Disappointments in Life
We are taught as part of society we need to be “productive members”. At first introductions one of the first things people want to find out is “what do you do”?
I remember in high school thinking my dream of being a police officer. They symbolized protectors and keepers of the peace. Given my personality that I have always felt like a leader, this is exactly what I wanted to do. It was my way to give back and to help people.
I spent 4 years of college working towards that goal and dreaming about all the good I was going to do for the world. So in 2007 I worked in Law Enforcement. One of the most humbling days is a day I spent in Washington DC in my early 20s. I went to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. The names engraved of the brave men and women who have died in the line of duty protecting lives of people they don’t even know. It was a very profound day in my life.
In becoming an officer, I learned that it fell short of what I was trying to accomplish. Situations in my life lead me away from wanting to continue the dream. It is during that time that I learned that everything you have worked for can be gone in an instant and that life suddenly becomes different.
I feel very different now. I was giving my occupation the sole responsibility for my sense of value to my life. It changed in an instant. The only thing I could do was adapt or let it take me down. Being faced with that decision changed how I looked at things from that point forward. I made the decision to go back to school for my MBA.
I have learned that disappointments are an opportunity to see what direction you want to take your life in. It is opportunity for growth and change. That is exactly what I had to come to terms with at that point in my life. Life has always taken me ways in which I never expected. The things I thought I wanted, I didn’t want after all. The things that I didn’t consider till I came face to face with the possibility, have been things that have rewarded me in so many ways.
Here are some ways that I think can help when trying to recover from a disappointment:
- Build on your relationships. Use the support of friends and family members. Hold on to those who accept you without judging you. Find people that encourage you to express your true feelings.
- Focus on your core values. When you know what you want out of life it is easier to take responsibility and not look to place the blame.
- Don’t rush. When you lose something important, it takes time to adjust. Expect to feel uncomfortable. It is a transition time as you let go of old thoughts and ways of doing things you learn and grow.
- Take good care of yourself and your health. Disappointments are very stressful. Even more stressful when they are unexpected. Do something for yourself every day.
- Take one step at a time. You may feel powerless but you can find ways to regain the sense of control.
As I write this blog I am reminded of something that touched me yesterday. I am fortunate in that a number among my friends share with me their inspiration. I have some really incredible people in my life. Yesterday my friend Mike sent me a link to a Tribute to MLK. This quote I am reminded of today as I wrote this blog:
“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”