This title sounds like a really low vibration, almost negative theme, for my peppy happy self, but I am not always happy and peppy, and this is a topic I recently experienced so I thought I would share it with you today. =]
When I was a kid, the worst thing my mom could have said to me was “ I’m just disappointed”. Cue eyes filling with tears and a knife to the chest. It was the absolute WORST and it would wreck me every time. To this day, it’s the worst form of being reprimanded.
But I don’t think I really understood what disappointment was or felt like until I was older.
When I am disappointed in an outcome, whether that’s an event, award, or change I can always try to find a way to learn from it. I learned a lot about that kind of disappointment growing up like every kid does.
On the other hand, when a disappointment is caused by an individual I respect or trust, it feels so much more personal. When disappointment comes from events or things, I can easily see it objectively. But when it’s because of another person’s actions or lack there of all I can think is, “how could you? I trusted you.”
Today I wanted to talk about the disappointment I have experienced with people, how I dealt with it, and got past it.
In my life, I generally give people the benefit of the doubt. If something goes wrong or a mistake is made I brush it off and don’t think much of it. Although, this isn’t the case if I dub you as one of my “role models”. If you are someone I look up to in life, I hold you up to a much higher standard than I do most people. My role models are like god’s to me and they could do no wrong. They live in this bubble of perfection in my mind.
The times I have felt the most disappointment in my life is when those role models didn’t live up to the expectations I had for them. They have shown me that they indeed aren’t perfect, and I have felt a lonely disappointment and resentment towards them for it. I felt like they let me down.
Recently I was upset about a certain let down and I just couldn’t get over or past it, so I talked to my coach about it. I told her that I just was so disappointed in the way someone I looked up to was acting. I talked about how this has happened to me many times in my life with different role models.
Then she started asking me questions, like “Why does it matter that you two don’t agree on this topic?”, “Why are you holding them up to such a high standard?”, and “People are allowed to disagree and make mistakes.” Then she hit me with, “Are you being so strict with these role models and holding them up to such a high standard because that’s what you do to yourself?” and then it all made sense.
By definition, disappointment means, “sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes and expectations.”
I have high expectations for myself and I am the one who created those expectations of other people. I created them because I believe them to be true and in line with my values. I have a hard time letting go of that belief because I believe in them. I won’t give others a break because I won’t give myself a break. I am hard on myself, and if I don’t do well at something I beat myself up over it. I don’t give myself the same “benefit of the doubt” that I give most other people.
My coach explained to me that my disappointment in other people and how upset I get over it is just a projection onto them of how I feel about myself, and the way I think and talk to myself through disappointment. After she said that I realized how right she was.
I would never want someone to hold ME up to the standard that I hold my role models up too. It made me realize that even though I thought I had a more relaxed vibe towards others’ mistakes, I didn’t. My expectations and hopes of others are too high, and unfair. My expectations of myself are unfair.
Now, think of the times you were disappointed in someone over something and how upset you got about it after.
The way out of disappointment is through forgiveness, grace, and letting go. If you let go of the expectation of what something “should” be like, there is no right or wrong, it just is. Then give yourself some grace, forgive your negative thoughts and actions, and then you will feel like a weight is taken off your shoulders.
Disappointment is a heavy burden to carry. It’s a mess of our “expectations” and hopes of what something “should” be like. When at the end of the day, no one and nothing “should” be a certain way. Should leads to the belief that there is or someone is not enough and we are all more than enough as we are today.
So the way that I have learned to deal with disappointment was by:
First, understanding where is this feeling coming from? Was this an expectation I put on someone unrealistic and unfair? Am I actually stemming this belief back to myself? Where is this coming from and why do I so strongly believe it?
Then forgive the thought. Put it into perspective. How would I feel if someone felt this way about me? Is it worth my happiness or ruining this relationship?
Give yourself and others some grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself or others, people make mistakes, and that’s okay. It’s just a part of life.
Let that shit go. Don’t hold onto it. Forgive it, forgive yourself, and let go of those negative emotions or feelings. They aren’t serving you. They won’t move you forward or help you be okay. They will keep you stuck and unhappy and it’s simply not worth it.
Finally come back to the idea of, what can I learn from this?
For me, I learned that I need to be kinder to myself and give myself more “room for error”. If I allow myself that grace and space to mess up, I can more easily forgive myself and love myself. Then I can give that same forgiveness, grace, and love to others too.
What we feel on the inside always comes out on the outside through our words and actions, remember that.
Big love to you all,