Dealing with Disappointment
I never made my junior high volleyball team. On my 18th birthday both my boyfriend and best friend canceled their plans with me. My choir teacher said I sounded tone-def. No one showed up to my first life coaching class. Sad, right? Life is full of disappointments (I was keeping my list short). How we deal with those disappointments reveals more about our character than any outward appearance we put off. When disappointment strikes it is easy to feel angry, upset, hurt, sad or even shocked. It isn’t easy to remember in those moments to represent your best self. For that reason, it is vital to practice this one vital step to help overcome disappointment.
That one step is to make the choice to say, “so what?”
“So what?” isn’t sassy, or rude, it’s meant with sincerely and a bit of humor. I am just going to say this now, this attitude of “so what?” will change your life. This attitude will make your life more blissful, peaceful, and enjoyable if you can embrace it. When life throws obstacles at you that mess up your days try saying to yourself, “so what?”. It might seem like such a little thing, and it is, but it can make all the difference in the world.
Saying “so what?” or even “so what!” can help you keep perspective about this obstacle. I usually find myself saying something like, “so my car had a flat tire and I was three hours late…so what? I still have a car, and I got it fixed, and I am still alive.” Lessoning your disappointment by taking away some of the situation’s hold over your life is the secret of saying, “so what?”
Now I want to be very clear: sometimes life’s obstacles aren’t “so what?” moments. Such was the case when my little brother was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. I am sure in your own life there are some earth-shattering disappointments of unexpected illnesses, death of a loved one, loss of a job, or a life-altering disappointment. When those unexpected events come our way, we can still say, “so what” but we need to add one word, “so what now?” Those are the moments in our lives when we need to change and grown and create positive action despite our hardships.
Most of life’s disappointments are out of our control, despite our best efforts. When that is the case, you have to look at the situation and realize that you can’t beat yourself up about that. You can act, you can change, you can choose to say, “so what?”. The power lies within you to react to life’s disappointments however you chose.
While we all wish life was something we could easily wrap up with a big pink bow, it isn’t. We have to realize that our life will be full of disappointments but they don’t have to derail our success or our joy. If we can adapt an attitude of “so what?” and take action we will find the brighter side of our struggles.