It Began Like This…
There I was sitting with two friends who I had brought to meet a relative (who shall remain nameless.) The restaurant was elegant and the energy in the room was upbeat. Who doesn’t like going to lunch with “the girls” and sharing stories while eating good food?
Unbeknownst to my relative, I had shared with my friends that I wanted them to meet her, because while she was a new real estate agent, she was very well versed in the markets in the area. Both of these friends were on the look out for real estate opportunities and I had thought putting them together would be beneficial to all involved.
So we waited and as we chatted about current events, I started to get an uneasy feeling. Where was she? Why wasn’t she here, yet? Almost by cue, I received a text, in which, she shared that she had “forgotten” to tell me she couldn’t make it, “because something else had come up.” Now she didn’t know I had arranged these ladies to meet her, but it didn’t sit well with me that not only did she cancel when I was sitting at the restaurant waiting for her, but she also did it by text! I didn’t even rate a phone call.
When I shared the news with my friends, right then, you could tell that they both wrote her off as “one of those.” She had lost an opportunity and I felt that I disappointed my friends who were looking forward to meeting her. But more than that, I was disappointed that she didn’t keep her word and would treat me in such an inconsiderate manner.
Who hasn’t had something like that happen? But when it happens to you, it takes on a new level of importance.
Now what do I do? A. Do I call her up and tell her off? B. Do I remain silent and write her off like my friends? C. Do I do nothing? What is my course of action?
Well, before I became a coach and learned a lot of tips, tools, and strategies to handle various forms of disappointment better, I chose to follow my friends’ example. If she didn’t have the courtesy to show up or to call me directly and sent me a text while I was sitting there waiting for her, I didn’t need to spend anymore time trying to help her. I was not only hurt, I was angry about the mistreatment.
However, was “B” the best choice for me? Could I have handled this sort of common occurence in a way that improved our relationship and made me satisfied with the outcome? Instead of a knee-jerk reaction that stopped the relationship cold, I could have used my disappointment as a cue to take back control of the situation. Do you know what I mean?
If you don’t let disappointment stop you in your tracks, but rather, allow it to become a trigger that drives you to future success, then you are already halfway there.Christine Jeffrey
I came to the conclusion that if I don’t communicate how I feel when something like this happens, I am not satisfied with how I move forward in the relationship. My relative lost an advocate that day and I let that disappointment stop me from being proactive when people fall short of agreed on expectations.
Disappointment is a feeling like any other and it passes with time if you don’t hold on to it. But beyond that, you can learn to use disappointment as a trigger to cue you to take action regardless of the kind of disappointment you experience. Use it to drive you to move forward – whether it is to communicate better, find a solution to a problem, or to figure out what it takes to win.
When you decide it is time to let it go and to take action, here are some easy steps to help you to get back into momentum again.
Do these steps in sequence and they will help you to keep your eyes on the prize and your head in the game:
- See beyond the present moment – Ask yourself, “what are the long term ramifications if I do nothing or keep doing what I’m doing?” What happens if you let this setback or disappointment stop you? What are the long term consequences if you allow this to stand as is? What matters most?
- Seek support –Who can help you to resolve the issue? Who can you confide in and share what you feel? Who can hold you accountable to make the choice that is best for you?
- Take a realistic assessment –What are you responsible for? The only thing you can truly control is yourself. So what can you do? How do you want to feel?
- Plan Your Next Steps – Now that you know what you want, know why it is important to you and have the support you need to move forward, plan your next steps given the information you have and decide to act. Schedule it. If you make a mistake, keep modifying until you get the outcome that you want.
When you use these steps to handle disappointment, you won’t stay down for long, you’ll get better results, have a better overall experience, and I want that for you!
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With love, Coach “Let it drive you“