There are many things in life that are certain. One certainty is that we all know what it feels like to be disappointed. We also know what it feels like to disappoint someone else. Disappointment is one of those difficult realities of life that we have to learn how to deal with. (I didn’t say love – we just have to deal with.) If not handled carefully, however, DISAPPOINTMENT can be DEADLY. Disappointment can be lethal when it comes to our visions, goals, dreams and aspirations. If we become fixated on the disappointments of our past, we won’t be motivated to fix what’s wrong and make it better in our future. (Somebody shout AMEN!)
No one gets everything that they want – not even the filthy rich. No one has everything work out exactly the way they planned it. In life there are your plans then there are God’s plans. Disappointment is birthed in the space between our expectations and our experiences. When our experiences don’t match our expectations we tend to be disappointed. For example, if you expect to get a certain job and it they hire someone else you are bound to be disappointed. If your relationship or marriage didn’t turn out the way you expected, you are likely to be disappointed. (I’ve been disappointed twice by the way.)
Disappointment is the difference between your expectation and your experience. That means the higher the disparity between what you expect and what you experience, the higher your level of disappointment. (I just said a mouthful right there. I hope you caught it.) Let me see if I can put it in terms we all can understand and identify with. If your mother and father were both 6’4” and you are 25 years old and you’re 5’4”…you’re probably a “little” disappointed (and somebody needs to get a blood test). You expected to be at least 6 feet tall like your parents.
Success in life is not found in avoiding disappointments, but it is defined in how we handle our disappointments. One thing about disappointments, they have your address, social security number, and phone number (and your Twitter handle). In other words, they know how to find you! We ALL get disappointed, but we should never allow our disappointments to destroy us. I was disappointed leaving Florida State having lost two games my last two years of college only to go to the Atlanta Falcons and win only three games my first year in the NFL – talk about disappointment!
When we can’t move past the disappointment of the last friendship or relationship, we destroy any chance of success in our next one. When we get so disappointed about losing out on the last job, it may destroy our drive to go out and apply for another one. We cannot allow our disappointments to be in the driver’s seat of our lives smoking a cigar with shades on! It’s time to revoke the driver’s license of your disappointments and put them in the trunk where they belong!
Here are three ways we can deal with our disappointments and take charge of our lives:
- Realize that your last opportunity was not your LAST opportunity.
When we dwell on our disappointments we act as if there are no more opportunities coming our way. Let me help you, there are more fish in the sea! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just because that last woman/man was a fool that doesn’t mean you won’t find someone else. (TRUST ME WHEN I TELL YOU THIS!) In fact, when we DEAL with our DISAPPOINTMENTS in a healthy manner, God won’t just send us something/someone else; He sends us something/someone BETTER! (@TraceyEdmonds…. I TOLD YOU TO TRUST ME!) Stop crying over spilled milk. That milk was spoiled any way! You’re about to miss that ice cream truck that’s passing by and playing your song!
- Check your expectations.
I already told you that disappointment is the difference between our expectations and our experiences. The problem with many of us is that we have UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain. Why are you disappointed that you didn’t get a job that you are NOT qualified for? Save yourself the disappointment. Go back to school. Get the necessary skills for the job you thought you should have gotten. Then you can have a realistic expectation of getting the job, because you are now qualified for it.
IN RELATIONSHIPS, check your expectations. Make sure they are based in reality. Don’t expect someone to be something they weren’t when you met them. Instead of trying to EXPECT, maybe you should ACCEPT. Accept the person for who they are, and stop expecting them to change (especially when you ain’t willing to change yourself). If you accept that they may not ever change, then you have to decide whether you’re willing to stay in a relationship with who they are – not who you expect them to be. That’s the problems with most relationships. We bank on the person changing, and when they don’t, we get upset. You knew you had a joker in your hand after you were dealt those cards! Instead of you stopping the game and telling the dealer you were dealt a joker, you just chose to play your hand. UNREALISTIC expectations always lead to UNFULFILLED expectations, and unfulfilled expectations always lead to DISAPPOINTMENT. Check your expectations and save yourself some disappointment.
- Look for new opportunities.
I already told you that your LAST opportunity was not your LAST opportunity. GOD HAS MORE IN STORE FOR YOU! You gotta believe, and you just have to be willing to look. Don’t let your past DISAPPOINTMENT cause you to MISS your next APPOINTMENT! In relationships, don’t miss your NEXT because you’re crying over your EX. In business, don’t miss out on that million dollar idea because you’ve had a million bad ideas. Always be on the lookout for what’s next. I always say if it wasn’t for my wrongs, I wouldn’t have recognized right.
The danger of disappointment is that it can cause you to become past-centric instead of future-focused. Disappointment will have you licking the wounds of your past instead of licking your chops at the promise of your future. Make a decision today that you will not allow disappointment to keep you staring in the rearview mirror of your life. Look forward to the new opportunities that are ahead of you. You can’t “get ahead” if you don’t look ahead! If you don’t quit, shut it down, drop out…you’re gonna make it!
Keep looking. Something good is about to happen to you, and I promise…you won’t be DISAPPOINTED!