Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

I’m not exactly an eternal optimist, but I try to stay positive as much as I can. Sometimes it’s harder to do that than usual, and lately I guess it’s been one of those times. It seems that lately, I work hard towards something and then it doesn’t go as expected. Suddenly, I’m wishing I could take back all the hours I spent focusing on that one task. I’m left wondering how I can now find extra hours to work on all the other things I have on my plate moving forward. If only there were more hours in the day so I could finish everything I have going on.

But… this isn’t a lesson in time management. Really, I focus on how I’m managing my time to distract me from what’s really going on here: disappointment.

The fact is that if these things had worked out, I would be proud about all the time I dedicated. Now that they haven’t, I am disappointed. I am constantly working on multiple projects at the same time, and more often than not, they all work out. When you’re a multi-tasking perfectionist, you don’t really have to deal with failure very often. This isn’t to sound cocky, it’s just true.

Normally, when something doesn’t go as expected, I regroup and think about what steps I can take to get things back on track. And normally, that works. But what happens when there’s no way to get it back on track? When there’s nothing you can do about it? I suppose the best thing to do is to forget about it: put it aside and focus on the other things I need to get done. Yet I can’t help but think that I’m not acknowledging my feelings in all of this.

That’s where I’m at now: figuring out how to deal with the actual feeling of disappointment when things are no longer in my control. Moving on to other tasks is easy for me; it’s what I’m good at. Dealing with the emotions involved, however, is unfamiliar territory.

How do you deal with disappointment?

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