Disappointment

How one handles disappointment is a good indicator of emotional maturity. There are several ways that I have handled disappointment over the years.

1) Its their fault – Blaming people for not capturing your intentions is the first reaction that I think we go to when something doesn’t work. This is the same kind of thinking that our children have when their toy doesn’t work. “What’s wrong with the toy, it’s the toys fault.” This is like a muscle reflex. As we grow we can move away from this reactive thinking and lashing out at people.

2) It’s all my fault – When things don’t work and we don’t blame others we might decide to blame ourselves. We internalize the failure and decide that we are broken. We are not good enough. We are failures. I think this is the most destructive response to disappointment because blaming yourself shuts you down from taking risks and trying new things.

3) The System isn’t working – Honestly, everything works in a system. Communication, promotion, events, even relationships can be systematized. If you are not getting the results you want then you need to reevaluate your system. You may have made the system but that doesn’t mean you a the failure. The system is established through experimentation, risks, and even mis-fires. If you can see that the system isn’t working the failure then is not about you or other people, the failure is in the system. You can’t change other people. You can’t blame yourself for everything. But the system can be changed, and if you take the time to evaluate your system you can find the solution.

Don’t let disappointment cripple you. Don’t blame everyone else for the problem. Evaluate the system.

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