Managing expectations when things don’t go as planned

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Photo by Jake Hinds on Unsplash

This week has been a struggle. I’m finally starting to feel better, but whatever hit me wiped me out. The thing is, I had a lot I was supposed to do this week, especially at work. Monday took me by surprise–I was mentally ready and motivated to take on the week, but I ended up sidelined.

It’s difficult when we’ve envisioned how something will play out but then life takes us in another direction. My feeling ill is just a small example, but it can still be frustrating. I know that I should be capable of doing much more, but my body isn’t cooperating. It’s hard not to feel like a bit of a slacker.

I wrote a little bit on recognizing the fluid notion of being our “best,” and this is a similar scenario. It’s important to understand that our “best” changes from day to day. Still, it’s hard not to feel disappointed or let down when things don’t go as planned, especially when you’re the one who is responsible.

It’s important to be kind to ourselves in these situations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. We need to take a step back and understand that there are things out of our control (still not easy!). The main thing is to not take any disappointment as a reflection on yourself, even if you feel like you’re the cause. These feelings change–what seems hopeless today might feel like no big deal by tomorrow. Whether it’s minor sickness, stress, despair, deadlines, confrontation, or just something you don’t want to do–it doesn’t last forever.

Focus on doing what you can–it’s enough for today. Don’t give up. When you’re ready and able, do a little more.

There’s always tomorrow.

Tell me: How do you deal with disappointment?

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