The surprising silver lining with disappointment

Quite a while ago, I had a friend who I relied on for advice while I was in a position of authority that was very challenging. I thought I had made an agreement with her that what I said would remain between us, and that she would take anything negative I said with a large grain of salt. It turned out that she did not do that. The disappointment and pain and sense of betrayal I felt was indescribable. I ended our relationship by thanking her for her help and giving her a meaningful gift. That ended things for me in a good way. The pain persists, but not strongly (I have other friends who have helped me in a similar way  over the years and have been a really great help).

If you watch the ted talk below, you’ll hear a similar story – of how the speaker felt that same thing from his friend, and was able to move on with greater personal strength and a gift that was unexpected. I have moved on. My gift came from a colleague I met after a number of years, who gave me a way to take in my experience and help me grow from it. I had said that I felt like I was giving up and letting people down; she suggested I might see it as waking up rather than giving up.

It’s true – I tend to hang on to the bitter end with anything I commit to, and am not able to see what is really happening until it’s over. That was my opportunity to shift my perspective to something more productive, and also more real. The idea of waking up made me smile with relief. It isn’t giving up; it’s seeing the truth of the situation and moving on to something better and more worth my time and effort.

Feeling disappointed very often ends up meaning that we are hanging onto what we want to be true so dearly that we can’t see what’s actually true. That was the silver lining of disappointment for me.



Quote of the Week

If you cannot have your success unblemished, sometimes what you may define as success may not actually make you successful…”

– Magnus Ngei Abe


Lessons from disappointment


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