Today we’re talking about the pattern of feeling disappointed. For setting yourself up to experience a certain outcome where we set certain expectations for ourselves, people and events. When things don’t go as planned we end up feeling completely let down and empty inside. We create internal meaning that maybe we shouldn’t be creating. It affects our worthiness and our connection to the people around us.
Listen to the podcast:
Challenge These Thoughts
I want to lay it all out on the table so that you and I together can challenge these thoughts and the feelings that they create. Often, my clients will describe this as an emotional roller coaster. One minute they are elated and excited about something coming up. They can’t wait. It’s going to look and feel a certain way. They expect the people they love and care about most to be equally proud of them.
Has this ever happened to you?
You go to college and get a certain degree and think your parents will be so proud of me and then they don’t give you the reaction you were hoping for. Or, you share something with your spouse or best friend and they’re like oh, that’s great and you’re like BUZZKILL! Why aren’t you as excited as me? Perhaps you spend so long coming up with the perfect gift for somebody and you’re thinking oh my gosh she is going to love this and you don’t get the reaction you were expecting.
You take on a new job, a new client and you expect it to look a certain way but it’s a total let down. You’re thinking, “What was I thinking? How do I get out of this? Is there another option for me? Is it always going to be like this?” Or if you’re single and go on a date and thought it went great, expecting him to call and he doesn’t. You start playing the event over again in your mind and each time you find something else you could have done differently. Or, you throw a party and none of them show up. Doesn’t anybody love me or care about me? Why don’t they come over? Why is no one saying yes to me? You feel abandoned and alone. Or you go to a networking event and you think you’re going to meet a lot of potential clients and you just don’t connect in the way you were hoping.
I could go on all day. There are so many situations where we set ourselves up to be ready for a certain expectation. We paint the picture in our mind. We create a story, the beginning, middle and end because the brain likes pictures. It likes stories. When we’re going into an experience and we don’t have the right ending because it hasn’t happened yet. We don’t know what the end is going to look like. We don’t have a crystal ball to look into the future to prepare. The brain does that and creates its own ending.
Sometimes when we are really excited about something and we are attached to the outcome. We tell ourselves we need it to go this way. It’s important. It has to go this way. Our brain doesn’t allow the option of a plan b or alternate ending. It gets married to one particular outcome. If it doesn’t go as we predicted it to go we end up feeling disappointed, depressed, alone and abandoned.
We reflect on it and personalize the situation, thinking it must be us. There must be something wrong with me. There must be something I did wrong. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I should do something better. Maybe nobody likes me. And there’s the spiral.
It’s not because something is wrong with you. It’s not because you’re unloveable. It’s not because you’re not good at what you do. It’s not because you don’t have the skills or you’re not doing things right. It’s because you attached a meaning to an outcome that wasn’t guaranteed.
You Can’t Control It
You were trying to control a situation that you didn’t have control over. You can’t control how another person is going to react. That’s not your job. That’s their responsibility. You get to control how you respond and they get to control how they respond. You wouldn’t like it very much if someone else tried to control your responses. That would take the fun out of life. It’s important to remember that you are not in control and you are not responsible for the way that other people respond, react their choices, or anything like that. You can only do you.
You’re not responsible if people call; if your friends go to the party; if the right people show up at the networking event. You have to just go out there and do life and take chances and be okay with the outcome either way.
That’s what I want to talk to you about today – a couple of tips to help you set yourself up for success in any situation and prevent that feeling of utter disappointment when things don’t go as planned.
Watch Your Words
Pay attention to how you’re thinking about the outcome. Change the need for something to happen a certain way or by a certain time to a desire. Rather than saying “He better call me” or I have to get this job or I have to make $1000 this week, change it to “It would be nice if…” he called, I’d like to make $1000. I’d prefer my parents to get excited about the same things I get excited about. I would enjoy it if everyone came to my party. It would be nice if I picked up some new clients from this networking event.
Do you see how the energy changes from I have to I need to it better happen this way? You were attached to it. That energy is very needy. It’s very desperate. When you change it to It would be nice if, I’d like to, I’d prefer it. But the energy is a little more relaxed and a little more detached.
What you’re doing by changing the wording is you’re changing the energy to release the pressure and stress. You’re allowing some flexibility. You’re allowing your brain to explore options and be prepared for alternatives, just by telling your brain.
You’re taking that do or die energy out of it and turning it
2. Explore Other Options
As you invite your brain to explore other options it automatically goes into alternative ending mode. It looks for ways to recreate the story and come up with other possible endings. A nice way to bring things to the conscious level – because this all happens at the unconscious level. If you want to start exploring alternate endings, ask yourself “or else what?”
“I need to get this job…or else what?”
“I need to make $1000 this week…or else what?”
“I need my parents to be proud of me…or else what?”
What does it mean if it doesn’t happen? What does it say about you as a person, a human being, an individual? Does it mean you aren’t good enough? Does it mean that you’re less worthy? Does it mean that you’re broken, damaged, that you’re not skilled or that you don’t have strengths? NO!
If you allow it to mean that, it will feel true. If you argue that and say “No that’s there reaction and they’re responsible for it and I’m responsible for mine. I would prefer to get this job. If I don’t, well then what?
3. Accepting what is no matter what.
Allow your brain to rewrite the story in multiple different ways and then practice the way you will respond to it. Practice saying to yourself “It’s ok I’m ok with that. It is what it is. It would be nice if i got this job but if I don’t it’s okay. Life goes on. There will be another job. I will find another one. It means that it’s not meant to be.”
“I would like to make 1000 this week. Life would be easier but if I don’t it’s okay. I know that I’m still worthy, I still know that I am loveable. I still have an amazing support system. I still have the skills and strengths and knowledge to move forward in my goals and make money next month.”
By simply using the words “It’s okay,” you’re forcing your brain to explore all the ways it will really be okay.
4. Have faith that something better is around the corner.
Sometimes we get really attached to an outcome thinking that it has to be this way. This is the best possible scenario. Without realizing there is something bigger, better and even more aligned to your values and goals and purpose in life waiting for you around the corner. It may feel like this door is closed. This is not the ideal scenario./ But another door is getting ready to open. The better alternative is coming. If you get really upset, disappointed and closed off to the world, you may miss it. You may not see the door open with the light shining through it because you’re so focused on the dark.
Accepting what is and being open to opportunity and possibility and having faith that this too has happened for a reason and it is happening for you to pursue something even better. You are going to be a stronger person. Your life can expand in ways you didn’t think was possible a day ao.
Have that faith. It will help to keep your vibe high and keep you in an attraction mode. You will keep attracting more and more of those beautiful, amazing, abundant opportunities for you.
You are going to be okay. What it means is something awesome is around the corner. You’re always growing the universe has your back. There’s’ always going to be something bigger and better. You deserve it.