Transforming Disappointment Into Empowerment Transforming Disappointment Into Empowerment Being kind, charming and generous is easy for most of us when life is good. If time is abundant and there is plenty of money – if we’re loved, connected and have a purpose, most of us can bring our A-game. It’s not so easy when times are tough. If we choose to be present in life, to be open to love and to strive for the things we want, we are going to meet disappointment – probably many times. And it can leave us feeling pain, sometimes physical – almost airless. This may apply to you now – or in times ahead: as low as we can feel, this place down here on our knees is where we all learn who we really are. In the belly of disappointment, if you sit with your pain you’ll discover resilience and courage quietly waiting there for you to rise again. The greatest amongst us have failed and failed again; muscle fibre must be ripped to be rebuilt stronger – and so must you. You can choose victim or warrior, the choice is yours and will define how you face the days to come. Here, some ideas on handling disappointment and rising again. Be Curious About Your Feelings First thing’s first. Get past the big three: blame, anger and righteousness, which we use to deflect pain like Wonder Woman’s golden wristbands. Underneath those red hot emotions used to protect yourself, sits your warrior heart, tender – exposed and strong. Examine your feelings of shame, fear, rejection and despair; where do they come from? They hurt like hell, but they won’t kill you. Unpack them, feel them; a lot of the sting will pass when you have examined the worst. We put so much energy into not feeling raw and painful emotions, yet the quickest way to let them go is to stop resisting them. This is not about dwelling in a dark place; this is about facing your fear and seeing it for what it is; the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll take flight again. Give Yourself A Reality Check Drop the story and drama and look at the situation, devoid of your hot and heavy emotions. What has really happened? What is the real cost physically, emotionally, socially and financially? Get some distance from yourself and look at the situation objectively; you may not be able to see it yet, but good will come of this if you do not create a victim story. Be really brave and write a benefit list; a list of 20+ benefits that will come from your experience. I know it sucks, I’ve done it myself, thrashing about yelling, “There is NO benefit!” Then I get over myself and often this one simple task is a turning point. Vulnerability Is Strength I don’t see vulnerability as weakness; I see it as an extraordinary strength. When we accept and love ourselves – broken and flawed, big-hearted and hopeful – nothing can harm us. If you are feeling smashed and broken, open yourself to the warrior within – your strong heart is right there, fuel it with self-love. We all mess up – every single one of us, over and over again. The moment we stop trying to hide our mistakes we are free; it is the pretending that is exhausting. Take responsibility for every choice and every step you have made, do not choose victim. When pain is known and self-love present, we can stand in the storm of anything. Vulnerability is strength, authenticity impenetrable. Focus On The Silver Lining Creativity and clarity are two benefits that come from failure and loss. If your back is against the wall and your resources and options limited, let go of panic and fear, focus on solutions and outcomes. Take your foot off the brake which is driven by fear, allow your clever, conscious brain to swing into action and start finding creative solutions. Your conscious brain is the happiest when it is problem-solving, but you must give it the space and oxygen to be brilliant. You must focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. You must focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Walk, dance, scream, cry – turn the music up and breathe in possibilities; the solutions are right there to be uncovered. Remember, clarity is a beautiful benefit that comes when we have screwed up or are in the rawness of loss. We stop caring what others think; there is a clarity that reminds us what is important and what is not. By shedding the need to be presentable, right or perfect we discover what we want, who we are and what our purpose is, we realize that hitting rock bottom can be the greatest gift you’ll ever receive. Easy is boring; the richness of life is felt when we experience it all. Exquisite joy, lust and love, the lonely depths of failure, the sickening feeling of regret and the soaring heights of success. Choose warrior and out of the ashes you will rise: stronger, wiser, broken and beautiful. Paula Gosney The creator of Belief School; a writer, businesswoman, warrior, speaker and mum. Fiercely honest, a passionate coach, and a woman who knows we are so much more capable than we allow ourselves to believe. Belief School is the culmination of everything she has learned, taught and lived through. Paula says if she had been exposed to the principles that now define her life and are the foundation of Belief School, she would have healed quicker, loved earlier and been able to contribute sooner.