What I’ve been finding most interesting lately (as I continue to show up in the world as a strength and conditioning coach) is what kind of story people form in their head about my life…without actually knowing my story.

As people look at me and then judge themselves, I have found it essential to my success as a coach, to inform people of how I truly got to where I am today. I have found that my honesty can lead to them having greater courage in their own lives.

“I think people would be happier if they admitted things more often. In a sense we are all prisoners of some memory, or fear, or disappointment – we are all defined by something we can’t change.” ― Simon Van Booy, The Illusion of Separateness

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The first step to dealing with disappointment is seeing it for what it is

Disappointment is our response to something (or in somebody) that did not go as we wanted or expected.

The good news is that we have a choice in how we would like to deal with that feeling.

I’ve have read many times that maybe the answer to dealing with disappointment is to not expect certain outcomes from events, or behavior from people.

This line of thinking creates a greater problem for me…

How would we achieve greatness if we did not expect greatness?

How would we love others if we did not expect love from others?

How would we overcome if we did not expect to overcome?

How would we learn if we did not expect to learn?

Not expecting might save us from disappointment, but then where does that leave us? What kind of life would we have?

I have been an athlete since the age of 4. I was lucky to have many good coaches throughout my life. Each of those coaches made sure to address how I dealt with disappointment and failure.

Have you ever seen an athlete who made a mistake hang their head in shame?

Have you ever seen an athlete who was angry “go off” and get pulled from a game?

Have you ever seen a “star” athlete refuse to be a team player?

Have you ever heard an athlete blame an official for a lost game?

Have you ever seen an athlete’s whole world come crumbling down after an injury?

 Disappointment is a powerful emotion, that can easily turn into guilt or shame. Guilt and shame manifests itself in other powerful emotions such as anger, depression and anxiety.

deal with Disappointment

So what can we do to respond to disappointment in a healthy way?

We can make a new story.

We can reframe what happened and what it means to us.

We can accept reality and start to move forward.

Athletics (and coaching health and fitness) has been one of the strongest anchors in my life.

It is the way I make a new story.

It is the way I reframe the trauma I have went through and survived.

It has helped me accept that while horrible things have happened, I am still here…and I have a choice in how I want to view my life’s experiences.

I urge you to take your face out of your hands, and look at the world a bit differently 

What if you shared your story with trustworthy people?

What if after hearing your story someone else felt like they were not alone?

What if in sharing you found that you were not alone in your disappointments?

I strongly believe in sharing the truth… even if it is only in a journal. I am working towards being ever more honest and transparent with my family, friends, clients, and online community about what has happened in my life.

It deepens my story. It restructures my story. It helps me to accept what is. It helps me to build courage in the face of fear… and step forward into the rest of my life.

I invite you to take a look at your response to disappointment, and assess the effect that your response is having on your life.

I urge you to choose a response that expands you and your life, instead of keeping you in a state of disappointment.

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Maile Inouye

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