Dealing with Disappointment

There are a handful of instances from my childhood where I vividly recall knowing I had disappointed my parents and another handful where I can recall the same regarding my teachers. As a grown man, now with a family of my own, I still shutter at the idea of letting down or disappointing my parents.

Sadly, disappointment is a part of life and it happens to all of us. You can disappoint someone or be disappointed by someone or something. Either way, it does not feel great. 

Disappointment can come in all shapes and sizes and the effects of some disappointment can last longer than others. 

Without bearing my entire soul, I can think of a handful of situations where I have been disappointed or disappointed someone within the last several weeks and it makes me feel terrible regardless of whether I'm on the giving or receiving end. 

Let's face it, disappointment stinks. 

How do you deal with disappointment? 

As a school teacher how do you deal with the disappointment of knowing a student made a choice that just completely let you down? I've seen first hand how these these choices can shake teachers to the core. Teachers who pour every ounce of their being into the lives of their children, only to be let down by a choice made in a split second decision. 

Or maybe a better question for school teachers is, how do you deal with the disappointment of knowing or feeling as if your principal or a teammate has disappointed you with the decision or decisions he/she has recently made?

As a school leader how do deal with the disappointment of knowing your best just wasn't good enough? You gave it everything you could and thought it was good enough only to find out you came up short. 

As parents how do you deal with the disappointment of knowing your own child let you down? Knowing your child made a decision against their better judgement, regardless of how big or small or the consequence of their actions. 

Disappointment is a part of life, but how do you deal with it? 

Do you let it stew and fester, slowly eating you up inside? Do you share it with others who allow you to wallow and mourn in your infinite sadness or do you do something about it?

While some types of disappointment do require working through a period of frustration, I choose to work through it. I choose to make my feelings known. If someone has disappointed me, I let them know and we talk through why I am feeling the way I am, with the hopes it does not happen again. If I disappoint someone, I hope they come and let me know. As a husband, father and principal, I know I disappoint people. I've disappointed my wife, my son and probably a teacher or two, but I promise, I have never once, done so intentionally. I hope the relationships that have been established are strong enough and exist for all three of those parties to approach me and let me now how I have disappointed them. Give me the opportunity to, at a minimum, be made aware. 

As for dealing with coming up short, well that can make or break you. I believe it's called adversity.
I believe people are defined by the moments in life that bring you to your knees. Being humbled can be disappointing, but like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, I will be back; stronger than ever, turning that disappointment into fuel that drives me to the highest levels of success. 

Then there is Cooper, my son. I know there will come a time where he makes a decision that leads to disappointment. What I will want him to always remember, no matter what, is just like my parents love me, I will love him unconditionally and promise to help him learn through the disappointment...every time. 

Thinking about it, isn't that how we really want to deal with disappointment? After all, it is going to happen. Shouldn't we learn from it. Learn from the mistakes we make that disappoint others and learn from the life lessons we are given when someone disappoints us. If we can learn from our disappointment, we are destined to be made stronger and be better equipped the next time life hands us a heavy dose of disappointment.

How do you deal with disappointment?

What was your moment today? 

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