At some point, we all face disappointment.
Whether you get passed over for a promotion, lose a big client, your new program launch flops, or your business partner bails on you — things don’t always go as we hoped…and frankly, it sucks
But although feeling let down is perfectly normal, dwelling in disappointment won’t do you any good
It’s okay to be a little bummed, but you also need to be able to bounce back
And the key to bouncing back is a little trick called letting go.
The Buddhists believe that any pain we have is because we’re attached — to an outcome, to a person, to an expectation, etc. So their tradition, it’s all about practicing non-attachment.
Letting go is easier said than done, but it’s a powerful practice.
Think about it this way — nothing is permanent anyway. When the trees bloom in the springtime, the beauty is fleeting and followed by blossoms shriveling and falling away.
The idea is to feel emotions and experiences, be with your feelings, and let it go.
How does this apply to disappointment?
When you face disappointment, the level of pain you experience depends on how attached you were to the outcome.
But you might be thinking to yourself, “Wait, Laura, how am I supposed to achieve my goals if I don’t care about results?”
I get it; this advice seems counterintuitive for people who are ambitious, looking to make a career change, or eager to grow a business.
But here’s the thing —
When you’re working on something, of course you want it to come to be. However, the success journey is a fine dance of duality and rationality.
If you face disappointment, you’re going to mourn. Allow the feeling, sit with it, and set some parameters. How long are you going to give it?
That dream job or dream client slipped through your fingers? Give yourself three days to wallow mire, get back up, brush yourself off, and keep going.
Here are a few tips that work for me.
- Say to the universe or whatever higher power you believe in: This or something better! If one thing doesn’t work out, let it be what clears the path for something meant for you.
- Become a student and ask, “What did I learn from this?” Remember, whatever you picked up in this process is valuable, and regret is useless.
- Focus on what you do have. Whether than giving all the power to the thing you lost, put your attention on what’s already yours or what you’ve gained or can gain because of the loss.
- Stay in action. Movement is your friend and stagnant is an enemy that’s sure to set you back.
No matter how gut-wrenching it might feel at the time, you’ll get through it and on to bigger and better things. Soon enough, the disappointment will be behind you, and it’ll all work out in the end.