I just finished reading Chapter 25 in Clarity: Focusing on What Matters and here is what struck me: When disappointment hits we have a choice to become bitter or better. It reminded me of a speech I gave on Monday about overcoming bitterness and getting rid of anger. Before you can get rid of disappointment and bitterness you have to identify it.
Trials Identify The Cracks
Trials are an opportunity to reveal cracks in the foundation of our plan, life, and vision. As a leader you need to take action and deal with your own bitterness, disappointments, and conflicts. If you don’t you let them simmer on the back burner unti it boils. It costs too much energy, time, and resources to let that happen. Here are some way to identify and address the cracks before you have a crumbling disaster on your hands.
1. Know your expectations…because they lead to disappointments. If you are a leader you have high aspirations, big dreams, and crazy long term vision as part of your DNA – you can’t help it. The problem is this great strength becomes a weakness and a stumbling block when they morph into expectations. Rarely do people ever meet our expectations so instead of adjusting and communicating our expectations into understandable goals and requests, we experience disappointment. Disappointment not dealt with properly leads to bitterness. Be clear with your expectations, first with yourself, and then with others.
2. Embrace trials. Trials build character. When you experience disappointment or any other hard time you can either see the cloud or the silver lining as they say. Difficult and disappointing times reveal your character. The analogy in the Clarity book talks about the ebb and flow of the tide. The ebb times in our lives exposes what is inside us that needs to be removed. When your flaws and lack of integrity are revealed, therefore repent!
3. Repent isn’t a religious word – so do it! Repentance is a change of mind. It means you were going in one direction with a certain mindset and it’s not working. Therefore you change your belief system by engaging your mind and go a different direction. Of course, it is easier with God because there is something bigger than your own sorry self to help ya’ at, but the concept is true for all. If we are on our way to LA from Seattle and we hit Vancouver BC – there is something wrong. If you are the driver and start ranting about how you can’t believe you did it again, you shouldn’t have trusted mapquest, blah, excuse, blah – as the passenger I am going to say, no shout, “SHUT UP and pull over! Take the next offramp and turn the @!#%%$# around!”
4. Sweat the small stuff. A big part of my coaching is conflict resolution and in my 12 years of experience I am here to tell you – it is the small things that become big things. It is the dumb small thing that you are ashamed of that made you so angry that will morph over night into a huge divide. In fact, it is rarely a big huge thing because everyone would know that is a problem – it is the small thing that means so much to you. It is someone or something you care about deeply that can wound you with the smallest infraction. So you must deal with it.
5. Deal with it now! A good principle we use with our clients is 24 hours. Don’t let 24 hours go by without dealing with your anger, resentment, hard feelings. Most of the time it is a miscommunication that can be dealt with in a quick conversation. The longer you wait the longer the reconciliation will take, the more people get hurt, and the more energy and time is wasted.
Practice What You Preach
Recently, I did not follow my own advice and wisdom and let a very small issue simmer. It seemed too selfish and small to address and I was embarrassed to even talk about it with the offending party. Well, a month later I was a total mess, caused hurt to other people, and was an emotional wreck in this area. Why? Because I did not follow my values and take action. Like my friend Kim Case says, “You don’t get better, you get faster!” Yep, and that is what I am doing!
If you do not identify and deal with your disappointments you will become bitter. Once bitter you will either stop dreaming big or become so unrealistic in your drive to prove yourself – no one will listen, let alone follow. Get clear, repent, and move in a new direction today.
What additional tips do you have on getting rid of disappointment? I only listed 5 – there are more. Please share below.
What action will you take today?
Your Coach For Clarity,