Prevent Disappointment from Happening

by Rachel Miller

September 23, 2022

ABOVE :Lucas Andrade

You know those small letdowns you experience throughout the day? The feeling of wanting things to go a certain way, and then they don’t, or the hope for something to happen, and it never does. How do you avoid disappointment?

Consider:

  • You are only disappointed, let down, and unhappy because you want something to happen that is outside of your control. If you don’t place your hopes and wishes in that thing, you won’t experience disappointment.

  • Notice those subtlest, earliest signs of want:
    • Maybe you’re driving, and you see the light is green and quietly hope that it won’t turn yellow, or perhaps you’re in a meeting, and you find your thoughts wishing it will finish soon.
    • See if you can notice that first indication of want. There’s always a slight moment before you actually want something–the subtle thought of “oh, I hope that” or “oh, please don’t…”—that if you can notice this thought, you can stop yourself before your desire for this thing grows and prevent the disappointment from happening in the first place.

  • Notice this want and pause for a moment. Recognize this as your opportunity to choose to not wish for and depend on this thing to happen. Great! You notice this thought. That means you can now change it. You can choose detach from that expectation, accept what happens, and avoid disappointment.

  • Practice gently and easily, accepting whatever circumstances arise. You can’t control the circumstances around you, but you can control what you choose to want and value. Practice in the small circumstances, and it will make it easier to avoid larger disappointments.

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