By DAN ROCKWELL
Throwing in the towel feels like relief when hope turns to disappointment. Sometimes the voice in your head says: “It’s not worth it.” But, meaningful achievement includes disappointment.
Hard-fought battles taste sweet but include frustrations, setbacks, and disenchantment.
- People disappoint. Good people leave. Bad people stay.
- Results disappoint. You pour in more than you get out.
- Circumstances disappoint. You expected advantage but received discomfort.
- You disappoint. Failure isn’t intentional, but it happens. The cruellest disappointment is disappointment with yourself.
Winston Churchill said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Reflection: Successful leaders reflect on disagreeable realities. Buried disappointments swell like boils until they can’t be ignored.
Nothing improves through neglect. You repeat what you ignore. Nagging disappointment shouts: “It’s not working.”
Here are seven questions for reflection:
- What are you doing that doesn’t serve you/others well? Remember that obvious answers aren’t always the right ones.
- What do you want to stop doing? Disappointment is motivation to stop doing things that aren’t working. There comes a point when stopping something feels like relief.
- What do you want others to stop doing?
- What personal values need fuller expression? Darkness and lethargy move in when you move away from personal values.
- What unmet expectations might you have for others? For yourself?
- How accurate is the accusatory voice in your head? Or inaccurate?
- Hold your disappointment in your mind. Now ask yourself four questions:
- What are you doing that makes you proud?
- What are you doing that makes you disappointed in yourself?
- What are you doing that drains you?
- What are you doing that energises you?
Tip: Record your disappointments on paper. Read them every day for a few days. What do you notice?
Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is the author of a world-renowned, socially shared leadership blog, Leadership Freak. To engage with him, email email@example.com.