Good morning fellow minimalists! I’m sorry for the two week hiatus I’ve been on- well. Not too sorry! I was able to safely welcome my lovely little boy into the world two weeks ago! He’s completely stolen my heart and soul, along with all of my time. I’m sure you can understand!
During the time that I took to be with my little man, I thought about many different things for the Minimalist Soul. For example, where it will go, what my goals are for the blog, for my life coaching, and about the many things I’ve learned in such a short amount of time. Most of these things I will be sharing with you in the coming week or two. For now we will be discussing disappointment.
It’s a weird thing to talk about considering the past two weeks have been amazing for me. Going in to this experience though, I had certain expectations. I wanted my labor to go a particular way. I didn’t want certain medications. It was supposed to be different in so many ways.
Months before my due date I had been researching what to expect from labor. I read other people’s experiences, listened to some women recount theirs, and gathered as much information about what I’d want as possible. I had my birth plan and made sure that my fiancé had it down as well. I knew coping strategies and about the different stages we would be going through. Basically, I knew exactly what I did and did not want. But one thing that kept coming to my mind was that with almost all the stories I had heard, she always warned to be prepared for the unexpected.
But I already knew that. So why did it keep coming to my mind? Because the women explained that without being flexible it would lead to disappointment.
Ah yes. The dreaded D word. Disappointment.
We all dread hearing that someone is disappointed with us. And we despise feeling disappointed with ourselves even more. We would live just fine without this degrading feeling, so why do we experience it?
Good question. Let’s discuss it.
Disappointment is Good For You
I didn’t lose you with the heading did I? The thing is that feeling disappointed is actually good for you.
It gives you the opportunity to expand your expectations and to be flexible.
My labor was in no way anyway that I had planned. Almost everything I wanted went right out the window as soon as I found out I was actually in labor. I hadn’t planned for this, so immediately it through off my groove. For a few minutes, it was like I didn’t mentally prepare myself at all. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to do from there.
As the night progressed, I was feeling more and more cheated on what I had wanted. I felt like I had let my baby down, my fiancé, and most of all I was disappointed in myself. Even though I was completely out of control of the situation, I had wanted it to be different.
As I was laying in the hospital bed and my support system dozed, I realized something. This was how it was supposed to go. This is how my little one decided to come into the world and this is how it needed to happen. We were both still healthy. Our vital signs were good and strong. Really the only thing wrong with what was happening was how I was experiencing it.
So immediately I changed the way I was thinking about the experience. Instead of thinking about how things had gone wrong, i viewed it as things that had gone right. There were rough patches during the process that scared me and that made me feel guilty. But really I shouldn’t have felt that way.
You give yourself permission to be disappointed with yourself. So similarly, you can prevent it from happening as well. The quickest way to feel disappointment with yourself is for something to happen that wasn’t according to plan. This can be with a goal you were trying to achieve, with a project you completed, or just something that you forgot to do. It can really happen with just about anything.
Shift Your Attention From Disappointment to the Present
The thing with disappointment is that it happens when you’ve been living in the future rather than the present. Having a plan is good. By all means, have a plan! It can ensure success and help guide you along your path. But leave that end image alone. Allow it to remain hazy and leave room for the unforeseen so that you can’t be disappointed.
Most often I think we only see the end goal. We leave the steps and mini goals as incomplete thoughts and images instead. By doing this though, it’s like blindfolding ourselves to walk through the woods. You imagine the trees open up at the end into some clearing. But if you can’t see the well-worn trail or the arrows that point you in the right direction, how are you going to get there?
Leave out the possibility of feeling disappointed by preparing yourself for your journey in a way that ensures more success. And if you begin to actually feel disappointed, don’t give into those emotions. Don’t allow yourself to feel bad about what you have done. A change of plans means that it wasn’t meant to be. You didn’t fail just because you couldn’t control what ended up occurring. The only thing that you are in direct control of, is your emotions and the way you view the situation.
Change the way you think and change the way you feel.