Great expectations: Friend or Foe?

Great expectations.

A friend or foe?

When we build something up in our minds, psyche ourselves up for it then it doesn’t happen or doesn’t go the way we want, do we crumble like Miss Havisham, stuck in our own bitter world or do we pick ourselves back up and charge back into life?

The truth is is that we all face these moments. These little blips where we have built something up in our minds to be so important that when it suddenly doesn’t happen for whatever reason, we feel an immense surge of emotion and disappointment.

Think about the last time you got ready for a date that cancelled. Or a waited for a friend who flaked out. Or went for that job who picked someone else. Or finally spoke up and was knocked back.

How did you feel afterwards? How did you feel a few days after? How about a few weeks after?

Disappointment is ok. In fact, I think it’s a good thing to feel.

I would much rather go through life getting excited about things and then dealing with disappointment if they don’t go to plan rather than trundelling on with an apathetic state of living. Wouldn’t you?

We are human. Feeling up and down is part of being human. The downs make the highs a little more special, the highs make the downs reinforce what is important to us and grow.

In order to increase our mental wellbeing and ultimate happiness, we need to accept and effectively deal with our sad times and disappointments. We can do this.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as having a little blip and just crying it all out to someone you trust. I am always brought back to that touching bit in Inside Out where Sadness comforts Bing Bong and lets him cry to help him feel better and shows Joy how powerful this is.

In these times, don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t get frustrated with yourself that you’re being ridiculous by needing a good old cry. You’re not. Sometimes it’s just needed.

But we do need to be careful that we do not sit and wallow in ourselves for too long, letting the negativity seep into how we feel about ourselves or others and rooting into our core.

Don’t spiral.

Spiralling is not helpful and not going to make you feel better. It drags you down.

How to stop your own spiral may differ from mine but the fundamentals are the same:

  1. Notice you are starting to spiral – what are your key spiralling thoughts? Notice when these start to get louder in your head and take a step back and a deep breath.
  2. Reach out – let your best friend, family, partner know that you are starting to spiral. Listen to their words of comfort and let them reinforce the positives.
  3. Be your own cheerleader. It can be hard to stop ourselves when we start to spiral but we need to be able to pull ourselves out of it as well and not only rely on others. Focus on a positive word or moment you can easily pull back to mind.
  4. You can do this. You are worth it.

When you are out of the negative spiral, you can then effectively deal with the feelings of disappointment, work through the setback and charge on back with full force and a fresh head.

If you need a little helping hand to work through a setback, get in touch to see how coaching can help. You got this!

Interested in knowing more about coaching with me?
Drop me an email at
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