How to Cope with Disappointment

I coach the highly driven population. Executives, entrepreneurs and leaders of all types. It’s not uncommon for people who are ambitious and determined to live an extraordinary life to find themselves feeling like the rest of the world does not always measure up. There’s always someone in their lives who isn’t pulling their weight, isn’t contributing or isn’t behaving well. This happens at work, and also at home.

Here are some of the tips I share with my clients when they are faced with someone in their life who constantly shows up in ways that are less than stellar.

  1. It’s not about you. That other person is behaving the way they are behaving because of their own stuff. Don’t take it on. Don’t own it and don’t make it a reflection of your self-worth.
  2. You are responsible for your own happiness. As long as your happiness is dependent on the actions of others, your happiness is in someone else’s hands. Start owning that responsibility and release other people from the obligation to make you happy.
  3. Your happiness is a function of your thinking (not a function of someone else’s behavior). The thoughts you think over and over again form your beliefs, which ultimately trigger the emotions you feel about any subject. Use the process of journaling to uncover the thoughts and beliefs you have about this particular relationship. Challenge the beliefs that cause you to feel mad, sad, frustrated or disappointed with the relationship.
  4. Stop trying to get water from a wall. Stop looking to that person in your life to serve a personal emotional need. First — if they don’t have it to give, stop expecting it and feeling disappointed when it doesn’t come your way. Second — your emotional needs are yours to fill — find other ways to feel good about this particular relationship in your life.
  5. What you focus on grows. When you focus on what isn’t working in a relationship, the relationship breaks down further. However, when you focus on what is good and right about a relationship and acknowledge those elements, the relationship improves.

The bottom line is that we are often compelled to hold other people responsible for our mood and emotional state. It’s easier to use someone else as the reason for our unhappiness than it is to take full responsibility for our thinking.

There is great power that comes from learning to release others from their need to behave in ways that are designed to please us. Becoming independent from this need allows us to live with far greater peace, ease, exhilaration and joy!

Kim is the President & Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ & JournalEngine™ Software, an executive coach & a supermom of 5.