Can't See the Silver Lining? How to Conquer Disappointment.

- This is a guest post by Pam Wilson -


I am a glass-half-filled kind of girl.

No matter the situation I can find the silver lining. It’s not that I spin the facts-I just prefer to emphasize the positive if I can. Recently I had a crushing disappointment that I wasn’t expecting. It wasn’t a health crisis and everyone was okay. I say that because if it was a health crisis or something was seriously wrong I would have handled it differently.

Here's what got me down.

I had written a piece for a locally produced show and had made it through the initial round of cuts. I then had to audition the piece in front of the four women producing the show. When I first found out about the show, I was wary. I had a history with two of the women and I wondered how impartial they could be. However, as time went on, I got excited about the project and was looking forward to my callback for the audition.

My sister, nephew, daughter and friend Jenny helped me prepare for the audition offering hints that made the piece really sparkle. I had a great audition. I know I did. I felt great about how I delivered a heart-felt, humorous piece on the topic of motherhood. In fact, as nervous as I was, I had a lot of fun auditioning.

Information regarding the auditions and program then came via e-mail. On the Thursday before the Friday that we were told they would announce the “winners” (ewww, I hate how this was phrased) I was thanked for my effort, time and participation. Evidently the producers did not think it was a great audition because I did not make the final show. I was home alone when I read the e-mail. I knew before I even opened it that I hadn't been picked.

Somewhere along the line I had invested in myself the confidence and assumption that I would be among the finalists. I couldn’t believe it. I had been so sure about my success. Honestly, it knocked the wind out of me.

So I did something I rarely do...

I reached out as honestly as I could to my friends to get through this and re-gain my footing. I e-mailed three friends who sent encouraging e-mails. I talked with my sister who was as disappointed as I was. My daughter sent me the following text; “I’m sorry, mom. If it helps I really liked your piece. Luv you!”

Next I did what I always do.

I tried to think of reasons I wasn’t successful and thought of ways to re-think the situation so that I could find something positive about the experience. What I discovered was I liked hearing my writing. I also found out that auditioning was quite fun.

To top it off, I got active.

I laced up my shoes, put on exercise clothes, leashed the dog and went walking. And I kept walking letting the fresh air and sunshine work their magic like they usually do. I walked and walked and finally feeling better came home (my fingers were freezing from how cold it was at the time).

I struggled as I thought about what had happened and tried to find the silver lining. I could have stayed safely in my world and not ventured out presenting my writing and my interpretation for others to choose or not to choose. Ultimately in the end, staying the course by talking with friends and working out helped me realize that my glass is still half-full.

Nothing clears my head like Zumba! And working out with these ladies made me feel fantastic and capable of putting the disappointing experience into perspective. It’s up to me to determine how I feel about being disappointed; but even more than that to find a way to live with the experience in a positive, healthy way.

That's me on the bottom right, kneeling down.


Pam Wilson is the author of S.O.S. from Suburbia, which appears as a column on STLToday. She likes to write about out-of-the-ordinary exercise options and considers herself a beach girl at heart even though she hails from Missouri. Pam believes chocolate should be a food group, that Spanx can be your friend and dancing to 80's music will keep you young.




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