Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life was nothing but easy, unfailing forward progress!?  Alas, the human experience brings with it triumphs and breakthroughs AND disappointments and breakdowns.  Being a Creator in our life orientation does not exempt us from this reality.  I wish I could tell you otherwise.

Sometimes the disappointments we encounter are small – at least in the scheme of the universe – and sometimes they are life altering.  Wherever a disappointment may fall on the continuum, keeping in mind how to deal with them when they occur can make all the difference in the world.

Yesterday was just such a day for me.  After months and months of hard work in the writing of TED* at Work, I had an unexpected Challenger of a meeting with my wonderful editor to go over the state of the manuscript.  While the details are “not important,” this was one of life’s baby steps that was definitely a step back, rather than forward progress.

So today I am allowing myself to feel my sadness and letdown (I have allowed my optimism to get ahead of my current reality!).  This disappointment is hardly a hiccup in the grand scheme of things.  I still have my health, nobody got hurt, and I know I am learning a valuable lesson – as unpleasant as the experience is.

Tomorrow (maybe even later today), I will take my own medicine, which is this:

When disappointment intrudes in your life – whether it is more mundane or tragic in nature – here are steps you can take to move through the experience from a Creator Orientation:

  1. Disappointment represents the loss or thwarting of a dream.  It is important to acknowledge that sense of loss, no matter how slight or severe it may be.  Take time to be with your feelings.  Acknowledge the anger. Feel the frustration.  Grieve the grief.  Depending on the nature of the disappointment, this may take moments, weeks, or many months.
  2. Ask: “What can I learn from this experience?”  What does the disappointment have to teach you about what matters most in your life?
  3. In answer to those questions, refocus on whatever you can to move toward that which matters most.  Set an intention.  Declare a new dream.  And then, day-by-day, choose and take the baby steps that will begin to move you from the current reality of disappointment toward the manifestation of meaning and purpose in your life.