Updated: Apr 1
Dealing with Disappointment
If you had told me last year at Christmas that this year I won’t be able to travel to Germany because of a virus, I would have told you that you read too much sci-fi. Nobody expected this.
For 43 years I have spent every Christmas with my mum. My dad has passed away and she lives alone always happy to have her grandchildren around. This year will be the first year she will have to spend Christmas all on her own. I expected it to be really difficult for her, but she is such a tough cookie.
“Don’t worry about me, dear. I’m safe and I will do my best to enjoy it on my own” she said. To be honest my mum has gone through much worse during World War II so this pandemic and lockdown business is a walk in the park for her. A different generation grows up with a completely different set of expectations and each and every one of us project our very own set of expectations onto life.
This Covid pandemic has been a wild ride for all of us. So many loved ones lost, businesses and existences wiped out. In that sense, my Christmas looks even more different than expected this year. I was hoping to surprise my family with an extra family Christmas treat this year of going to see a West End show and dinner. Unfortunately, all theatres are closed and my dance fitness and yoga business was hit hard. It will have to be Netflix and Deliveroo instead.
The biggest lesson for me to learn throughout this pandemic was to deal with my disappointments. My expectations have been crushed again and again and again. I really had to work hard on facing my disappointments head-on and can tell you that really sucks. The funny thing is the more often I was disappointed the more I started learning about the process. I went through the different stages of anger, sadness, and feeling helpless so many times over that I started thinking there has to be a better way to deal with this. Life shouldn’t be that hard. If there is the same challenge popping up again and again it might just mean something. So I went on a little research adventure to find out how to deal with my constant disappointment and unmet expectations.
“Expectations are a mountain while surrender is a river that cuts through it and flows seamlessly” - Waleed Hussain
Let it go - Let it flow - Let it snow
This is the little formula for me that helps me deal with disappointment fast and brings me right back feeling more positive and motivated. Dealing with challenges in life is different for everyone. We all need to tell ourselves different stories to make a change inside ourselves. Here is my story and what works for me when it comes to dealing with disappointment.
Let it go!
“Let it go” was the first piece of advice I came across when researching my expectation/disappointment dilemma. You have to know that I am a proud owner of the Drama Queen Gene. I can make the biggest fuss over the smallest things so just letting go of my disappointments was not so easy to do. The drama queen inside me was too busy bringing down the house with all kinds of extreme scenarios of what disaster is going to happen next now that nothing is going to plan.
So I let my inner drama queen talk. I took a piece of paper and let all the dramatic, paint the devil on the wall scenarios flow out on the page. The fun part is reading them back. I did have a bit of a laugh because some of the stuff was so over the top that I was able to convince myself that just letting go of the plan and the drama of the unmet expectation is really the only way forward. Being brutally honest with myself was not easy but definitely activated my letting go superpower.
Let it flow!
When I hear this there is always the image of the hippie sitting cross-legged by the fire swaying from side to side chanting in my mind. I’m all for peace, love, and happiness but just going with the flow is really hard for me. I can be super spontaneous in my private life but when it comes to business, I’m the planning queen. However, in these pandemic times that doesn’t help at all. I was kicked off my planning throne and had to learn a new approach.
How can I serve? were the magic words that turned things around for me. Serving instead of selling. As an exercise to embrace this concept and get into the flow I had to come up with a list of all the possible ways I could serve others with my skills. Here it is:
Teach dance fitness and yoga to help people stay fit, healthy, and flexible
Create art that motivates and inspires
Sharing my story with others, so they can learn from my mistakes and move to the good stuff faster
So this is what I’m focusing on now. Writing, dancing, and drawing to motivate and inspire anyone who connects to my story. Focusing on the fun I’m having doing all these things and how I can help instead of what the outcome of a project will be. My heart is glowing every day when I wake up in the morning because I’m excited about what I can contribute today and my inner drama queen stays mostly silent.
I’m in love with being in the flow of serving, contributing, and just putting my work out there without worrying how it will all turn out. Somehow reaching the top of the mountain has lost its significance because the journey has become so fulfilling. I am totally flowing now.
Let it snow! You just gotta believe it
When researching this expectations business you are bound to come across the concept of manifestation. I’m always quite skeptical about this concept. But I worked my way to letting go and mostly staying in the flow so why not give it a go. There are countless books and material out there taking you through the manifestation process. I would summarise it like this:
Know exactly what you want
Visualise what it feels like when you already have it
Trust and have faith that it will be delivered
Sounds easy enough right? But let me tell you step one can already be quite tricky. I personally found the hardest part is to have faith that it will all come to you. Enter my hippie friend again sitting by the fire chanting: the universe loves you. This time I’m sat down next to him and joined the party. Trying can’t hurt, right?
Manifesting big things is apparently harder and takes more practice, so I started with little things like the bus being there when I arrive at the stop or no line at the checkout. For the most part, it really worked. But there was one particular incident that really blew my mind. I was driving on the motorway with my two boys and we decided to give it a try. So we thought up the most unlikely vehicle to appear on the motorway. They agreed on an old war tank. Thank you, history teacher. We all visualised the tank pulling up next to us on the road and then let go of the idea having complete faith it will happen. I think the fact that it was such a ridiculous idea made it easy to just let it go. What happened next left us all speechless. A few kilometres on when we had almost forgotten about our little manifestation both my sons started laughing and screaming “Ohhhh my god, there it is!” And sure enough there it was on the side of the road an old World War II tank in all its glory. It was used for advertising with a huge banner for a moving company along its side.
I think it might just be worth my while working on letting go and letting things flow. At the moment we are working on manifesting a white, snowy Christmas. Let’s see what will happen.
Manifesting big things is apparently harder and takes more practice, so I started with little things like the bus being there when I arrive at the stop or no line at the checkout. For the most part, it really worked. But there was one particular incident that really blew my mind. I was driving on the motorway with my two boys and we decided to give it a try. So we thought up the most unlikely vehicle to appear on the motorway. They agreed on an old war tank. Thank you, history teacher. We all visualized the tank pulling up next to us on the road and then let go of the idea having complete faith it will happen. I think the fact that it was such a ridiculous idea made it easy to just let it go. What happened next left us all speechless. A few kilometers on when we had almost forgotten about our little manifestation both my sons started laughing and screaming “Ohhhh my god, there it is!” And sure enough there it was on the side of the road an old World War II tank in all its glory. It was used for advertising with a huge banner for a moving company along its side.
Overall I think my need for planning and setting up expectations has mellowed down a bit. Keeping me from feeling disappointed and opening my eyes to other possible outcomes and opportunities. After all, everything happens for a reason and sometimes we just can’t see beyond the tip of our nose to see that there might just be something even better out there.