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7 Ways To Defeat Disappointment October 14, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

When we leave our brains on auto-pilot, we become brainwashed by images, unaccompanied by independent thought.  Expectations arise unbidden.  Left unfulfilled, they create unnecessary suffering.

We walk around in a state of perpetual disappointment because others are not who and how we want them to be.  

Instead of challenging our thought patterns and changing them, we attempt to change others ~ expecting THEM to meet OUR expectations.  When they don’t  comply, we grow discouraged, disheartened, and disappointed . . . drowning in self-created despair and dismay. 

There’s got to be a better way!  

1.  Be who you are ~ Be true to yourself.  Don’t conform to the norm to gain approval.  Be sincere.  Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Stop being dishonest.  Allow others to be honest with you.    

2.  Accept the “What Is” ~ Let life unfold.  Be patient.  Life is stirred with a slow spoon.  Go with the flow.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.  Don’t waste time in idle worry.  How we relate to the issue IS the issue.  

3.  Stop chasing fame and fortune ~ Life is a journey, not a destination.  Quantitative measures of “success”  require external comparisons.  No matter how much we have . . . our egos always want more.  

Shift your reality.  Stop comparing yourself with others.   The goal is not to be better than them ~ we need only be more fully who we want to be.

4.  Let go of addictions to ego concerns ~ Let go of your desire for external accolades and attention. Stop feeding negative emotions like anger and self-pity.  Let go of past problems.  Stop remembering stale issues and old hurts. Experience what is available instead of re-living what has been. 

Be clear about what you want.  Set your own expectations.  Do what you love.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.

5.  Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open ~ Who we are shapes what we perceive. We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Our past perceptions shape our current impressions. We see the world behind our eyes. 

Be open to what you don’t know.  Explore possibilities.  Stop taking things for granted.  Stop accepting the internal dialogue as “true.”

6.  Be Positive ~ Change your wiring.  Create a more positive life by being a more positive person.  Be in the mystery. Go with the flow.  Play.  Laugh.  Sing.  Dance.  Count your blessings.  Develop an attitude of gratitude.

7.  Enjoy the Journey ~  Be here now.  Focus on sights, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, and sensations.  Allow your bottomless reservoir of peace and joy to surface.

Recharge your batteries.  Empower yourself.  Share your passions with the world.  

Breathe.  Relax.  Repeat.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Quote to Ponder: We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same. ~ Carlos Castaneda

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Disappointment * What’s It All For? (Woman Wielding Words) * The Art of Happiness * The Serenity PrincipleAttack of the Killer ANTs * Watch Your Thoughts * When Ego Wins . . . You Lose * X’s Very Public Pity Party *  Don’t Bring Me Down * Your Wheelbarrow of Woe * Peace Lies Within * Aah . . . That’s Better * Controlling Emotions  (NOLA Girl at Heart)


1. BrainRants - October 14, 2011

Too bad it takes so many years to learn these lessons, huh? Awesome post!

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Thanks, Matt.

We tend to learn these lessons when we are tired of collapsing into a pool of tears and self-created suffering every time something or someone fails to live up to our expectations. Of course, some people never tire of throwing pity parties for themselves.

Perhaps, they don’t see their behavior as self-defeating because they enjoy the attention. 😉

2. suzicate - October 14, 2011

Excellent points – all seven of them. I think the battle of the ego is probably most people’s biggest problem.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

When we have conquered the enemy within . . . there are no enemies left to conquer. 😀

3. Carl D'Agostino - October 14, 2011

Unfortunately “don’t expect others to be dependable or just do their job” is one of them too. But I suppose that contradicts being positive but if you do you will often be disappointed.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

We must accept the things we cannot change ~ and we cannot change others.

Best thing to do . . . keep a safe distance. 😉

4. munchow - October 14, 2011

You are spot on with all seven points. We really need to live our lives from the inside, not worry about fame, money, other’s opinion and so on. Great post!

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Thanks for terrific comment, munchow!

When we look to others for approval and accolades, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Instead of enjoying the journey of writing, we focus on the desire to reach some pre-determined destination (e.g., a certain number of readers, followers, views, or comments).

As soon as that destination looms into view, ego sets its sights on another pre-determined destination far in the distance. So we are perpetually disatisfied with where we are because we are always striving to be somewhere else.

When we desire what we do not yet have, we lose gratitude for what is already within our grasp.

5. kateshrewsday - October 14, 2011

Aaaah. That IS better 🙂
Wonderful post, Nancy. Perfect sense.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

There is great power in teaching ourselves to nip self-created disappointment and unnecessary suffering in the bud.

The most important battles in life happen between our two ears.

6. Sandra Bell Kirchman - October 14, 2011

As others have commented, this is a great post. It’s funny how I can know all these things on an intellectual basis, but until I get them deep into my feelings I can’t really act on them, or if I do, it will only be superficial. It requires that balance of thought and feeling (or left brain and right brain, if you prefer).

One of the things that has held me back for many years is ego. I have wanted fame and fortune; I have yearned for accolades, approval, and pats on the back. When I got them (and I did), I questioned if they were sincere. I didn’t believe them and wanted more to help convince me that people meant them (most of them did).

I still fall into the game of how many hits did I get today, how many people commented, am I running up the well-traveled blog meter? And yes, it is discouraging if I look at it from only that point of view. If I look at it from my inner feelings, if one person gets something meaningful out of what I write, then I truly am happy. This seems to be true of the more successful bloggers in our blogosphere.

Btw, I loved this phrase in your post, Nancy: “Life is stirred with a slow spoon.” Great feeling and visualization.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Ego has an insatiable appetite. Whatever it has, it wants more. Using ego’s desires as a measure leads to displeasure.

No matter how “successful” we are . . . it is NOT enough.

In contrast, if we focus on enjoying the journey, we stop comparing ourselves with others because there is no way to measure whether we are happier than someone else.

We look within and realize that we GET when we GIVE. The best way to enhance our happiness is by helping others expand their happiness. We stop writing to attain attention, applause, accolades, and awards. Instead, we write because we enjoy sharing what we’ve learned with others. And “our intended audience” appears . . . reading our words because we educate, we entertain, and we enhance their happiness.

Write on!

7. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) - October 14, 2011

I know you are right, but sometimes it helps to throw a temper tantrum like I did today. 😉

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Really? I find that people tire of tending to adults who throw temper tantrums like toddlers thrashing about in the throes of the terrible twos.

Temper tantrums are nothing more than ego’s struggle for control ~ a bid for attention for bad behavior. When ego wins, we lose.

8. sufilight - October 14, 2011

Excellent post! Shifting to a healthier more wholistic connection to life is worth the effort; it enhances the quality of our inner world and hence life.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

I agree. We no longer have to wait around for people to “pick us up” . . . we learn to stand on our own two feet! 😀

9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - October 14, 2011

Donald always has the best advice.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Quack ~ Quack ~ Quack! 😆

10. creatingreciprocity - October 14, 2011

Fantastic post, Nancy – particularly Number 3 – imagine how happy people would be if they could manage to look inside instead of outside at least some of the time?

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Whenever I see someone measuring “success” by number of readers, or comments, or hits . . . I see energy being spent looking “out there” for approval. But the lift never lasts. At first, they aim for 50 readers. Then they need 75 to be satisfied. Then 100. It’s a never ending, and rather vicious cycle, because ego is never satisfied. Whatever it has, it wants MORE.

If, instead, we measure our success in life by the satisfaction we feel from sharing the best parts of ourselves with the world, we look within at our growing harmony, happiness, and joy. We feel calm and in control. We feel our inner peace blossom.

11. SidevieW - October 14, 2011

what a geat spin on disappointment, thanks Nancy

success is all relative. for me it is every day I spend happy

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Thanks, Sidey! Same here. Happy days are the best days. 😀

12. crumbl - October 14, 2011

Great points, if restating some common themes across them.

Commenting on #4, I don’t look externally for accolades, attention or affirmation. My self-worth and measurement of my success are not tied to others. If people read my blog, great, and if they comment, I’ll take it with a grain of salt. There are a very few notable exceptions, but when they comment, I find one of two things: they indicate that they “got” the point to the blog, or they make me stop and reexamine my post. Sometimes, I’ll change my position, sometimes not, but I respect them enough to think about it. If people don’t comment, or even read my blog, that’s okay too.

nrhatch - October 14, 2011

Thanks, Crumbl. You’re absolutely correct. The points circle around each other, overlapping to large extent. Happiness is rarely linear or logical. If we master our thoughts in any area, there is overspill to other areas ~ creating a positive spiral.

You are wise. I love the interplay wtih readers in comments. It’s fun to see agreement . . . and divergence . . . of opinions. It’s great when something we write resonates with others or helps someone have an “A ha!” (or laugh out loud) moment so we know we “connected” with them.

When we’re connected to “the source,” we are plugged in to our own power, and that passion is enough to keep us chugging along. Toot! Toot! 😎

13. Life with Lizzi - October 15, 2011

Great to come back to your site and see just what my Doctor ordered this week! I do love the simple statements and think I am going to post them on my fridge….
Explore Dream Discover Play Laugh Sing Dance Breathe Relax Repeat.
Thanks for summing it all up
Lizzi x

nrhatch - October 15, 2011

During the transition from where you are to where you want to be, posting inspirational messages on the fridge and the bathroom mirror is a reminder to practice, practice, practice.

Sometimes the simplest shift of perspective changes everything.

14. Tilly Bud - October 15, 2011

I had a recent disappointment. I allowed myself the rest of the day to sulk and feel bad, then I put it behind me. It’s important to acknowledge it but then it’s time to move on.

nrhatch - October 15, 2011

When we are “in the flow,” we embrace all with joy because anything can be a gift of gold in disguise. We no longer become disappointed at the “bends in the road” because we trust that we are always exactly where we need to be ~ and that life’s challenges are necessary to our growth.

Most of us aren’t there yet ~ at least, not all of the time. If our goal is to be HAPPY, then we must look for the silver lining:

Barn’s burnt down . . . now I can see the moon.

The faster we find the silver lining, the more quickly our inner peace and joy is restored. Aah . . . that’s better.

In the interim, we want to refrain from dragging others down to wallow in the mud with us. If we need to sulk, we should do so privately . . . not in the middle of a public arena. 🙄

15. Ronnie/Hurtled to 60 - October 15, 2011

This couldn’t be timed better. Daughter #1 has just moved into what she excitingly called their “project house” but now they have moved and she is juggling a full time job and two children, she is tired. This morning she was in tears because she couldn’t see the way forward. I will forward this on to her and keep a copy for myself.

nrhatch - October 15, 2011

Excellent! We all face challenges . . . that seem even more challenging when we are tired and stressed. Remind her to take time to breathe and relax each day. Even 10 minutes of “Me Time” in the morning and 10 at night makes a difference. 😀

16. jeanne - October 15, 2011

Nancy, you hit the nail on the head…”Enjoy the Journey ~ Be here now. Focus on sights, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, and sensations. Allow your bottomless reservoir of peace and joy to surface.” Have Joyful Day!

nrhatch - October 15, 2011

When we are determined to be as happy as we can be . . . happiness surfaces. We stop looking for reasons to postpone happiness for another day.

Be Here Now. _/!\_

17. souldipper - October 15, 2011

My peace is in an inverse relationship to my expectations. When my ego wants to break loose and take over, I check my expectations.

nrhatch - October 15, 2011

I agree. When we let go of our attachment to expectations, we flow through life more easily and peacefully.

18. Team Oyeniyi - October 16, 2011

Very sage advice, Nancy. I try to follow, but I’m human, sometimes I fail. Accepting “what is” is probably the one I struggle with the most.

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

Our ego wants to be in control. It does not want us to accept anything that is not to its exacting specifications.

It wants us to shake our fists at the sky to stop the rain from falling . . . but all that happens is that our arms get tired. 😉

When we accept the what is, we free up energy to search for the silver lining.

19. Crowing Crone Joss - October 16, 2011

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. I am adding that to my wisdom pouch. awesome.
One day are you going to assemble all these great posts into a book?

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

Thanks! That’s a quote or paraphrase of something I read someplace. At the moment, I’m not sure where.

We can look at similar situations on different days and react differently to them . . . based on how we are feeling. Our current perspective is a filter through which we see the world.

When we are positive, the world seems positive too. 😎

As for the book . . . I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. I plan to continue enjoying the journey as the path unfolds before me. I’m not focused on a specific”destination” (i.e., print publication). But I haven’t ruled it out either. Time will tell.

20. jannatwrites - October 16, 2011

I agree with your observations. 3 and 4 tie in together for me and I’ve struggled with both at one point or another.

Early in my blogging, I got hung up on stats (daily visits and subscribers.) I felt the disappointment when my “counts” were lower than others. The problem with stats is just because it shows someone visited, and just because someone subscribes, doesn’t mean that they actually read the post.

nrhatch - October 16, 2011

So true, Janna. It’s easy to get caught up playing the “numbers game” ~ even though most of the numbers don’t matter:

People can subscribe without visiting.
They can visit without reading.
They can read wtihout commenting.
And a few can even comment without thinking. 😉

Far better to fully enjoy the journey of writing and connecting/ interacting with interested visitors.

21. Two Late « I'm Not A Verse - October 20, 2011

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