Managing Disappointments

Words: Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

Picture this. When something goes wrong, somewhere, or when someone does not meet, or live up to our belief and/or fails to fulfil our trust and confidence. The parallels have one common thread running through — disappointment.

Disappointments can occur at any point in time — age, or maturity, being no bar. Not getting a bicycle as a kid to being turned down for a promotion, or pay hike, at the workplace, can lead to disappointment — with equal intensity.

Understand The Crux

A disagreeable reaction and loss of hope at varying stages of our lives is what disappointment is all about, although the dictionary generalises and ‘plays down’ the idea. All the same, disappointments differ from one person to the other — of how you take it, or how others take and handle it, in a given, or not given, situation.

In our frenzied, hugely competitive world, where winning is everything, an ounce or pound of disappointment is a commonplace occurrence. It is also reality. It not only leads to cynicism, acrimony and low self-worth, but also anguish, harangue, rant and despondency.

It is not difficult to understand the elementary context of disappointment. Disappointment happens with regularity, because we are extremely obsessed with results. Remember — results, however well-planned and executed, are, by nature, variable. Not only that — once we get ourselves into such a ‘result-oriented mode’ we have done ourselves a bad turn. We have invited disappointment. The complexity also gets worse compounded because we often ‘deposit’ our hope on something that may not necessarily be accomplished in the manner and form we would have visualised, or envisaged.

This does not, in anyway, mean that disappointment should not occur, or even if it does it should not affect as much as it usually does. We are now not talking in terms of philosophy.

Well, the best thing to do, any which way you look at it, is to put on your thinking cap of reality and look at the cause as to why a certain disappointment occurred in a given situation.

When we dig into, or analyse, the whole idea, we will not only begin to ‘find’ ourselves, yet again, but also understand our sensibilities, aside from our susceptibilities. This will strengthen our resolve to finding peace within ourselves — not outside — while accepting things and doing well the next time around. 

Things To Do 

When you experience, or face, disappointment, try to remain composed and in control of the situation. There is no point in flinging venom, tantrums, or clenching your fists. Tempers don’t bring peace.

Try to relax a bit, practice meditation, or yoga. If you, for any reason, cannot bring calm, look at yourself in the mirror — and, tell yourself that it’s all part of life.

You will notice the difference — you will also feel a sense of positive respite emerging in your emotional state.

Now, bring into your focus positive statements. When you practice positive affirmations you will feel composed. The idea works because you will not curb, or cutback, your emotional state you were in earlier. You are immediately lifted to a higher level of consciousness and inner calm.

The following affirmations would be useful when you find yourself in the midst of disappointment — the gloomy song of one’s burden:

  • This has happened; so, what? Maybe, I’m in for better days
  • Any disappointment is not permanent. This too shall pass
  • Let me release myself from the cause of disappointment. This can be a person, or thing
  • Maybe, better things, or opportunities, are waiting for me
  • Everything happens for a reason — so, better things will happen for a reason too.

Handy Ideas

You’d use a brace of handy ideas to come to grips with yourself too. Write a few lines for yourself over what happened — not about what you think went wrong.

  • Recall everything you had significantly ‘invested’ in, or rather spent your time on a thing, or person, who did not live up to your ‘expectations.’ The age-old tenet is: expectations are misnomers; they are, at best, illusory. They don’t do anyone any good
  • Give full scope to detailing your own feelings by ‘sculpting’ a letter to yourself. Include any other element that triggered the disappointment
  • Read, re-read, and assimilate the entire content of the letter for 2-3 days in private. Once you have finished with it, just purge, or burn the letter.

Purging, or burning, the letter represents a spiritual element — it is linked to symbolic cleansing and liberation from the ‘polluted’ effects of disappointment, or disenchantment. It is an effective practice that has been in vogue in a host of cultures for ages.

Most important — all our disappointments are not permanent. They are temporary set-backs. Think also of them as a way of freedom from your relationships with people, places, things and results.

The outcome is predictable. A new-fangled sense of tranquillity will begin to permeate your life and also being. You will move on and only be happier for it and, in the process, in harmonious control of yourself.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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