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Monday Moment: Rising from disappointment

Emma Grey

Someone close to me experienced a big disappointment last week, in a case of ‘so near, yet so far’.

It was something she’d wanted very much. She had put herself ‘out there’ for it, taking risks beyond her comfort zone. She’d had lots of feedback suggesting this thing would really happen. Then it didn’t, and she fell. Hard.

When our hopes are high and we’ve risked more, we leave ourselves more exposed, with further to fall. The higher we are, the harder we hit the ground. It’s easier when we didn’t really dream all that big in the first place. Or when we wanted it less. Or when we protected ourselves entirely from risk, by walking away from an opportunity.

It’s easy to see how people, smarting from the hurt of the tumble, draw themselves in, and make their worlds smaller. It’s safer not to risk that kind of disappointment a second time, or a third, or more.

In this person’s case, it’s not a matter of ‘better luck next time’. This was the last opportunity. There is no next time. And that’s when we have to get savvy with our next steps. It’s when we have to look at the options we still have (and there are always many), and change our path altogether.

It’s when we get to show the world we’re made of strong stuff. We can be miserable for a while, but we can take a breath and start again.

All of us, if we’re really squeezing all we can out of life, will experience lots of disappointments, rejections, heartbreaks, losses. These things are a measure of just how fully we’re embracing opportunities. At the end of the day, it’s not the individual ‘wins’ that really count. It’s our willingness to step up to that plate again and again and take another swing, and another one…until eventually, we hit it out of the park.

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son.

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