I recently gathered with three of my best most amazing girlfriends for a dinner meeting to discuss a project we’re collaborating on. Soon we realized there was a fifth guest at our table: disappointment. Our business agenda was scraped as we realized our plates were already full of something else. We spent the evening navigating through our disappointment and I walked away so grateful for friends with the awareness, willingness, compassion and courage to deal with what was on our menu for the evening. I want to share about how we supported each other just in case you are dealing with disappointment or perhaps know someone who could use a little support with theirs.
The first thing we did was just listen. We allowed each other to express our feelings about what had happened and we met each other where we were at. No advice, no fixing, no “trying to see the silver lining,” just listening. The next thing was asking whoever was expressing what kind of support she needed. This is empowering for the person who is experiencing the disappointment because it anchors them into their own ability to take care of themselves. Then we gave that support! It included a lot of acknowledgment and the type of reassurance that she asked for. Next, brainstorm possible next steps or examine available choices without any pressure or “shoulding.” And finally lots of encouragement to move into accepting WHAT IS – which is one of the hardest life lessons for all of us!
As the recipient of this process, I felt such a big layer of the disappointment lift by the end of the evening. And as the witness/supporter of another’s disappointment, I was once again reminded of how alike and very, very human we all are. We all face disappointment and to put it bluntly, it sucks. We want immediate relief and solutions as soon as possible but that is not always a possibility. But it is possible to consume disappointment in a healthier way that supports you in moving through it rather than sitting in it. And of course within every disappointment, there is a lesson and a blessing. It just may not be revealed immediately…oh no, more disappointment?!?! No, just another opportunity to practice faith and patience.
Today I invite you to UPdate your life tool box with this step-by-step plan when disappointment disrupts your plans. Because we can’t always get what we want, but we ALWAYS get what we need (eventually). Add a fitness routine for your mind and heart as another way to help you stay in a positive state of mind.
“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” –Robert Kiyosaki
“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” –Eliza Tabor
Christine Hassler supports individuals in discovering the answers to the questions: “Who Am I, What do I want, and How do I get it?” Christine grew up in Dallas, graduated cum laude from Northwestern University and received her Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She is now a Life Coach with a counseling emphasis specializing in relationships, career, finances, self-identity, personal and spiritual growth. Her expertise is centered on the twenty and early thirty something years of life. Christine has authored two books: Twenty-Something, Twenty-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction and The Twenty-Something Manifesto. As a professional speaker, Christine leads seminars and workshops to audiences around the country. She has spoken to over 10,000 college students as well as to conferences and corporations about generational diversity. Christine has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Style and PBS, as well as various local television and radio shows, speaking about life issues and “Expectation Hangovers®” – a phenomenon she identified and trademarked.
Christine is the spokesperson for Zync from American Express and the key resource for their Quarterlife Program, which empowers young people to take control of their finances. She also created a life balance curriculum for the Leadership Institute and is a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100. Beginning this fall, Christine will serve on the faculty of the University of Santa Monica.