If there is something you can take for granted in life is that at some point you will be disappointed. Alexander Pope said “Blessed who does not expect anything because he will never be disappointed”. However, since it is extremely difficult not to form expectations, disappointment will knock to your door sooner or later.
Disappointment is a form of sadness, which is often experienced with the feeling of loss. It is a painful gap between our expectations and reality. There are as many disappointments as there are hopes and expectations. Although disappointments that hurt most often come from close and significant people.
How to use disappointment to open your eyes?
We usually see disappointment from a negative perspective, which is understandable because when we feel disappointed we see life through gray lenses. However, disappointment can also become a master. Although it can be unpleasant, disappointment gives us valuable information about the beliefs we feed about ourselves, the other people and what would make us truly happy. Disappointment can help us open our eyes.
Therefore, the next time you suffer a disappointment, instead of getting stuck in that state, think about what you can learn from that situation. Consider these questions:
- What. Do you think that only one thing can make you happy?
Sometimes we become obsessed with one thing, we believe that only if we get it we can be happy or feel satisfied and, if we do not reach it, we feel disappointed and fall into the deepest sadness. However, if we subordinate our happiness or satisfaction to one thing, we will have a serious problem. If we are not happy with what we have, it is probable that we won’t be happy with what we’ll achieve, simply because happiness is an inner state.
- Who. Do you think that only one person can fulfill your wishes?
Sometimes we think that when we find our soulmate, the stars will align and we will live happily ever after. We look for a series of characteristics in that person and form very high expectations, so when we hit reality, we end up disappointed. Maybe you’re expecting too much from the other person? Maybe you harbor expectations that that person cannot satisfy? Remember that true satisfaction must come from you, not depend on someone else. Do not think that the others should care about you, help you or commit to you. Instead, ask yourself what you can do for these people.
- When. Do you set a time limit to get what you want?
Our expectations are influenced by social norms. Without realizing it, we follow implicit rules that indicate when we must meet certain objectives. As a result, we put our goals on a timeline and if we do not get them, we feel we have failed. Find the soulmate, finish career, succeed professionally … Instead, we must understand that we are all unique and follow a different rhythm. Comparing and hurrying will only lead to disappointment and makes us misinterpret the signs of life, which sometimes does not say “no”, but only “wait.”
- How. Do you think there is only one way to do things?
Although we have analyzed every detail, life is always responsible for injecting a dose of chaos. Thinking that there is only one way to achieve your goals or one correct and proper way of doing things, will inevitably lead to disappointment. It is good to have a project, but we must not forget that there is always room for improvisation. If life does not work according to our plans, it means that we must change, adapt to the new circumstances and develop a new plan. Crying over spilled milk will not help. In fact, Abraham Maslow discovered that self-realized people have the strange ability to distinguish between means and goals; that is, they have their eyes fixed on their goals, keeping themselves open to the various opportunities that may arise. They are aware that there are different ways to get there.
Do not use disappointment like a brick to build emotional walls
We must be especially careful with disappointment because it can become the bricks with which we build emotional walls. When a disappointment has been great or we have accumulated many small disappointments, we can feel so cheated and betrayed that we build a wall around us.
It is true that this wall protects us from future disappointments, especially in relationships, but also prevents us from going back to illusion, love and vibration. Therefore, we must make sure to heal the emotional wound and not get stuck in disappointment. We must use disappointments as opportunities to learn and grow, not as excuses to close us to the world.