When you are counting on someone to deliver and they fall through it can make you crazy. Literally. When you are faced with people who have broken their promises and let you down you have two choices. You can either let your disappointment consume you or you can move past your disappointment. If you make the wrong choice you could set yourself back years, if not permanently.
What Happens When You Obsess Over Disappointment
When someone falls through on their commitment, especially if they are someone emotionally close to you, it feels like a giant weight has just landed on your chest. You can’t breathe. You feel like you are going to throw-up. This is your body’s panic reflex. You now have to figure out your next move. This is a natural reaction. But, many times instead of focusing on how to solve the problem, we let anger and resentment start to build up inside of us. How could they have done this to us? What is wrong with them? If these feelings aren’t kept in check they will completely dominate your thinking.
The worst part of this cycle is that the person who flaked out on you probably isn’t giving the issue a second thought. They are moving on with their life. But, you obsess over this betrayal. It can destroy your relationship with the other person. It can even make it impossible for you to trust anyone else again. Instead of creating amazing things for the world and continuing your march down the road to success, you sit there day after day brooding about something you cannot change.
How to Move Forward, Even After a Crushing Disappointment
You must quickly get out of the funk that is so easy to get stuck in when someone lets you down. Moving forward is a five-step process:
- Solve the immediate problem
- Move forward
Solve the immediate problem
When someone breaks a promise or fails to deliver it creates a hole that needs to be filled. Your first priority is solving the immediate problem caused by someone not coming through. Push all thoughts about the person who let you down out of your mind for now. Tell yourself you will deal with it after you fix the current issue.
This is the most important step. You must also do it before you take the rest of the steps. You need to forgive the person who disappointed you. You do not need to make excuses for them. You do not need to forget the failure to deliver, but you do have to forgive them. Let go of your anger and refuse to let their issues weigh you down.
Once you have forgive the person who disappointed you, you will have a clear head and you can assess what went wrong. Did the other person just flake or did you fail to clearly communicate with them? Take full responsibility for any part you played in the debacle.
Once you know what went wrong you can make sure it does not happen again. That may mean making better choices in whom you trust. It may mean doing a better job of following up. If you want to avoid a similar disaster in the future make the necessary corrections now.
Once you have thoroughly reviewed the situation and made any needed corrections it is time to move forward. Refuse to spend any more time and energy on this failure. You cannot succeed if you are going to carry the weight of every past disappointment with you.
People are not perfect. None of them care as much about your success as much as you do. People will let you down. But, if you know how to handle the disappointment properly, it won’t be a permanent setback and can even help you make better choices in the future.