Whenever I’m disappointed about something, the worst thing someone can say to me is “get over it.” Okay, in the grand scheme of things, missing out on a job, going through a breakup, losing a material thing you loved etc is probably not that big of a deal. But why should I feel guilty about my own feelings? When someone tries to tell me how I’m supposed to feel, it not only enrages me but it makes me overcome with guilt.
I think the best advice I’ve ever received was to never apologize for my own feelings. When things are out of your control, why should you blame yourself? I’m not saying you should be rude to everyone around you and hide in your room for a month, but if you’re sad, be sad. If you’re angry, get angry. If this is something that is affecting you, then only you can truly know how to deal with the situation.
Your feelings are something that can neither be created or destroyed. But they are something that can be altered. All types of feelings are important for having balance in your life. If you never experience true heartbreak, how can you know what real love is supposed to feel like? When you’ve hit rock bottom, career-wise, achieving success will taste that much sweeter.
The most important aspect of all this to focus on is balance. When your feelings are not in balance things can go two ways:
When you’re not feeling enough you might become dependent on others to determine how you should be feeling. You end up losing trust in your own identity and choices. For example, let’s say a guy breaks up with you and all your friends tell you not to be upset because he was a loser anyways. True, (he most likely was a loser) but that doesn’t mean your feelings are not valid. If you decide to pretend like everything is fine, it likely will be easier at the beginning to get past the break up. You can distract yourself by going out with your girls nonstop to forget your troubles. But soon after you end up going out with the same type of loser that broke your heart in the first place. Again, your “friends” tell you to not even think about him and the vicious cycle continues.
It’s important to allot yourself enough time to focus on how you feel. You may not want to cry or be sad but if that’s the way that you feel, it’s something that you shouldn’t ignore. During times of disappointment or heartbreak, just remember that it’s OK to be selfish and take time for yourself. At the end of the day, it will greatly benefit you and everyone around you in the long run.
When you’re feeling too much you can crash. By not establishing any limits you can go from feeling to wallowing pretty quickly. If you focus all your energy on being miserable and how much you’re disappointed, you can end up depleting yourself and your inner-system will become frantic. For example, let’s say you didn’t get the job that you really wanted. Your initial reaction is that you’re utterly devastated. It’s very understandable in those types of situations, particularly when you’re job searching because everything is still up in the air. Final decisions are beyond your control and outside of your grasp. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, so why even bother trying?
While it is imperative that you give yourself time to feel, you have to remember that it’s equally as important to get back up and keep trying. Just remember, while your feelings are not something that you can specifically control, what you can control are they way that they affect you. If you let your disappointment take over your entire day, it will. Feelings are something that are tangible but neutral in of itself. While you can’t make yourself start and stop feeling something you can learn how to channel your feelings to work for you. The first step in learning how to channel your feelings to your benefit is understanding the complexities of what you’re feeling.
For example, let’s say your boyfriend cheats on you and you’re devastated. How can you channel sadness to work for you? Correction: Sadness is most likely not the only thing that you’re currently feeling. If anyone ever cheated on me, yes I would be sad. But I would also be angry and frustrated. I can channel that frustration into working out and exercising. I can channel my anger into focusing on work and my company. I can even channel my sadness in seeking solace in my friends and re-establishing friendships with people I’ve lost touch with.
By having a clear understanding of how you feel and why you’re feeling them, you can move on more quickly without ignoring your feelings. When you allow yourself to react to how you truly feel, it’s more likely that you will remember your experiences, recognize the red flags, and you won’t end up repeating the same mistakes all over again.
Again, let me reiterate that all of this is easier said than done. Disappointment is one of the worst feelings you can have. But when you understand why/what/how you feel, it can ease your journey towards feeling like yourself again.