Monday, July 16, 2012

Disappointment & I Are NOT Friends

Last week, here in Chicago there was a press storm on the current whereabouts of our Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. who is on an unexplained medical leave for the past 6 weeks. As the storm just grew and grew, family and friends asked for privacy and I was willing to give it. That's a reasonable request and one I am willing to respect. However, something I am not going to leave untouched is the commentary from his mom, Jacqueline Jackson at an event last week in defense of her son, the elected public official who is in a contest to keep his seat at the moment.

"I’m not ashamed to say he thought he was going to be a senator. He thought he was going to have a chance to run for mayor. And young people don’t bounce back from disappointment like me and my husband," she told the Chicago crowd.

I was stunned by her comment. Stunned, annoyed, offended and a whole long list of other words. My quick reply to her is this - you've done your son a disservice and next time, just stay out of it. Here's why...

We are all responsible for our relationship with disappointment in our lives. We can't just pack up and hide away and not answer questions as the young congressman has done - because we have jobs, families and others to answer to. It is even more egregious his method for "dealing" with his disappointment as folks have trusted him with their votes for many years now.

Disappointment stems from our reality not living up to our expectations. Disappointment is inevitable. Who doesn't dream big or strive for big accomplishments that sometimes elude us? For overachievers like myself, disappointment is a companion but one we often don't hang with on a regular basis and here are the three reasons why.

We balance our expectations with a dose of reality juice.

We live an existence of relentless perseverance.

We relinquish outcomes outside our direct control.

I absolutely get disappointed but I don't engage in self-destructive behavior nor do I dodge my responsibilities to wallow in my disappointment.  Each time disappointment comes - I greet it with  open arms - give it a big long hug which consists of me dissecting where my expectations could have been tweaked to fit the reality that set it in. I also sit with disappointment long enough to ascertain if, in fact, my expectation was unfounded by my own lack of effort or was it (as it is in many cases) just not my time.  We usually spend less than 48 hours together because my personality really works toward resolution and has a tough time resting with something (or someone) that is not contributing positively to my growth. 2 days of not growing is a non-stopper for me.

The best relationship to have with disappointment is one of acknowledgement and resolve to move forward. We cannot entertain disappointment for very long periods of time because then he brings his cousin, despair to the party. And from there, it all gets worse.

There is no way to prevent disappointment but you can manage it and its place in your life.

What do you do to deal with disappointment?


  1. You are so right. We can't act like the young congressman. We have our lives and responsibility.
    Disappointment is a part of everyday life. I don't think even the richest or the happiest man/woman is spared of it.

    Find the root cause, accept it, if there is something you can change- then change it, if not move forward.

    Annetta Powell

    Network Marketing and Internet Marketing

  2. Thanks Annetta - I appreciate your contribution to the post.