On The Other Side Of Disappointment The Gift & The Lesson – A Life That Matters!

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By Joe White

President and Founder of

Get Life Coaching.

2012 Entrepreneur

of The Year


It doesn’t really matter in which area of one’s life it occurs. It could happen in love or a career, or perhaps a hope or a dream that comes crashing down. Plain and simple: we don’t like feeling disappointed, especially when it is something that we truly wanted. We have all heard the phrases that are supposed to make us feel better when we feel our worst. “This too shall pass.” “If it didn’t work out then it was not meant to be.” “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” And the list goes on… Yet, it doesn’t necessarily make us feel better. I can honestly say that, in the midst of a heartache when someone says, “Let it go, it will work out if it is meant to be,” my brain goes, “B.S.! But I want it to work out!” Even when the truth is staring us in the face. Even when it is telling us that what we desire is not under our control. Sometimes it does not make us feel any better in the moment. We often need something more, something stronger, to get us unstuck!

I have to say that in my 14 years of coaching people to create breakthrough results, being stuck in disappointment sits high on the list when I ask individuals, “So what brings you here to me today?” This disappointment usually occurs when an individual’s straight line of life takes a sharp bend in a different and usually unwanted direction. We become sad and angry and seek out the answer to “why”. We may try to “fix” the situation even if the situation is not for us to fix. The disappointment builds and builds, and so does the intensity. (This is usually when I am called for a complimentary session.) The spiral begins to turn deeper and deeper with every endless loop question. We must right ourselves and begin to move forward… Now!

The first key we must understand is that life is NOT a straight line. Just because you want life to be a straight line, doesn’t mean it is, and it never will be. Life is filled with ups and downs and bends in the road. We can’t always control the events or circumstances of our life, but we must take control of what we can – and that is US! We can do this by letting go of the notion that life is a straight line, that life is fair and just. At times it is none of that, and that is the side of life that is sad and, at times, ugly. But it is okay once you understand the rules of the game. Understanding the rules of the game, helps you to know how to actually win the game!

What keeps people stuck in disappointment is that they have intense focus on 1) themselves, 2) what they have lost or what has been taken away from them, and 3) how it will negatively impact them and keep them from being happy in the future. Sounds daunting doesn’t it?

I believe that disappointment, as with all things, is something that is here to serve us. Life is something that happens for us, not to us!  We may not always enjoy what we are feeling, but nonetheless, its intent is to serve us if we allow it. How do we recognize how it’s serving us? Two ways: one is a gift, and the other is a lesson.

The gift is what is meant for us at this present moment. It is something we must have to heal, let go or hold on to.  Perhaps it is the knowledge that you are stronger than you thought you were, or that you have recognized your ability to love completely and fully. Sometimes the gift comes in the form that will cause you to appreciate even more all that you have. The gift is essential, but the real gem is in the lesson. The lesson is the most valuable piece, for without it, we will continue just making the same mistake over and over again. We must not just understand the lesson but learn it and apply it to our life. It is in the application of the lesson that we move towards greater growth, contribution, and fulfillment.

One thing is certain, as long as you are living your life in areas that matter, you will have times of disappointment and sometimes even great disappointment. You can either be crushed by it or rise above it! It’s your choice. Live Free.

I wish you love and passion

The results of Joe’s work has been studied and documented in two Phd. research projects in which one study won Best of Conference at an academic conference in Nashville, Tennessee and the other was turned into an academic book available on Amazon. Joe is currently 2012 New Castle County Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year and former 2008 Entrepreneur Advocate of the Year.


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