Disappointment is double- sided

On the other side of disappointment is success and satisfaction.

11/10/20232 min read

"Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment." Evan Esar

Someone told me once that they avoid things because at the end of every attempt is a disappointment. (Since last week we talked about avoidance, I thought it was only right that we explore disappointment. Because the fear of disappointment is typically why people start to avoid things.) I have always been optimistic, so hearing that I thought, "Sometimes things work out; some things just go right." We are both right. The truth is disappointment is double-sided.

At the end of every attempt is the possibility of disappointment. But there is also the possibility of it's opposite. Let's imagine I am going to learn to garden. I will undoubtedly experience disappointment. Some plants will die. Others will be eaten. I might plant some at the wrong time or in the wrong type of soil. But I will also experience satisfaction with plants like bamboo that can thrive through an inconsistent watering schedule. Disappointment is double-sided because, on the other side of it, lives satisfaction. Disappointment is as important to learning as failure is to growth. Years ago we talked about failure as the right of passage to success. Disappointment is the right of passage to learning. To learn a person, to learn yourself, to learn what works and what doesn't. All of this comes before success.

What I wish I had told him

Disappointment is inevitable whether you try or not. It's not about avoiding disappointment. It's about learning to deal with it. The only way we can give ourselves a fighting chance to success and satisfaction is if we try our hand at it. The thing about dealing with disappointment is that it's a practice: it's a maintenance habit. Like taking care of yourself while you are sick and refueling your body after.

• Relationship disappointment. - Communication, resilience, and boundaries are ways to deal with disappointment in relationships. Both before it occurs and after. This older adult advised people in relationships. Her advice is to understand that you will disappoint each other. She's right; I've learned. It's what comes after that's important.

• Disappointment in career. -Reevaluation, resilience and the collection of what's learned are a few ways to deal with disappointment in your career. Suppose you are looking for work and are continuously getting denied. Send an email to find out the things you can work on. Keep in mind what's going on in your city or state. Then reevaluate how you have been going about things and if that's still the best way. Lastly, don't let the disappointment get you too down; success is just on the other side.

• Disappointment with self. - Discernment, resilience, and empathy are some ways to deal with feeling disappointed with yourself. We have a terrible habit of hoarding the voices of others and letting them affect how we feel about ourselves. Learn to discern what is your voice and what is not. Then allow yourself to feel empathy and understanding that we are human and just as we will disappoint others, we will also disappoint ourselves. We need empathy to feel our way through emotion. Instead, we are piling them on or tucking them away.

There is a common theme to dealing with disappointment, and that is resilience. Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from difficulties. Resilience comes when you know that disappointment doesn't last if you learn and try a new hand. It comes when you understand that disappointment is double-sided.