Rejection is rife in my chosen industry. Nothing is ever guaranteed leaving many of the fashion world’s models in blank wonder over what tomorrow will bring. Even promised work can be taken away just as easily as it is given. Dealing with the uncertainty of it all is hard.
This is not reserved solely for the fashion masochists of the world, however.
Disappointment can creep in, settle down and make a nice home for itself in anyone. Coping with disappointment, disabling it from becoming too familiar; this is more difficult than the not-knowing part.
I am a weathered veteran in the war against letting my disappointment influence me too much. The battles were long-fought and often barely won. Many encounters with disappointment left me wallowing long after. The hardships were inevitably worth the wisdom I gained. The wisdom I hope to translate through this screen.
All I wish is for this to be helpful to whomever needs it. Handling disappointment: a list.
1 Let yourself feel it but only for a short amount of time
Dealing with disappointment is an emotional affair. The sentiment stems from the overarching sense of sadness albeit in a more personal form.
I find the best method for confronting my disappointment is letting myself feel what my mind needs. Shedding tears can be a very therapeutic experience in the midst of a great blow. The trick is to limit the flow of emotions.
Dwelling too long on the sadness can catalyze the creation of a self-destructive cycle; one quite difficult to escape from. I was often a victim of my own endless wallowing. I can promise that this pattern of behavior rarely brings relief and thus should be avoided.
Do not deny the body a good cry, but prevent that cry from becoming a long-winded episode of depression. The best remedy for a mind threatening to make that plunge is to think of the good and refuse the desired narrative from blooming.
This brings me to my next bit of advice, particularly for this specific mental trajectory.
2 Do not turn to self-pity
Crying is good for the soul. Like rain washing chalk from a sidewalk, the act of crying can be cleansing and reset for the self’s state of emotions.
Crying can also be destructive if self-pity colors the action.
How odd self-pity is. I find that weeping for me lends a queer sort of emotional high. Like a drug, self-pity is addictive. If entertained for too long, it gives a sort of superiority complex.
The narrative whispers words of discouragement, begging its indulgers to remain sad, to remain wallowing. Disappointment is your righteous end, it says, why escape?
When I detach myself from my disappointment, from my emotions and from this familiar way of thought, the obstacle made up of these components is much more easily crossed. Instead of remaining in a state of temporary depression, I am forced to see my disappointment through a non personal lens.
This, I find, is what makes “getting over it” easy; simple, even.
3 Remove any personal attachment
Like I touched on just previously, the real secret to moving forward lies in cutting personal strings. As badly as I want to hold on to my losses with sentimental memory attached, the reality of the matter is that this only stalls self-betterment.
Detachment is the key to keeping the emotional run of disappointment short and for fending off the self-pity monster lurking in the bushes of the mind. With detachment, rejection becomes a mere part of the routine and lessens sensitivity to feeling disappointment in the first place.
Of course, occasions where disappointment slips through will occur. Like I said before, snip those personal strings as soon the chance to do so arises. Remind the self that the source of disappointment did not intend to cause harm as it did, that its intentions were probably far from that.
Unless, of course, whomever doling it out is a sociopath. Chances are this is not typically the case. And if it is, maybe handling disappointment is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s gotta give.
After the personal ties are severed and the tear ducts are dried, the time to rebuild arrives.
4 Find a productive way to distract yourself
Note the use of the word “productive”. Take it from me when I say that treating a case of disappointment with a binge of media garbage will do little to alleviate symptoms. Productivity is a vast source of happiness; nothing feels as good as feeling fulfilled, am I right?
So someone cancels a highly anticipated job or event. Take that newly acquired free time and do something that lends passion and fulfillment. I promise that, although Netflix provides an easier hit of dopamine, finished projects will keep that dopamine burn going for far longer.
Take me for example. I just got word that a job I was looking forward to was cancelled in favor for someone else. Now here I am, typing out an article about dealing with disappointment.
Rest assured that I feel a million times better over the unfortunate circumstances. Yay, personal projects!
Onwards, into the final bit of advice I hope to give.
5 Forgive and move forward
Yes, the conclusion to this article is a bit cliche. The reason stands that cliche in this sense is good. Moving forward is integral to handling disappointment as well as every other hurdle life likes to throw.
Time does not do humanity the pleasure of standing still. Forever time progresses forward. I think time sets a nice example. Moving forward is healing and inspiring. Forgiving the source of disappointment means a liberation for the forgiver.
Using both of these methods in tandem promises an evolution of its own. Personally, forgiveness is easiest way to let the negative things that cloud my mind flow out of me. Moving beyond that comes quite naturally afterward.
Training the mind to only look ahead means anticipation will never be dulled by unforeseen disappointment. The sun is always going to come up, life will always bring ups and downs. Remembering this, taking those steps and allowing the weight of the world to slip easily off the shoulders will bring contentment.
Disappointment is natural, welcome it when it comes but keep its company short-lived. I promise that whatever comes next doesn’t need the burden.