As mentioned in the previous post, writer David Mamet says that each scene in a play or film should answer three questions:
- Who wants what from whom?
- What happens if they don’t get it?
- Why now?
This week we’re focused on the second question: what happens if you don’t get what you want?
Do you keep trying?
Shift your tactics a bit and keep trying?
Do you blame?
Do you fall apart?
How do you deal with disappointment?
Disappointment on the big stage
We all experience disappointment, but what to do with it depends on what you’ve learned, your customary ways of dealing with things.
Last week those of us who watch “American Idol” saw a very talented young woman, Pia Toscano, whom many expected to win the contest, deal with the disappointment of being voted off the show.
She was clearly disappointed and crying, but she held herself together to make great use of her final opportunity to sing on the show. She was a total pro, and you knew she would be fine in her singing career because she’s doing what she loves and isn’t going to let a silly TV show slow her down. It’s been reported that she already has a recording contract.
After disappointment, what?
There’s a lesson here: If you’re disappointed in an outcome, it’s fine to feel your disappointment for a bit.
But if you indulge it, you’re still going to have to eventually put one foot in front of the other and get on with your life.
So you might as well skip the indulgence and get right on with the walking—changing course, lowering expectations, working harder, whatever.
Therapy can help you learn to roll with the punches, which is one of the more important life skills to develop. Having a big “event” over your disappointment just postpones satisfaction in your life. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to me here. I look forward to speaking with you.