We’ve all experienced disappointments in life. Whether your child didn’t get the good grades you expected or you didn’t receive the promotion you wanted, things don’t always turn out as planned. When this happens we have a choice to make. Will we let the setback steal our joy? Or, will we maintain our joy in spite of our circumstances? If disappointment has you down in the dumps, learn these four strategies to break out of your slump.
STEP 1: Pause – Don’t overreact to bad news or make any major decisions based on disappointing results. The worst thing you can do is to take immediate action when you have received a major blow. Impulsive decisions made during an emotional state are usually not the best course of action. Slow down. Give yourself some time before responding so you do not say or do something you will regret.
STEP 2: Reflect – Get a fresh point of view on the situation. Talk to some people you trust who know your strengths and weaknesses. Get their opinion on what took place and on how they would respond if they were in your position. Sometimes we are too “involved” to be objective.
STEP 3: Renew – Get God’s perspective. Are you rushing and trying to do something out of God’s timing? What are some things you could have done differently? Were your goals realistic? Realize that God is in control and will sometimes close a door for your own good.
STEP 4: Recommit – Those who endure will eventually see the fruits of their labor. Do you believe in your dream enough to work towards it for the rest of your life? You should. With every stumbling block we encounter there is an opportunity to learn and grow from the situation. The time we spend waiting to see the end of our faith is not wasted if keep our trust in God. The Bible puts it this way . . .
Romans 8:24-28, The Message
“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
THINGS TO AVOID WHILE YOU ARE WAITING
- Pity parties – Repeating or rehearsing the disappointment in your mind and feeling sorry for yourself–this includes telling your friends and loved ones about the situation over and over again. Talk to someone initially to vent or release your frustration, but then let it go. Remember, faith comes by hearing. If you keep talking about how negative and hopeless your situation is, you will start to believe it.
- Over analyzing – Continuously thinking of all the things you should have done to prevent the situation. Even the best plans sometimes fail because of events beyond our control. Life will always have risks and unknowns.
- Making mountains out of mole hills – Taking small challenges and obstacles too seriously and placing too much importance on small issues. This will zap your strength. Save your energy for things worthy of your attention.
- Taking yourself too seriously – Chances are, what you want to do is important and will affect people’s lives. However, if you don’t accomplish a particular goal by a certain time, the world will not end–TRUST ME. The sun will rise and set as usual and you will have another day to try again. Just do your best every day and you will eventually achieve your God-given dreams in His perfect timing.
THINGS TO DO WHILE YOU ARE WAITING
- Know God loves you and has a plan for your life – If we keep believing this, God can incorporate everything we experience (good and bad) into a tremendous testimony that will bless and encourage other people.
- Focus on the good – Keep your mind on the good things you have learned and accomplished so far.
- Revise your strategy – If your current strategy isn’t producing the results you want, pray and ask God to reveal the changes you should make. You may be going in the wrong direction or using the wrong approach. Or, you may need more information to make better decisions. Do some research, if necessary, before you make your next move.
- Enjoy your life – Goals are a part of our lives, but our lives are not just about reaching goals. Stay balanced and remember to enjoy your family and friends along the way. Fun and healthy relationships help us stay energized and remind us that who we are is just as important as what we do.
Photo Credit: Hard Day by reynermedia