October 29, 2004
October 29, 2004

Handling Disappointed Hopes

Everyone had warned you: ďDonít try for the stars, You might get hurt.

Now their predictions have come true. The love of your life is not interested in you. Another person received the promotion you wanted, You didnít get into the college of your dreams. Your business floundered.

What are you going to do now? Your sadness, depression, and disappointment is overwhelming and all you can obtain is ďI told you so.Ē Not very comforting.

This is the time to pick yourself up and review reality. Should you try harder? Was there a valid reason that you did not succeed? Was the decision for success entirely in your hands? Was the dynamics of the situation beyond your control? Was it that you just werenít exactly what your possible significant other was looking for in a mate? Was it office politics? Did the University have too many applicants for the space they had to fill? Did an economic downturn ruin your opportunities?

Be realistic. Will perusing your dream at this point have any chance of an outcome? Perhaps the one you wanted in your life is really not the right person for you. After all a love relationship must have two people mutually experiencing the same emotions in order for a permanent relationship to work. If the office situation canít be remedied perhaps a change of jobs, or occupation might better suit you. Restructuring your choice of colleges or trying from a different angle such as going to your second choice of college and trying again in another year for the first choice might bring your goal into line. Perhaps you must wait until the financial picture improves.

Ask yourself the question: Was your goal really what would have been the best for you? Could it be that there is a better plan that you are not connecting with, but will in the future?

Is this failure a chance to reframe the way you make life choices? Plans should always include losses. (Gamblers find this out. Poorly thought out dreams can lead to devastation.) Did your plan take into account an alternate plan which would get you through the disappointment?

If you let it go- realign aims. If you hold on- revise your plans.

While you are in the process of reassessing, try these options: Initially try deep breathing by inhaling the thought of happiness and exhaling sadness. Do this for five or ten times a day until you begin to feel normalized. Expand your horizons. Think of some other activities that you would enjoy and can do that will pull your focus into a wider perspective. Often goals narrow your focus and the resulting obsession may be hard to let go. Daily, do some type of exercise that you enjoy. If nothing presents itself, chop wood, or scrub the floor. Exercise stimulates the endorphins within your body that would normalize your emotions. Socialize. People can readjust your moods towards a better direction. Find activities that you enjoy and do them.

Perhaps you have sunk into such a deep depression that it appears to be hopeless and you donít want to try. Ask yourself: How long do I want to feel blue? Do I like my feelings I am experiencing right now.? Am I having fun? Do I want enjoyment or misery?

Once you have answered these questions and decide that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, search for it. Allow yourself the same determination that you used for your dreams. Perhaps your lover will decide that this upbeat person is really the one that is worthwhile to have. Or the Office manager will decide that the choice for a job opportunity might be one of a higher level for someone who is so determined. The college of your choice might be looking for a person with perseverance and you really are the one they want to add to their rolls. Or you might rethink the type of business you began and try and find one that fits the needs of people in this present environment.

Perhaps in the meantime, you may have found a new dream. It is acceptable to change your mind. It may turn out to be better for you. Life is funny that way. What we think we want is not always what is good for us.