It would be nice to go through life without having to deal with disappointments. Nice – but not realistic.
The issue is not whether we will have to deal with disappointments in our family lives, careers, and relationships. We will. The issue is how will we cope when those things occur.
In this area, like in so many others, prevention is so much easier to do than crisis management.
One aspect of prevention involves minimizing the chances of being disappointed in the first place. Get you applications or reservations in on time. Allow for the possibility of getting delayed by traffic. Approach the attractive man or woman before somebody else does. Get a good night’s sleep and practice some form of relaxation before a test or an interview or presentation. Utilize all the information that is available to maintain good health.
Another aspect of prevention is to strengthen you psychological infrastructure. Take pride in yourself. Remember the 5 P’s – and be: Personal Goal-Driven,; Proactive; Positive; Persistent; and Playful.
Individuals who have positive self-images are better able to be resilient and cope with disappointments because they understand that they don’t have to be eternally defined by a particular event – no matter how crushing it may appear to be at the time.
Finally, recognize that the most active and successful people are the ones who tend to get disappointed the most – but they are resilient enough to bounce back. Successful entrepreneurs often have a string of failed businesses before finding the formula for success and wealth. Only a few major league baseball players attain the status of a .333 batting average – which means that they are actually unsuccessful two out of every three at-bats. But they don’t let the non-successes define them.
It’s not fun to not get what you want, but it’s even less fun to wallow in a disappointment. Plan for those inevitable disappointments by constantly building your psychological infrastructure. It won’t eliminate disappointments, but it will increase your chances of making their effects more temporary – which will increases your chances of bouncing back and moving on.