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Defeating Disappointment

We’ve all been there. We think we’re well on our way towards a specific goal – whether it’s a new career or a new lease on life – when all of a sudden disaster strikes! We have a setback. Perhaps you didn’t capture the heart of your crush, the promotion fell through, or somehow your perfect plan just didn’t work out. Sometimes we even ask, “Why me?”

The Bahá’í Writings teach:

Every soul seeketh an object and cherisheth a desire, and day and night striveth to attain his aim. One craveth riches, another thirsteth for glory and still another yearneth for fame, for art, for prosperity and the like. Yet finally all are doomed to loss and disappointment.(Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 204)

So, disappointment is only human. However, knowing how to accept, manage, and strategize beyond disappointment is the real key to success!

Here are some excellent tips to enable you to stay on track, remain motivated, and defeat your disappointments so that you can overcome them and reap your success:

1.Accept reality. Disappointment is a necessary part of life. In order to experience success, every person must face setbacks or disappointment sometime in their life. The reality of life gives us the polarity of setbacks and successes to better appreciate our wins. Such setbacks also encourage us to strive harder to achieve our goals.

·Overcoming challenges brings us the wisdom to reach even higher goals.

2.Accept relativity. Facing up to the fact that life will always bring trials to overcome will help you beat disappointment in your current mission. Hindsight will inevitably show you that no setback is as big as you thought it was at the time.

·Realizing that life could have handed you a much larger disappointment helps you put the setback in perspective.

Do not dwell. When you are hit with a challenge to obtaining your goal, it can be very easy to sink into disappointment. If you find yourself having a pity party, pull yourself up with some positive thinking. Above all else, do not dwell on the last snafu in your struggle to succeed. Dwelling on your disappointment will not change the fact that it happened.

·Spending your time feeling sorry for yourself will delay your success as well as permeate your life with unnecessary pessimism and futility.

Repeat this line from a Bahá’í prayer for spiritual growth:

I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Prayers, p. 151)

 

3.Create realistic expectations. Like many people today, you may be harboring an unrealistic expectation of yourself. Perhaps you had this inspiring idea to change your life in some grand way. Naturally, you want to achieve your goal now and without anything less than stellar performance! However, realistically, you must recognize that achieving your goals may take some time. You can always adjust your expectations higher and higher as you conquer new goals!

·Having unreal expectations of yourself will only set you up for failure, as you cannot reach impossible heights.

As the Báb says in the Bahá’í prayer for protection:

Whatever God hath willed hath been, and that which He hath not willed shall not be. (The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 190),

so know that whatever happens, the universe is unfolding as it should.

4.Learn from your mistakes. When a setback occurs, the first thing you’d like to do might be to toss in the towel on the whole enterprise! However, a much wiser person bent on success will acknowledge the disappointment as a learning experience.

·If you examine how and why the unwanted situation occurred, then you may be able to restructure your strategy for even bigger and better things than you had originally planned!

5.Stay positive. Lastly, you can surely find your success and win your prize by obliterating disappointment with positive thoughts. Know that you will obtain your goal! Pessimistic thoughts can swallow you whole if you let them, forcing you to delay or give up your dreams altogether.

·Following your positive thoughts with decisive, confident and positive action will propel you to new heights.

Even though disappointment may creep into your life when you least expect it, you can take it in stride by following these techniques. Setbacks don’t define your life; it’s how you react to them that will determine your success. When you face disappointment, learn from the situation, deal with it positively, and confidently move forward toward your goal. Success is yours!

As the Bahá’í Writings state:

Be thou not unhappy; the tempest of sorrow shall pass; regret will not last; disappointment will vanish; the fire of the love of God will become enkindled, and the thorns and briars of sadness and despondency will be consumed! Be thou happy; rest thou assured upon the favors of Baha’, so that uncertainty and hesitation may become non-existent and the invisible outpourings descend upon the arena of being!(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v3, p. 557)

What helps you deal with your disappointment?Post your comments here.

Coping with Bad News

Being a Bahá’í doesn’t exempt us from bad things happening in our lives:

. . . poverty, disease, bereavement, – they seem to be part of the polish God employs to make us finer, and enable us to reflect more of His attributes!  (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 604)

Let’s face the facts: life is full of both good and bad surprises. You can’t live your life worried about bad news, otherwise you’ll paralyze yourself in fear. Instead, you need to become more resilient and learn how to expect the unexpected.

You really can learn how to cope with unexpected news and become a stronger, more confident person in times of pressure.

Let’s go through some ways to make coping with the unexpected easier.

Expect the Unexpected

Have you ever gotten a call from a friend who cancels a get-together you were looking forward to? This is an extremely trivial example of unexpected news, but it represents what we all deal with on a daily basis.

You may feel disappointed or frustrated, especially if you spent time preparing for the event, but you have two choices: detach from your expectations, move on and make the best of the day, or take offence and allow it to sour your mood and hold you back.

Ask yourself: what do you typically do when you encounter the unexpected?

Well, instead of allowing the change of plans to ruin your day, try to get your mind busy onto something else. Is there a fun activity that you can do at home? Is there something you can do for yourself or your family? You can choose to make the best of things by recognizing the hand of God at work and turning the unexpected into a new opportunity.

Build a Solid Support System

Another way to deal with unexpected news is to turn to your support system. Bad news can come with great pain. If you get the news that someone has passed away, for example, this is something that is going to cause you deep pain and suffering. Of course, it’s normal to feel these very real emotions.

In these times it is important for you to turn to those around you for support. You may need someone to talk to, someone to cry with, or even a helping hand. It’s crucial that surround yourself with positive influences instead of isolating yourself.

Indeed the believers have not yet fully learned to draw on each other’s love for strength and consolation in time of need. The Cause of God is endowed with tremendous powers, and the reason the believers do not gain more from it is because they have not learned to fully draw on these mighty forces of love and strength and harmony generated by the Faith . . .  (Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, p. 41)

Using the Power of the Mind to Cope with Bad News

Positive affirmations are another way that you can cope with unexpected news. Affirmations are concise statements that you can use to help you think in a more positive manner.

When bad news is overwhelming you and you don’t know how to cope, you can stop and say:

·I lay all my affairs in thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my refuge.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers (New American Prayer Book), p. 119.)

·I have renounced my desire for Thy desire, O my God, and my will for the revelation of Thy Will. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 37-38.)

·Let my movement and my stillness be wholly directed by Thee. (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 240.)

·I will be a happy and joyful being. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers (New American Prayer Book), p.119.

·I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers (New American Prayer Book), p.119.)

·I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers (New American Prayer Book), p.119.)

·Confidence and assurance, hope and optimism are my prerogative. (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 225.)

·· This will soon pass. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Vol. 12, No. 181, p. 280.)

When you say these phrases aloud, you’re reaffirming the statement in your mind and you’re re-focusing your energy on solutions, instead of worries. Whether you believe it or not, words have power. Repeating these affirmations may console you and remind you about your strength during difficult situations.

When you use positive affirmations and the other coping techniques mentioned, you will find that you are more confident to deal with whatever life throws your way. Remember, it’s okay to be afraid of uncertainty, but you can equip yourself with the tools, techniques, and support system to overcome any obstacle, challenge, or situation.

What helps you cope with bad news?Post your comments below.