Ripples #1084: Disarming Disappointment.

Ripples #1084: Disarming Disappointment.
March 2, 2020


The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.
-Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
shared by Cyndee in Oshkosh, WI


Success is not just the crowning moment, the spiking of the ball in the end zone or the raising of the flag on the summit. It is the whole process of reaching for a goal and, sometimes, it begins with failure.
—Erik Weihenmayer
shared by Pete in Ft. Myers, FL via


I had a few minor setbacks recently–nothing major, just a few things that didn’t come together in a way that I hoped they would. I tolerated the initial let down just fine, but a day or so later I noticed I was still trying to hurredly shoo away a mild malaise that continued to simmer.

Once I realized what was going on, I paused from my effort to quickly eliminate the feeling. Instead, I made a conscious effort to understand it a little better by asking it, “Why are you here?” Replacing avoidance and judgment with patience and curiosity allowed me to recognize the sadness for what it really was: a gentle grieving over the loss of a couple of opportunities that just weren’t meant to be. Suddenly the feeling didn’t seem like a bad thing–it actually seemed reasonable, even laudable, to be bummed for a bit. Ironically, giving myself permission to be a little disappointed for a little while caused it to evaporate fairly rapidly!

Disappointment may seem like an uncomfortable and therefore undesirable state, and not something we want to linger too long. Still, it might be useful to disarm it instead of disowning it: identify any learnings it has to offer, and then let it dissipate on its own.

The Ripples Guy
P.S. I’ve lately been on such a whirlwind of travels that I don’t think I’ve taken a moment to properly greet new ripplers from University of Maryland, Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association, and the SLP Team at Children’s Wisconsin. We are so glad to have you here!

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