Recently, I had a long phone conversation with a former student of mine. She was struggling in her new business enterprise that was under two years old. She was having challenges, especially on getting enough clients to keep her business afloat. The solution in her mind was to attempt employment, which she was aware would take time to secure. Apparently she knew she was in a dilemma and wanted a quick solution – how to overcome the numerous business challenges without losing her passion.
We plan and set goals in order to succeed in life but invariably, even though we give it our best shot, things don’t turn out as expected and disappointment sets in. Think about when you were growing up and had to take exams; when you were looking for work after college graduation; starting a business and getting clients; when you were dating, experiencing the loss of someone close, and many other situations. I personally remember knocking on many doors and dropping so many job application letters in order to offer my skills to build the nation. Those were very difficult and disappointing moments that I choose not to remember.
No matter how hard we try to be positive in any of those situations, we all end up having to deal with disappointments. Disappointment in itself is not particularly a bad thing; it is how we choose to deal with it that can make a difference. If we simply choose to accept the failure and allow the disappointment to wash over us and quickly go away, we won’t suffer adverse consequences. It is only when we allow the disappointment to linger and we focus on it that negativity and bad feelings can stay with us.
Some disappointment in life can be good for us because it allows us to grow and develop and practice thinking positively. Going through disappointment and coming out the other side, still wearing a smile makes us realize that no matter what life throws at us we can overcome it. Here are some tips to help you deal with and overcome disappointment when it rears its head.
- Realize that grief, stress, anxiety, fear, pain and suffering are just a natural part of life that we have to go through. It is how we deal with it and come out the other side that matters.
- If family members or loved ones are causing disappointments, remember that no one is invulnerable. You cannot always live up to your expectations for yourself; so how can you expect others to be perfect?
- When faced with disappointment, instead of looking at it as though it is a bad thing, welcome it and think of it as a test or challenge
- When things go wrong, analyze the situation, see what you can learn from it and then let it go.
- If you are constantly running into a brick wall when trying to reach long-term goals, remember there cannot be failure unless you give up, so keep trying until you get there.
- If you run into a dead-end, turn around and go another way; by staying flexible you are able to obtain your goal any way you can.
- Don’t expect anything more from life than what you are willing to put into it. If you don’t expect anything more, you won’t be disappointed.
- If you are having a particularly bad time overcoming disappointment, it can help to talk to someone about it. By talking about it and letting it out, you realize that you are not alone when it comes to suffering disappointment.
- Patience can really be a blessing when it comes to dealing with disappointment; just simply let the feelings pass over you and disappear and get back on your right track.
- Don’t be conned by foolish and unreasonable expectations about life. If you are constantly looking for perfection then you will be disappointed for sure.
Bikundo is a self taught social entrepreneur, based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a Bridge2Success mentor and coach for upward mobile young professionals who are ambitious, smart, go-getters and high achievers who are keen to create a dynamic and inspiring life. Bikundo feels purposeful working with people to realize and nurture their abilities. Apart from Kenya, he has worked in a variety of locations including Rwanda, Uganda, the Netherlands, Morocco and Mexico. You can reach him on Twitter @BikundoOnyari.