It is an understatement to say that our world has changed. The pandemic has changed not only our appearance because now we are all wearing masks, but we have been boxed by COVID-19. We can’t go where we want to go and we can’t do what we want to do.

It is too easy to get swallowed up by disappointment. What do you do when you come face to face with disappointment (or should I say mask to mask)?

Regardless of the presence of the pandemic, we have all dealt with disappointment.

Everyone faces disappointments in life. Many people choose to sit around and complain or whine about their problems. We all know it is easy to fall into the trap of being sucked into a pity party. Don’t go there.

There is no right or wrong way to feel. You can acknowledge your feelings but not be a negative Nellie.

Things could be worse. Somewhere someone is going through something worse than we are. We may not want to be patient or accepting but be realistic. Disappointment happened and we can’t change it.

As the hit song says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Life goes on, with us or without us.

We need to put things in perspective and ask, “Is it going to matter next week, next year or five years from now?”

We don’t get to choose our disappointments, but how we respond to disappointment is up to us. We can choose what we do, we can choose what we say, and we can choose what we think about what has happened. We need to turn the emotional tables on disappointment and always look for ways to learn and grow from it.

No one can teach us how to survive disappointment. We must experience it for ourselves in order to better understand what it means to face the outcome. Life’s challenges are simply opportunities for us to grow. Each challenge that we face is real, bringing us one step closer to what we need to learn. In time, we heal and become stronger and wiser because of it.

Just remember to keep your chin up.

The following poem has been kicking around in my brain for almost 50 years. I shared it with one of my students in Montreal in 1974. For some reason I have never forgotten it and it pops in my head in times like this.

I want to share these words of wisdom with you and hope it is just what you need.

Thinking

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,

It is almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;

For out in this world we find

Success begins with a person’s will

It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;

You’ve got to think high to rise.

You’ve got to be sure of yourself before

You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man;

But sooner or later the person who wins

Is the one who thinks he can!

— Walter D. Wintle

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