Let’s face it, disappointment is shit. Have you ever bitten the bullet and applied for your dream job, only to find an unwelcome letter of rejection sat smugly in your email inbox the following week? Or perhaps you’ve had your eye on a gorgeous pair of shoes for weeks on end and when you finally decide: I work hard, I’mma treat myself, they’ve inevitably sold out in your size. Whether it’s losing out on a promotion or a pair of shoes, feeling let down is rubbish and can really suppress our inner superwoman.
Whether you’re going through a tough breakup, a spell of unemployment or you’ve realised there’s no milk left when you really need a cuppa (this one is a real little fucker), I hope my little guide to dealing with disappointment and being the best version of you will help lift your spirits so you’re bossing life again in no time.
Throw away the evidence
Okay, so you’ve finally bitten the bullet and applied for your dream uni course. WELL DONE, you little go-getter! You spend the next few months practically snatching the post from the poor postman’s hands before he’s halfway down your garden path. You barely sleep or eat. One morning, you find a letter of rejection on your doorstep. Tear that baby up and repeat after me: I am fabulous. I work hard. I will be accepted onto that course next year.
You’ve secretly been crushing on a guy you’ve known since primary school. You take the plunge and send that risky text. But before you can flush your phone and board a one-way flight to Alaska, you get a rejection text. DELETE. THE. TEXT. You do not need that kind of negativity in your life. You’re beautiful, you’re sassy and you’re smart enough to know you don’t need a man to make you happy.
Nothing kills us more than dwelling. Practice some spiritual Feng Shui and drop-kick that emotional baggage out of your life.
Let it ALL out
Bottling up your emotions is a recipe for disaster and dealing with them alone can make things so much worse. Summon your closest friends for an emergency girls’ night in and whether you scream, cry or swear so much you’d make a sailor blush – put those feelings out there. I promise you’ll feel a whole lot better.
Ignore the critics
My mama always taught me that success breeds enemies. Not everybody can deal with another person’s success and it’s equally easy to feel like you’re failing if everybody else is having the BEST WEEK EVER and you’ve had a flat tyre, a ladder in your tights, you wore white on day two of your period (ladies, you know what I’m saying) and your latest work has been embarrassing. Sadly, we live in a world ruled by social media. People measure their own lives by the success of others who put it out there for the world to see and it’s so, so wrong. I guarantee that amazing size-6 stunner who always looks like she’s stepped out of the pages of Vogue has the worst morning breath in the world. She also doesn’t shit glitter. And so what if your best friend got 100 more likes on her latest selfie than you got on yours? It doesn’t mean she’s any prettier than you are, or that people like her more. Stop putting yourself down. Where is the logic in comparison? We’re all capable of killing it if we work hard enough, timescales are completely irrelevant, and the only thing stopping you is you. Beyoncé, Walt Disney, Grace Kelly and Elvis had their critics – but can you name a single one of them?
Get some perspective
Some days you’re a superhero. Some days, uneven eyeliner can tip you over the proverbial edge. But unless the sky is genuinely falling, it isn’t the end of the world. Yes, you had a really shitty day in work. Your lazy co-workers are doubling your workload and you’re pushed to your emotional and physical limit. Do not let the stress take over. It’s simply not worth it. Leave work at the door and make some time for you – whether you climb into a bath full of bubbles, snuggle up with your favourite book or wrap up and go for a long walk to clear your head, take some time out.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.”
– Lalah Delia
Focus on that silver lining…
…And, if it feels like there is no silver lining in sight, create your own. Don’t ever sit and wait for the storm to clear, instead you must learn to dance in the rain.
Construct a plan to move on
Feeling lost with no sense of direction is tough. If you’ve applied for a job you felt you were born to do, it’s easy to wonder if it was ever right for you at all. If you want something hard enough, don’t let it go. But on the flip side, never settle for something just because it’s comfortable and familiar. One of my favourite pieces of literature has been my lifelong guide, and whenever I feel lost, I turn to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for some much-needed guidance.
One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
If ever you feel lost, unsure and uninspired, take a chance. Take a leap of faith, trust your heart and you may just surprise yourself. One of the most magical things about life is not knowing where it will take us, and I believe we should always be willing to let life surprise us. If you don’t know which move to make, guess. Try something new, seek inspiration from the smallest things and every journey will be a beautiful one.
Believe in yourself
Self-belief is a rare and beautiful trait. There’s nothing more admirable than a person with confidence, and I’m a firm believer that we should all have faith in ourselves. We exist in a world where many people find it easier to throw bitchy comments around than they do to be nice and make friends.
I was recently dancing in a nightclub in Greece and living my best life (I shit you not, I was dancing to Baby Shark and you better believe I threw some serious shapes) when a beautiful girl called Amber came over and asked if we could be friends. I was so taken aback by the fact she’d asked me, a fellow grown woman, to be friends that I actually laughed out loud. But it suddenly dawned on me that at some point between childhood and adulthood, we’ve genuinely forgotten how to be nice and lift each other up – and on a much more fundamental level, how to make friends. She told me she’d have loved my boobs and I told her I was equally envious of her gorgeous face and figure. She also told me she’d tried to make friends with a group of girls earlier In the night, but they said no because she was ‘too pretty’ and they ‘didn’t want their boyfriends to flirt with her’. Utterly ridiculous. We danced until the early hours – laughed about the fact our respective boyfriends were equally quiet but quickly made friends too – and even went for a cheeky skinny dip in the sea. It was bloody amazing, and I wish to god I could do it all over again. Anyhow, I digress…
For some absurd reason, we perceive the success of others as an indication that we have failed. What is that all about? Where is the logic in comparison? I believe that our life is our own to sculpt as we wish; to make of ourselves whatever our wildest dreams lead us to strive for. No two people should ever be compared, because we’re all SO DIFFERENT. With determination, we can accomplish anything, whether we do it now or 10 years into the future. We must banish the time restrictions we set for ourselves; foolishly allowing ourselves to believe that our lives have been futile if we have not had children or been promoted to SEO of a successful business by the time we turn 30.
Believing in yourself is simply the most wonderful thing you can do to enrich your life; because if you don’t believe in your own dreams and your ability to accomplish them, nobody else ever will. Keep your head held high, your heart both strong and humble and you will do just fine; I promise.
Never give up
Do you think that my tips would help you to overcome disappointment?
Follow me on Twitter @varleylou.
Until next time…