How To Dance With Disappointment

When expectations don’t meet reality…

Hi, there! It’s Steve coming at you this week. I know it’s been a long time coming, but Daniel’s been doing a really good job, so I mean, why mess with a good thing, right?

I wanted to hop into your inbox today to talk about something that I think is really pertinent to everybody’s life – and that is the concept of expectation vs reality, and the emotion that dances between those two things – disappointment. What this might mean for you, how do you deal with it, and how you can roll through it. So, let’s get started, shall we?

reality check or reality wreck?

So, everybody has those things in life where, you know, you just want it and you want it bad. You see all of the signs lining up, all of the green lights seem to be there, everything seems to be falling into place and it really appears as though that ‘thing’ is destined to be. So you actually start to live that life. You start to see yourself in that space, doing that thing, having that thing, living that thing, and it becomes real in essence even though it actually hasn’t happened to you yet.

And then, inevitably the time comes where there’s that pinnacle moment where the ‘thing’ either happens or it doesn’t. If it does happen, then you manifested it as your reality, and it’s amazing. You’re like, “I’m an all-powerful creator” and you believe you can do anything (which, of course, you can). Or, the flip side occurs and it doesn’t happen, and you’re like, “I don’t get it, I hate the world” (which, of course, you don’t). The universe is this crazy place, all the signs pointed to yes, and yet, it didn’t happen. It can feel really $#!%ty when your expectation doesn’t meet reality.

And that can be the case for any situation. In your relationships, in your finances, in your work, in your job, in your… anything. Disappointment lies in that gap between expectation and reality and I think as we move through life’s experiences, we can actively narrow that gap. We can lessen our disappointment by either changing our reality or changing our expectations. And I don’t mean decrease your expectation in a negative sense, I mean hone it. Dial it in to decrease your margin of error. If there is less room for error than that amount of disappointment will inevitably be less.

disappointing in the right direction

Disappointment isn’t always a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, when we’re disappointed it feels awful. It can feel debilitating like heartbreak, like the world is just dead set against you because you wanted something that didn’t happen, and it can feel like a punishment in a way. There is an opportunity to turn that messaging on its head – disappointment is actually a compass guiding you to where you want to go.

Ok, so this ‘thing’ you wanted so badly didn’t happen – dare I say that it probably wasn’t the right thing for you? At least not now, or at least not in the exact way that you wanted it. And I know that that’s hard to accept, but you can either let it light a fire under your ass or cause you to completely shut down.

All emotions are important, including disappointment. The goal is not avoidance of these emotions. There is real benefit in their expression – how do you know what the light feels like unless you experience the dark?

Disappointment can have great value in helping you navigate the world today. It’s something you can use to create a better version of yourself… if you let it. Everything that you do today is moving you closer to where and who you want to be tomorrow. So I guess what I want to say is: disappointment is an aspect of everyday life, and it’s just a matter of how much you let it own you versus how much you use it in your favour.

just keep living

Expectations and reality are both under your control. You get to change what you expect of yourself and you also get to affect your reality. So the key, from what I found in my experience, is making your expectations realistic but challenging – aspirational, and changeable. Do things today that move you closer to what you want – that’s you changing your reality.

You control so much more than you give yourself credit for. Use the things that happen in your life to better your life. Remember, life is happening for you, not to you.

So what, you don’t know exactly how life is going to pan out for you, that’s ok – you’re not supposed to! You came into this world with the goal of living the most humanly-human life possible. You can change your reality therefore, you have power over how you feel right now.

And, of course, here at Vortex, if you need a shift getting out of one of those stages of disappointment and finding the way forward, we’ve got tools for you. Hop into a TUNE, hop into a NuCalm, jump in the red light or sweat it out in an infrared sauna. We can help you change your state and move you towards becoming the person you want to be. Thank you for coming to my TEDtalk.

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