Working Through Disappointment

I don't typically take photos of myself when I'm disappointed. I don't necessarily want to publicly document that feeling, especially when I'm very familiar with the emotions I experience when disappointed. The natural smile here is from bouncing back after plenty of setbacks.

We all know that sure things can fall through. That "we're definitely bringing you back" or "can't wait to book you" doesn't always lead to an actual booking. Performance applications are declined. Someone else gets hired. Photo shoots don't happen because the stars have misaligned.

It's not jut limited to artists and public figures. Everyone experiences disappointment. You have to pay more per month for something than you'd hoped, and it's definitely a bill you can't skip. Your car overheats. You get into an argument with family. Social media makes you feel like you are continually behind in everything.

The positive thing is working through disappointment. That doesn't mean that you're all smiles all the time, but our smart-ape brains are made to learn from things that don't help our survival. Just because we missed out on the dopamine hit this time doesn't mean we're doomed.

Snapper's 5 Tips for Working Through Disappointment

  1. Feel all the feelings. Give yourself a good ten minutes to stew in it. Some bad news we can process a little quicker, but allow yourself some time to really note how much it sucks. Complain to your mate or best pal, get some hits in on your punching bag, grumble around the house. Just stay off social media while you're feeling all the feelings.
  2. Go do something else for a little while. Hit a museum. Sew something. Take a long walk with your dogs. Clean your house. Anything that isn't directly related to the thing that disappointed you is a good idea. There's more to life than this little setback.
  3. When you're ready, review the news that let you down. Get curious about it. What's the exact wording? Does it say, "Sorry, but you really suck and will never work in this town again." Or, "Eep! This year we're going in a different direction." What are the actual words used in the notice?
  4. Take a lesson. Remember that our species has survived by learning from pain. Do you still put your hand on the burner? Your lesson might be that it isn't done until there's a signed contract so maybe save your money until the contract is in place. Maybe you should start planning earlier next time. Perhaps you should make sure you get a confirmation that your information was received when you do this again. 
  5. Keep going. Do the thing you do. Seek opportunities to do your thing. Work to improve in all areas of life.

BONUS: If you're hella bummed and can't shake it, check over some human body rudiments. Eat something. Take a nap. Shower. Exercise. Make some small action, even if it's dusting the television. Talk to a professional if you get stuck in the disappointment phase.

Following these recommendations doesn't mean the setback will automatically disappear. It's not going to change a "no" to a "yes." You're just going to get stronger and maybe bounce back a little easier next time. The lessons will continue to reveal themselves. (While I have a great smile, I'm sure there were a few reasons I didn't make the cheerleading team in high school.)

Lastly, every experience we've had in the past-- positive and negative-- has led us to where we are today.