There is no one who has not had their share of disappointments in their personal or professional lives. If you look at your family, friends, clients/customers or colleagues, you can easily pick out the people who are positive and happy and seem to have an abundance of good fortune and those who are negative and unhappy and always seem to have a black cloud over them. If you ask them, you may be surprised to find out that they have had an equal number of disappointments in their lives. The difference is how they have chosen to see disappointment. The positive and happy individuals have made a conscious choice to make disappointment their supportive ally while the negative and unhappy people have chosen to make it their destructive ally.
What does it mean to make disappointment your supportive ally? Disappointment is often the result of an expectation that we have of a person or situation. The person’s words or actions reflect someone completely different from our initial impression and the events and outcome of the situation are not even close to our original vision. When you make disappointment your supportive ally, you decide to take responsibility for your part in the disappointment. Did you attach skills or traits to the person and see them as who you wanted them to be rather than who they really were? Did you assess your value and success based on the events and outcome of the situation? If you could do it again, what would you do differently the next time? Once you understand your role in the disappointment, you can forgive yourself, the person and the situation, let go and move on to bigger and better things. You can see disappointment as an opportunity to grow and learn rather than as a disaster that continues to define you.
What does it mean to make disappointment your destructive ally? If you make this choice, you probably have been holding tight to your disappointments and allowing them to accumulate in your personal or professional life. You wrap them around you for security like a warm blanket and they serve as a barrier to taking risks. They also let their supporters fear, anger and distrust keep you from being fully aware and receptive to a new person, situation or opportunity. You look around and wonder why you are stuck in the same place while others are moving forward to new and exciting places. You wonder when it’s going to be your turn to be fortunate and successful. You blame the person or situation that has disappointed you and refuse to see your part in the disappointment. What you think is a supportive ally is actually a destructive ally.
So it’s your choice whether you see disappointment as a supportive or destructive ally. It takes courage, confidence and commitment to get out of your comfort zone of negativity and unhappiness and do the hard and consistent work that is required to shift in to a place where you feel consistently positive and happy. It’s worth the effort.
If I can quote a line from one of the most positive, risk-taking, motivational and inspirational characters to ever be on a movie screen, Sonny played by Dev Patel in the film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: “Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t yet worked out, it’s not the end.”