Dealing with Disappointment - Working Life

So, there are times in  life when things happen that disappoint you for whatever reason.  As human beings and individuals we all have ways of reacting to those things.  This week for me has been one of those weeks where I've had to deal with a Work Life disappointment.

I'm a novelist, first and foremost, but to pay the bills I also have a full time job in a 'professional' environment.  It's in this job that I've found myself disappointed this week.  It's been building for a while, with the current economic climate all business are looking at how to save money and stay profitable.  The industry I work in is no different and they have been making plans, changing things and consulting with personnel on how/why they should do things.

This week they made their announcement of change and parts of how this was managed was disappointing to me.  The detail isn't important for this post, the point is how I deal with that issue.

1. Be Professional

You have to remain a professional in every aspect of your working life or chosen career.  I stay as professional as I can when I'm working on my writing and also when I undertake my day job.  When face with disappointment it's not going to benefit me to throw a tantrum, shout, scream or sulk even if I feel like it.

In life people will remember the negative things you do more than the positive - sad but true.  They will laugh and joke over your mistakes, short comings, tantrums and some misfortune more than they will congratulate you and be appreciative of what you do.

Even if  in my head I'm telling my boss what I really think in a very animated fashion I'm not going to really do that - he would remember it, maybe discipline me for it, never promote me or sack me.  That gets me no where.

So be professional - I always think of it as the moment in Love Actually when Laura Linney's character takes home the office hunt and jumps on and down on the stairs in excitement out of his line of sight then she composes herself and gets on with things.

2. Talk to Someone you Trust

We all need someone to talk to, no matter how insular we are as people you need someone to on occasion to listen to our moans and groans to get it out of our system and help us feel better.

Choose wisely though, I have two best friends I confide most things in.  They've known me a long time and know how when I need to have a moan or rant and when to tell me to stop.

3.  Allow yourself time to be annoyed/upset

Life is busy, hectic and filled with drama.  We have to deal with those things so for my health and well being, I have to give myself time to feel how I need to feel.  If I need to cry, I do it, once I'm done I dry my eyes and move on.  But it is important I allow myself time to feel what I need to feel in order to analyse and move on.

4. Don't dwell on Disappointment

I hate being stressed, anxious and angry, it's not good for me.  It impacts on my health, my well being and my mood.  So in times of stress for whatever reason I try the best I can to follow the steps above and then move on.  Do what I can to make it better and if I can't find a way to move on, don't wallow in the mire it'll drag you down eventually.

5. Take a Moment to Take Stock

Don't react immediately - after the big announcement I left the meeting, went back to my office and thought about what had happened, why I felt the way I did and what I wanted to do about it.   I could have easily stayed, moaned and groaned to all there and made myself look foolish and maybe say something rash that I would regret or that could cause an issue in the future.

After I thought about it, the next day I spoke to two colleagues and told them calmly and professionally how I felt and why.  It was like putting forward a business case.  I stayed clam, asked their opinion and put forward my thoughts without any malice.

6. Do what you need to do to make it right for you

In some situations there are tweaks that can be made, or apologies given to resolve a problem, issue etc.  In other cases it's more complicated.  I always find it best not to jump in with both feet first, I take a step back look at the situation write down all my options from the simplest to the extreme and work out which ones I want to take forward.

There's a system for those like me who make lists 5/25 method.  It basically means you write a list of 25 things on whatever the topic is, then pick your top five and concentrate on them and making them work for you.

7. Changes can be good - face your fear

Change is scary, intimidating and worrying simply because it's an unknown risk.  But sometimes those risks are the best ones to take.  If you choose to take a risk just remember why you are doing it and that if it doesn't work out, at least you tried.

8.  Find a mantra and believe in it

I always find list making, vision or mood boards and keeping a journal really help me to get out what I'm feeling, look at why I'm feeling that way and develop a strategy and plan to move on and bring my mood, confidence and drive back up.

I keep a vision board with lots of positive quotes that inspire me and remind me what I want to achieve and that if I want to achieve it I have to work at it and make it happen.

Find a song, a poem, a book, a picture anything that stirs you up and drives you on and use it.




Life is what you make it - it's your book to write so make it a good one.

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