I had a realization the other day. Okay, I’ll admit it, my better half took my own words, threw them back in my face and forced me to look at a situation differently. However it happened, I learned a lesson that is sticking with me because it continues to come into my mind.
One of my children made a mistake that in my mind, was beyond a huge error in judgment. Big enough that I questioned how a child of mine could not recognize the repercussions of their actions. My disappointment kept me awake and off balance for a couple days. I suppose that learning the facts of the situation from a third party added to my disappointment.
My realization was that my disappointment stemmed from inside me not my child’s action. It may have been obvious to you in the above statement, “a child of mine”. That is a clear indicator that my expectations weren’t being met. Disappointment is simply a byproduct of unmet expectations. The important part is they were my expectations, not my child’s.
This whole line of thinking led me to review each time I’d told someone that I was disappointed in them. I thought about my children, my siblings, my employees and even some friends. Thinking about it now, what right did I have to impose my disappointment on them?
Naturally this led me to think about what I could have said or done differently. I thought I’d share some of them with you just in case you want to rethink disappointment for yourself. I could have asked questions. How can I help you resolve this? What can I do differently so you know that you are always loved? Do you want to discuss it? How are you feeling about your choices? If you had a do over, would you behave differently? How can I help you improve?
I’m just going to stop and think about what the source is the next time I feel disappointment. If it is my own expectations, I have control over how I feel and I’m going to exercise that.