We all get disappointed.
- You wanted your favourite dish at a restaurant, and they’ve run out.
- You invest tons of time, $ and energy into a project, and it fails.
- You don’t get the raise.
- You don’t pass the test.
- You’re shocked, and hurt by a close friend’s reaction.
- Your child lies to you.
- Your spouse doesn’t tell you all of the truth.
Bottom line: you don’t get your way.
I thought I understood how to avoid disappointment. Wasn’t it just based on expectations I created? Simple solution – don’t have expectations!
Stay positive in the glass half full instead of half empty perspective.
Stop projecting, and be open to everyone’s point of view.
Don’t assume because you don’t know everything.
Let go of taking it personally. It’s about them, not you.
Sure, these are practices that can help manage the angst of our greatest disappointments, but life is not black and white so where’s the grey?
Circumstances happen beyond our control all the time. An accident on the highway over thanksgiving weekend, and you’re in the midst of wall-to-wall traffic. You miss your plane. You’re frustrated, angry, and disappointed.
But what if you feel disappointed, and it was really self-pity?
• “Why do accidents always happen when I’m driving? It’s not fair!”
What if you hear on the radio the traffic is due to a car accident, and you’re in blame, and judgment?
• “Why can’t people drive more carefully so they don’t get into an accident? What’s wrong with people?!”
What if it’s self-blame, and self-judgment?
• “Why didn’t I anticipate this? I’m so bad at planning. I should have left earlier or taken an alternate route – what’s wrong with me?”
What’s the energy underneath your disappointment?
Is your inner voice kind, compassionate, and understanding towards you, and everyone else, or is it judgmental, and unforgiving?
We all struggle on some level with how we value ourselves. Our inner critic, and judgmental voice can run deep. Am I good enough? Am I worthy of being loved? Do I measure up? The higher your self-worth, the better your ability to experience from a place of higher vibration that is loving, and authentic towards yourself, and others.
How do you know what’s authentic for you? In times of disappointment, its our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want to feel, and do our best to avoid or deny. It may be too painful, so we mask or bury our truth with coping emotions that come from our ego to ‘control’ our disappointment.
There may be genuine sadness that’s masked by our ego’s self-pity of life being ‘unfair’.
Your ego may be telling yourself how you “should have, could have, would have” – or they “should have, could have, needed to..” with a blaming energy that’s keeping you stuck in resistance.
What if what’s beyond your control is how other people behave – the choices they make? We can blame circumstances, but when we blame people – it’s a whole other ball game. A longtime friend or partner suddenly acts in an unexpected way that leaves you feeling devastated, upset, and angry.
Are you tapping into your genuine disappointment over how you have been treated or are you in self-pity?
• How could he do that to me?
Are you blaming?
• It’s her fault – no reasonable person behaves that way! What’s wrong with her?
Are you judging (condemning) someone?
• What an idiot – he or she doesn’t deserve my friendship or love! Who does he think he is?
When you practice distinguishing your authentic emotions around disappointment versus how your ego is responding from fear (self-pity, blame, and judgment), something inside of you shifts your pain of ‘hanging on’ to the freedom of ‘letting go’.
Are you willing to let those difficult authentic emotions flow through you? To check if your feelings are authentic, notice whether your emotional reaction to disappointment brings you closer to your higher self that has a sense of being grounded as opposed to thoughts, and emotions that keep you spiraling in a negative pattern that feels stuck, often against someone or something.
Where Your Ego May Be Keeping You Stuck:
- If you have a need to ‘control or fix’ your life, or dictate how others should think, and behave where you don’t react well otherwise.
- Are you talking to other people where you are condemning (blaming) with complaints or gossip?
- Are you bothered or annoyed thinking someone doesn’t like you, isn’t doing what you expect, or has done something to you, but you’re telling yourself “I don’t care what they think!” or “what wrong with them?”
Once you move away from your ego, you can allow yourself to feel the part of yourself that is compassionate, and non-judgmental, and the difficult emotions of loss, genuine anger, or sadness underneath any disappointment have a place to land safely. You can be with your true emotions to begin to heal any pain, and move on with less stress.
Remember, the only ego you can manage is your own. Engaging with someone’s ego is a losing battle. Ever try talking with someone who is putting you down? Who blames you for how they feel? Who demands you listen to them, but refuses to listen to you? Whose only way is their ‘right way’?
If you notice yourself justifying this kind of energy within you – no matter what the situation – slow down, and recognize your ego. Others will be forced to walk away from you. They may be saying: “you are not listening!”because your ego only listens to itself.
A strong ego coincides with low self-worth – a disconnection from your higher self. It’s the part of other people you cannot change, but many of us try anyway – resulting in drama. We see people struggle, and want to reach out to them, but unless they are willing to listen you cannot offer any guidance because their ego prevents them from being in a space to receive you.
Our self-worth gets challenged by our own past pain, or unmet needs looking to heal.
If you suffered from abandonment, you may seek it from a church or friends/neighbours to feel ‘good enough’, and have sense of belonging.
If you suffered from a lack of money, you may need to have a lot of it to feel good about yourself.
If you were not respected, supported or nurtured, you may be seeking love from others to feel good enough and loved.
It’s the ego that sees ‘its your fault I feel this way’, and ‘if you loved me, you’d ______ to make me happy. There’s a constant feeling of being disappointed by others here, of keeping score, of feeling entitled where your ego is secretly at work.
Your higher self understands you are born worthy of love, and a deep part of you recognizes you don’t need to seek it. You are valuable already, and have nothing to prove. Love comes to you effortlessly because your own vibration is high, and attracting it without asking or demanding it.
Only you can discern whether its your ego imposing what it wants or whether its your higher self feeling genuinely disappointed when a value you hold is not being honoured. Your own sadness, anger or frustration belongs to you to process, and heal.
Authentic emotions brings you closer to yourself,
and allows you to grow.
Ego emotions feels disconnected from your true self,
and is an ongoing struggle.
1. You will have expectations based on your own values, beliefs, and programming – just don’t impose them on anyone. Let others choose for them, and you choose for you.
2. You will project (see life from your lens of understanding) based on who you are, which includes your own blind spots (you don’t know what you don’t know!) so stay open to everyone’s point of view to see the whole picture. You don’t have to agree with everyone – you just can’t blame them!
3. You will make certain assumptions because we don’t always have all the information in any given moment needed to make sense of what’s going on. Try to avoid having negative assumptions about someone’s character you don’t know or positive assumptions when a trust based on mutual values hasn’t been established. Pay close attention to your intuition of what feels ‘on’ or ‘off’ about someone – it’s telling you what you value.
4. Letting go of “taking it personally” means you’ve released your own need for what works for you having to work for someone else. You’ve let go of controlling, imposing, demanding, and expecting others to follow your ‘right way’. Other people’s happiness or pain is not your responsibility – that belongs to them, and your ‘right way’ doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
What’s going on underneath your disappointment? Please share in the comments below : )
Next Week’s Blog: How to Handle Disappointment so it doesn’t Create Stress, Drama, and Conflict while Standing Up for What Matters to You.