Perhaps you’ve asked for help, and folks let you down.
Your Scout’s reactions to your efforts may be somewhat less than what you expected.
You’ve tried to apply what you’ve learned and it falls flat.
Welcome to the club!
You already know what I am to write, you’ve read or heard it a thousand times before; but read it anyway.
Disappointment is a lonely feeling, because we see it as evidence that nobody actually understands what’s important to us. Truth is you are not alone; we have all had this happen at one time or another.
Disappointment does not come from outside, from other people or situations, it’s actually something we do to ourselves.
It’s a simple equation – we have expectations, our expectations aren’t met, and this causes disappointment or disillusionment.
An illusion is a false or misleading impression of reality. When we are “dis-illusioned” we exchange illusion for reality. Disillusionment helps us concentrate on things we can actually change rather than chasing those we can’t.
We can’t live a life devoid of expectations, but we do have absolute power over the expectations we choose to create for ourselves.
Expecting a joyous event, a vacation, or a celebration, is uplifting and inspiring. Expecting a difficulty may cause us anxiety and frustration.
We’re all mere mortals subject to disappointment. While we can’t avoid difficulties, we can change how we think about them. We can learn new perspectives, and we can become at least a little more resilient.
Here are three thoughts on dealing with disappointments that you may find helpful:
1. Broaden the Horizon of Your Expectations.
Edison famously tested thousands of solutions before he arrived at his ideal light bulb filament. “Before I got through,” he recalled, “I tested no fewer than 6,000 vegetable growths, and ransacked the world for the most suitable filament material.”
Be a little more scientific in your approach. We’d like to categorize results as objectively good or bad, but a result is simply a result. Experience teaches us that few things are 100 percent good or bad.
Edison reflected; “The electric light has caused me the greatest amount of study and has required the most elaborate experiments, I was never myself discouraged, or inclined to be hopeless of success. I cannot say the same for all my associates.”
Edison’s expectation was a continuing voyage of discovery, not instant success. His associates, apparently, became discouraged with the process because their expectations were focused elsewhere.
2. Welcome Adversity and Uncertainty.
We all avoid uncertain, uncomfortable situations; it’s a natural survival mechanism. If our expectations were merely surviving, we’d never get very far.
Things will not all turn out as we expect; people, places and things may be delight or disappoint us. Value every experience, it may be bitter or sweet, but it is always an opportunity to learn.
We all have to step out of our ‘safety zone’ from time to time to get anywhere.
Like the old preacher said, “you can’t keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” Disappointment happens between our ears, we can’t avoid it, but we can change how we react to it.