It’s very very rare that a person gets exactly what they want exactly when they want it. I am certainly experienced in being disappointed when something didn’t happen the way or when I wanted it to happen. I was reminded of that feeling of disappointment recently.
A couple of months ago, I found out that I was not selected for an experience that I had applied for. I was very disappointed. It was something that I really wanted to do. It was especially disappointing because of the way it all went down. I was really down at first, but soon resigned myself to the fact that I didn’t get it. So I was very surprised last week to find that that initial feeling of disappointment was nothing compared to the resentment and bitterness I felt l when I found out who was selected!
When I got that news, self-doubt, resentment and negativity absolutely attacked my brain. I was obsessed – Do I suck that bad? How could the people selected have been more attractive candidates than me? What have they done? They don’t have what I have. They’re so boring and predictable. The decision makers are fucking idiots! (There was much much more that I can’t share with you here.) I spent the better part of a week dwelling on it.
By the end of the week, I realized what I had done. When I immediately went to thinking about all of that negative stuff, I completely missed the opportunity for joy, gratitude AND motivation. I should have been happy for the people who were selected. I should have remembered that everything happens for a reason, and I should be grateful that I wouldn’t be occupied with that experience – making way for something better to come my way. Most importantly, I should have taken the disappointment and turned it into a motivator.
Last night I went to see a movie. On my way home, I was on the Metro (DC’s subway) thinking about the movie’s themes about following your dreams and finding happiness when something was presented to me. A young man was sitting near me wearing a t-shirt with a message on it – a message that resonated with me. “Haters Are My Motivators.” I needed to see that message on that t-shirt at that moment.
YES! That’s it, I thought. Find motivation in disappointment, and show the people who disappoint you that their actions didn’t shake you.
I’m going to do my best not to let what happened to me last week happen again. I completely wasted all those days that could have been used to make progress toward following my dreams. From now on, I am going to turn disappointment into motivation.