I’ve just returned from an event where I, along with nine other speakers, pitched our three-minute television segment proposal to 15 producers from network affiliates across the nation.
It was a grueling two days of back-to-back presentations. We’d hired a special consultant to secure this unique audience of decision makers and to guide us through the idea development and pitching process.
During my first Skype interview on the second day (having already presented the idea six times the day before), I drew a complete blank when going through my bullet points. It was a very uncomfortable and humiliating position.
“Mrs. Deborah,” the young producer lectured, “All you had to do was bring your note cards.”
I didn’t tell her that I indeed had them right next to me but couldn’t see the words because I didn’t want to wear eyeglasses during the interview. I was very disappointed with my performance. I was tempted to blame God for not bringing the information to my remembrance.
Times of disappointment present the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate our goals, expectations, and motives, where we place our trust, and how we respond when things do not go our way. Since I’m on a mission to let nothing take away my joy, I immediately put my joy-keeping strategies into play.
You can try them too:
Acknowledge your disappointment—to God, yourself, a supportive friend—or even the person who disappointed you if the Spirit leads you to do so. We must not allow our ego, pride, or fear to cause us to deny that we’re feeling displeasure because our expectation has been dashed.
Be quick to adopt a divine perspective and accept a disappointment as “His-Appointment”.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21 NLT).
Yes, God rules in the affairs of men and He orchestrates circumstances for His Glory. Therefore, we can confidently declare by faith, “I had plans and expectations, but God’s purpose has prevailed. May He be glorified.”
Put a time limit on how long you will dwell on the disappointment. It’s human to feel disappointed, but we cannot allow this emotion to set up permanent residence in our soul. To do so says to God, “I don’t like what You have allowed. I still want what I wanted.”
This can lead to disillusionment and bitterness. Depending upon the nature of the disappointment, I’ll often say to myself, “Okay, you get X number of minutes/hours to grieve the death of your plan or expectation. You will not keep wishing it were different; you will move on. God has spoken.”
Caution: When you are certain the outcome is contrary to God’s will (e.g., when a loved one continues to reject salvation), keep standing in faith for the desired result to come to fruition at an appointed time.
Acknowledge any mistakes, shortcomings, miscommunication, or disobedience on your part that may have contributed to the disappointment. In the case of my TV pitching ordeal, I could have studied the notes longer or reviewed them more thoroughly prior to the interview—but I didn’t.
Ask God, “What now?” Maintaining a forward focus keeps you from getting stuck in frustration or anger over what could have been “if only” this or that had happened.
Seek God for new instructions. Stay optimistic about a better outcome in the future. By the way, I walked away from the aforementioned “pitching marathon” with 12 approved segment proposals!
We will all experience disappointments. Overcoming with them requires a mindset that is humble enough to submit to God’s plan, flexible enough to accept His grace for ourselves or extend it to others, and faithful enough to stay focused on the future.