Ispire | Disappointed

So I’ve had one of those weeks where things haven’t quite gone to plan.

We’ve all had them, and yes disappointments suck when they happen.

But I haven’t dwelled on them. In fact, the frustrated energy I initially felt I’ve quickly turned into positive energy to get back on top, back in control.

Here’s how.

You’ve got 5 minutes, no more.

When the disappointment hits, that’s the instant when the clock starts. Give yourself 5 minutes to go through this process. Any longer and it’s wasted energy.

Mark the time you’ll be back in control. If it’s 12.04, you’re back in control by 12.09. No arguments. No distractions.

Acknowledge you’re disappointed.

In these situations the worst thing you can do is try and hide from the fact you’re disappointed. That’s only going to lead you to denial and feelings that will make it even harder for you to get back in control.

Instead, acknowledge you’re disappointed. You’re not going to change what’s happened. If it was to have changed, you’d’ve taken steps before the disappointment happened to get the result you wanted.

So take a deep breath, grit your teeth, go get some fresh air.

Whatever works for you, just do it and say to yourself “It’s happened, I can’t change the past. I can only change my future”.

Reflect on the positives first.

In situations like this the temptation will be to focus on what went wrong to lead to this outcome.

That’s good if done from an objective stand point. But more often than not you’ll think all emotionally about the negatives which again will do you no good.

Instead, first think of all the positive things that you’ve done related to this event and ask “moving forwards, do they still hold true or do they need improving?”.

There might be elements out of your control that have brought the disappointment upon you. There could be more you could’ve done to prepare yourself so the disappointment didn’t happen.

Focussing on reviewing events positively and objectively will help identify clearly where your thinking was sound, and enable you to move forwards in the right manner.

Now reflect on the negatives.

Now go through the same process for the negative things, again focussing on being objective by saying to yourself “OK, so what wasn’t ideal and what will I do differently next time?”

It is an extremely rare occurrence that something happens 100% perfectly the first time of asking. We’re always learning from our experiences. It’s human nature, and those that become the best at what they do are constantly reviewing what they’ve done to see where they can improve.

Remember this and you’ll see there’s no real reason to beat yourself up. The reason to beat yourself up will come when you don’t recognise what you’ve learnt from the experience and the same disappointment happens again and again…and again.

Note what you’ve learnt and walk forwards, head held high.

So your time’s nearly up.

You’ve acknowledge your disappointed, you’ve looked at what’s worked and what needed changing.

Now note the 3 key actions you’re going to take moving forwards and make sure you take those actions.

They might be small mental notes to check a detail earlier in the process, or they may be bigger things that require a longer discussion with several colleagues or your coach or mentor.

Either way you’ve recognised what you’ve learnt, so get in control, make sure you apply that learning and be back on top.

This 5 minute process has certainly helped me get back in control and on top this week. Give it a go next time you’re faced with disappointment.



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