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Joy through Disappointment

Joy Works Playlist Pick-Highroad by Sir Woman

Disappointments tend to punch us in the gut emotionally speaking. Mainly, we may have had an expectation and feel let down. We can feel temporarily rocked by disappointments to the point where we can think of nothing else. I'd love to be able to say that we can navigate disappointment with ease but I know that being in the midst of these feelings can really well... suck.

So let me tell you, I was going through a little funk this week (little/big).

  • Day 1- The disappointment left me feeling anxious and second-guessing my decision, skills, and even value and self-worth. You know what that feels like...right.

  • Day 2- I felt the negative feeling growing to the point where I was unable to fully focus on my work and I didn't really want to engage so much with my family.

  • Day 3- I happen to come across this Twitter post by @EdleaderLifefit. If you don't follow her, you should. It grabbed my attention and immediately helped me to shift my thinking. She shared:

I kept saying to myself. You can't park and live there. You can't park and live there. I realized that I had to go through the process of dealing with my feelings about this disappointment. It also lit a little fire inside of me where I got to thinking, "I'll be damn if I let a little disappointment impact all of the work that I have invested in my personal development, well-being, and joy." We will all face disappointments. Here are three steps (3As) to work through the process. They helped me.

Acknowledge-Recognizing and accepting your feeling helps you to make the connection to its impact on your overall well-being. You may also quickly realize that you are dealing with a multitude of feelings. Some of those feelings might be distorted and some of them might not. Taking time with your thoughts can help you understand and gain a perspective of the feelings that you are actually dealing with as well as if you have fallen into any type of thinking trap.

Articulate-For some it is difficult to share certain feelings so it's important to reflect on a way to do it that is productive. It's easy to, for example, cuss somebody out through a text message (ha ha been there done that). That initial release may even feel least for a short while. Ask yourself, what is going to give me the result that I need and want? Is it necessary for me to articulate my feelings to someone else, or is it enough for me to gain the understanding in order to learn and grow?

Adjust-This is the space where you have to attend to your feeling or feelings. You can't let disappointment send you into a downward spiral where you lose hope or give up on yourself and all of the work you put into your growth and development (Nah... you've come to far for that). This also doesn't mean that you should begin overindulging in activities in hopes of drowning out the feelings that accompany the disappointment. Adjusting is more about shifting our expectations so that overtime we can be just a little less disappointed when things don't go as we desired. Most importantly, it's about adjusting our focus.

While the feelings that come with disappointment are overwhelming, they will subside...eventually. We certainly have to make choices about how we respond. Are we going to gravitate toward the positive, the growth, and the learning opportunity or spiral into negative thought patterns and apathy? Hold on to your joy through disappointment knowing that you are alive, amazing and still bold enough to put your heart and soul out there!

Love, Dr. Joy


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