to keep perspective. I am so incredibly fortunate to have a great support system around me who love me and believe in me even when I stop believing in myself. Plus, like I said, what I’m dealing with are disappointments, not tragedies. If I was talking to me, this is the point when I would gently take my own hands and say, “I am both sad and happy for you that this is the greatest struggle you’re going through right now.” Because I know and love so many people going through so much worse.

So, I get it. I get it. I’m just wondering…how do you deal with disappointments?

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3 Responses to How to deal.

  • Joe T. says:

    This seems silly, but one of the things our softball coaches have our team do (and they are very successful coaches) is write down three things they are grateful for every morning before practice. It helps put their situation in perspective in a game full of failure (even the best hitters fail 65% of the time). When I heard her say that, I thought about it and she was right. Especially in my industry we get down about things like losing games, but when you look at it our situation is probably better than 98% of people that have lived on this planet. We are very lucky. Sometimes when I get wound up about something that in the grand scheme of things is pretty silly, I just list 3 things I am grateful for in my head, and it really does seem to work. I guess that’s one of the reasons our softball team wins consistnently.

  • Greg Blanchard says:

    Hm, where do I start? Age 64, great career, beautiful family, healthy, and I’m still a fraud? No, no! I’m not…well, maybe sometimes…NO! That’s wrong. I’ve proven it! Yah, but maybe,…Stop it!, and move on to something else! Hm, I do have a large nose…THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.
    Oh, oh yah. I do have an incredibly beautiful, amazingly smart, giddily funny, moral hero, awesome business”man” daughter and that alone is all I SHOULD NEED! So, be quiet. Oh, Ok.

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