Conquering disappointment with gratitude

The celebration dinner I had in mind for last night became a consolation dinner. After the four very positive and progressively deep interviews he had, my dinner companion got the news late yesterday that the company offered the position to another candidate. Ouch!

The disappointment, back-story and experience of this particular candidate is familiar to many thousands of talented, deserving people across the country every day. I doubt the 12.1 million unemployed counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics even includes those who graduated from college during the tempest of the most depressed and depressing economic times this country has experienced in generations – or possibly ever! I have personally experienced the full spectrum of emotions related to “displacement” while at or near the pinnacle of my corporate career and a comfortable lifestyle – not just once, but twice during the past few years.

So what is there to be grateful about, given all that bad news?

What if instead of accepting the mindset of being unemployed, I embraced the excitement and possibilities of being an entrepreneur, parent, grandparent, and volunteer? What if I replaced the term “career networking” in my vocabulary with the mindset of reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances and making new ones? Instead of channeling my energy on feeling angry, frustrated or depressed, I laser focused on gratitude, trust and attracting opportunities?

If you have just finished shopping for your dinner at the local food shelf, and my views sound impossibly, insultingly and incredibly naïve, I apologize. And I will dare to say that these words are even more relevant to you.

Although I’ve never suffered the deep bruises of rock bottom hope- and homelessness that some have, I have had significant economic and emotional low points in my lifetime. I’ve been the beneficiary of public assistance and have rooted for coins in jackets and sofas to meet basic needs. I’ve mourned the untimely and unfair loss of jobs and loved ones. I’ve struggled at times to define who I am and what path I am meant to walk. And today, I am counted among the 12.1 million unemployed.

And yet, throughout my life and today I believe – actually expect – that there are always better days ahead, where my own efforts, ideas and skills intersect with my faith that the Universe will deliver everything I need. Not always when and how I expect or prefer (how about Friday, via UPS, with a pink bow!), but always in different and sometimes better ways and times than I could even imagine. I’ll share some examples with you in the coming days.

I’m keeping a daily list of my successes and things I’m grateful for. I review that list when I need encouragement and reminders. I also recommend watching Louie Schwartzberg’s Happiness Revealed project video – maybe daily for a while!

  • What are you grateful for?
  • What are your techniques for conquering disappointment with gratitude?

Thank you for your feedback!

Love, Tomboy Tam

5 thoughts on “Conquering disappointment with gratitude

  1. What a great reminder – even though I am “between opportunities,” I have so much that gratitude is really the only acceptable feeling. While sacrifices have been made, my main support system (my husband and my dog) is in place and working to support me. One other feeling that has helped me – and may help others – is the knowledge that change is permanent. Nothing stays the same way forever. It took a while, but that realization finally seeped into my being and helps me get through the tough times and appreciate the good times (because both will change).

  2. Ugh! I hadn’t heard the news! I’m sorry to hear your companion didn’t get the job after FOUR interviews! Really!? That seems a bit excessive, only to be turned down.

    I’m in a similar boat, I feel. Certain things get me down, and while I feel defeated sometimes and over stressed, I do know at the end of the day I have way more to be grateful for then I do to be stressed about!

    I am grateful for my beautiful son, who is such a good boy! For my wonderful husband that would walk through fire for me. I am grateful to have a roof over my head, two cars that work *most* of the time. I am grateful for a job I love, with bosses who cannot be beat! I am grateful for family that is always supportive and extremely helpful–not to mention entertaining! I am grateful for wine and a movie after a long day! I am grateful for my friends, who I do not see nearly often enough!

    Thanks for the reminder that “There are better times ahead” and it could always be worse!

  3. I am grateful for you! What an amazing perspective you have on so many things in life. I also strive to stay in gratitude every day. I consciously bring gratitude to mind when I am teaching yoga. I would like to bring it to the forefront more often in my life. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! I thoroughly enjoy this blog. ❤

    • Thanks, Theresa – I am grateful for you too! I marvel at how blessed I am to have you and so many positive, powerful, authentic women come into my life during the past five years! I couldn’t help but absorb wisdom from you all! 🙂

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