I haven’t lived long enough to develop a thick skin where every stone thrown my way and every disappointment easily bounces off – in fact, I’ll admit that I’m not even sure I’m capable of developing that type of skin anyways!
Life is full of disappointments – challenges that arise because we expected one thing and were given another. In fact, if you’re a blogger and an entrepreneur then you’re going to have to get quickly used to disappointments – that lifestyle is full of them!
How I’ve managed through the disappointments practically looks different every single time but there are a few patterns that I’ve found that seem to work time and time again:
1. Get up and do something different
This is probably the #1 tactic (if you want to call it that) that I use – I instantly get up and go do something different. The more different the better. If I was expecting a business development opportunity to come in through any digital device (email, text message, phone call) then I’ll go outside and shut things down.
More often than not I’ll go for a walk or a run (and now I’m trying out cycling) and I’ll get some physical activity in. This is a nice benefit of being disappointed (if you can see it from that perspective) as I’m now getting some exercise.
Hah – you’d think I’d be in some incredible shape considering how often I get disappointed!
2. Get honest
This is probably the best thing that works time and time again but I’ll find myself some place where I can “have at it” and really speak honestly (and verbally) my frustration. This isn’t a pretty sight (and it shouldn’t be) but I don’t let my emotions just sit and I don’t tell myself that it’ll be ok (although it always is in the end).
I get honest and I let it all hang out. There are a few secluded paths around my house and I’ll walk down them and I’ll yell and scream. Typically my chat partner ends up being the only person who can take the force of my anger and emotion (and then some) or it ends up being a good friend who doesn’t mind hearing a mouthful.
3. I spend time with family
This is the 3rd pattern which has emerged for me over time as I manage through the disappointments of life because my family dynamic is never a disappointment. Spending time with them is good, healthy, and ends up restoring my soul.
It also reminds me of my chief motivations and responsibilities – always a good thing when the people who are upsetting me aren’t as nearly as important as they are. Taking my wife and my two daughter out for dinner, a walk to the park, or just playing one of my daughter’s nonsense games is just the right amount of calming medicine that I need.
I don’t know what you do to manage through life’s small (and large) disappointments and it’s totally ok if you have something different – but I think it’s important that you consider your system and especially make sure it works – you’re going to need it if you’re going to survive life’s challenges.
It’s not if but when.