Category Archives: identity

Dealing with Disappointments

3 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Disappointment

Sometimes reality falls short of your expectations. This time of year (first of December) we are in the middle of holiday gatherings, activities . . . and expectations. It seems a lot of pressure to meet the expectations coupled with expectations of our own can often end up in disappointment with ourselves and with others.

Setbacks are a part of life, but how you respond to them can soften the blow. Try these 3 strategies for dealing with disappointment.

First:  Avoid Exaggerating

We often make disappointments seem bigger than they are. Remove unnecessary stress from your life by keeping things in perspective.

Use these strategies to avoid seeing your disappointments as bigger than they really are:

1. Embrace change. When you have your heart set on a particular outcome, you may forget that the effects are likely to be short-lived. What seems like a major loss today could be insignificant in 6 months.

2. Stay calm. Discomfort may be easier to bear when you try to stay composed. Take a deep breath or go for a walk outside. Give yourself time to process what’s happening instead of reacting automatically.

3. Depersonalize the situation. You can wind up feeling ashamed when you interpret a disappointment as being a reflection on yourself. Resist the urge to take it personally. (Difficult, yes!)

4. Be specific. Overgeneralizing is another hazard. Tell yourself that this is a single temporary event rather than a permanent downward spiral. Projecting into the future that if my kid steals something today they’ll end up in prison a few years down the road helps no one.
We are told in Matthew, chapter 6, verse 34:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Second:  Moving On

Fear of disappointment can sometimes become so intense that it holds you back from taking risks. You’ll have a more fulfilling life if you can persevere even when things turn out differently than you hoped.

These actions will help you move on from disappointment:

1. Start small. Bouncing back from small reversals will teach you skills you can apply to tougher challenges. Be grateful for opportunities to practice.

2. Learn from experience. There are other lessons too. Disappointments can teach you more about yourself and what you really want out of life. You can use them to clarify your goals.

3. Find motivation. Living through an experience you don’t want to repeat gives you an incentive to change. This could be what you need to point you in a more positive direction.

4. Take control. While you want to avoid dwelling excessively on the past, there are helpful questions you can ask yourself. Determine what you could have done differently, so you’ll be prepared for similar situations.

5. Build your self-confidence. More than thinking positive, take every thought captive and hold fast to the truth. Understand your worth in God’s eyes and that he is willing and able to work in and through you even with your shortcomings.

Take care of yourself as a good steward of the treasured gift that you are. And keep adding to your knowledge and skills as a life-long learner.

6. Cultivate support. Having family and friends that you can count on for encouragement and reassurance helps too. Spend time with your loved ones and be open to honest feedback. When those around you aren’t willing or capable of providing emotional support, find it elsewhere.

7. Seek counseling. If a past traumatic event is holding you back, help is available. Talking with a therapist could give you new insights and coping skills. Caution: Be choosy. Therapists are not all the same and do not have all the answers. But they can often offer helpful “tools” and strategies to help you gain perspective. If a certain counselor is not a fit, keep looking.

Third:  Adjust Your Expectations

Are you seething with resentment because others let you down? You may be sabotaging yourself by holding onto unrealistic expectations that are too high or too low. They may have lagging skills and abilities, or be overwhelmed, themselves. In any event, a reality check can help moving forward.

Consider these ideas:

1. Check your defenses. Fear could be the reason why you expect too much from others. Name your fears and bring them into the light.

2. Know your worth. On the other hand, you may be dissatisfied because you’re investing too much in relationships with little reciprocity. A healthy amount of give and take is a reasonable expectation. You may want to back off a little and invest some of your resources elsewhere.

3. Advocate for yourself. Maybe your relationships are basically sound, but it would help to work on your communications. Assuming that others can read your mind sets you up for disappointment. Practice asking for what you need tactfully and directly. Back to basics!

Disappointments can make you stronger if you deal with them constructively.

 

Hey there,

I’m Dawn and I enjoy helping parents and advocating for orphans!

I founded Yesterday’s Orphan, an outreach to support parents and caregivers, especially moms, of adopted and foster children and also step-children.

If you liked this post and it is helpful to you you might like to join the small but growing Yesterday’s Orphan Facebook group for parents and caregivers. The group is free to join but closed — members only.

Please comment and let me know if you found value in this post and feel free to share.

Mom, this is for you.

 

I want to express a few thoughts and see if they resonate with any of you.

You may know that within our family we have special needs, attachment disorder (and reactive attachment disorder which is the upper end of that spectrum) mental health issues in addition to that; language delays, social delays; just all these special needs type things going on, and Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) and OCD , ADHD — and more alphabet soup!

What’s a mom to do!? I’ve learned that if you are all wrapped up in the family, the children, their special needs, and the relationships that attachment disorder has really put a negative spin on (with multiple kids and family members!) then it can really put you in a rotten space. If you have your own identity all wrapped up in the nature of being a parent of the alphabet soup, special needs, chronic illness and all that goes along with attachment issues that is.

The children are growing up and trying to forge their own identities. Some have additional issues with identity — identity crises — because of their past.

Now think about the parents. Moms in particular (and dads, I am not trying to exclude you but you know, I can relate most to moms).

What about your identity?

Your identity cannot continue to be wrapped up in the relationships and in the roles that you have — the roles that are changing — the roles that are up one day and down the next — the roller coaster ride that is this life, without some real damage, without losing yourself, without losing your own identity.

So, you MUST regain and/or hold onto your identity in Christ.

Your identity as God’s child.

Your identity as someone of value and intellect and purpose.

You can hold on to your true identity:

Whether or not a particular relationship goes haywire;

whether or not a particular illness continues or gets worse;

whether or not you have to deal with a mental health crisis that day;

whether or not behavioral issues pop up;

And whether or not other people judge you as someone who should handle things differently than you do, or should parent differently than you do, or is even the cause of some of the behaviors or issues with your children.

And so, who are we doing this for? Are we really just doing it for ourselves? No.

For our children? Yes! But not just for them.

If you are like me, then you agree we are really doing it for God.

And for our love of God.

And in obedience to God.

So we do it for our kids – yes, but as God gives us love and loves our children and our families through us he gives us the ability desire. And HE is the one we are really doing it all for!

He knows your heart.

He knows it all.

He knows these children.

He knows their background and he knows their needs. And furthermore, God is able to take them, continue to work on them, and maybe do it through you or maybe through other people or other ways. So it’s not all on your shoulders. Put it back on his, where it belongs.

That’s all of my rambling thoughts. I hope you ae encouraged. If you are, feel free to share and follow Yesterday’s Orphan for more.

Discovered, Taught, Built or Attained?

Our identities.

Are they discovered, taught, built or attained?  Finding myself, figuring out what makes me tick, discovering who I am . . . sound familiar?  Is this really how our identity is forged?  Or is our identity something we learn from our parents and others who teach us “where we come from”?  Are you a “self-made man” (or woman)?  Is your identity something you build for yourself?  And once you have found, learned of or built your identity is that it?  Or is it something that is fluid and changes over time. And is there something of your identity “out there” to attain?

Most people tend to have questions about their identity at some point in their life (or many points).  Those who have been orphans may question their identities even more.  As parents and caregivers what can we do to help them?  As to the questions above, I think all of the above would be my answer.  And each can form a part of the identity quest.

Let’s take them one at a time.

Discover

Kids can discover a lot about themselves and begin to have a sense of their own identity as separate from others as a baby when they acquire the ability to comprehend and understand object permanence.  Ever play peek-a-boo with a baby?  They are learning that even when they don’t see your face, you still exist and will return.  As kids continue to learn and grow and develop their own sense of self – – what they like and don’t like, how they are different from others around them and have different needs and desires at times they are discovering some of their identity.  We can help them clue in to their favorites and their special talents and strengths.

Teach

As we teach them about their heritage, culture and family values we are teaching identity as well.  We can help our kids to connect with these aspects of their identity.  We can help them to understand that while there are good points as well and negatives in their backgrounds, that there are many parts of the fabric of their identity that are woven together in a unique way.  We can help them to learn about positive aspects and how even negatives can provide opportunities to rise above.

Build

It is important to help our children to understand that their identities are not soley made up of things that are out of their control.  They can build into their identities as well.  Choices they make, big and small, build into their character and lead them into who they are becoming.

Attain

1 John 3:1-2
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Helping our children to understand and embrace how God views them and their identity as children of God (and how to enter into his forever family) is the best way to help them in the identity quest.  Identifying themself as a child of God, just as they may embrace their identity in their new adopted family, is both a present identity and a future attainment.  It is ours now, and will be fully ours in the future.

What are your thoughts on the quest for identity and how we can help our children.  I welcome your comments.

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Kids from hard places can have overwhelming emotions.  As a parent, I want to help my children learn to use positive coping skills and give them helpful tools.

I’ve gotten some great result in my own family since I’ve begun using premium essential oils.  Among the many benefits, they can make a big difference in dealing with overwhelming emotions, focus and sleep.

Hit Reply (if you are reading this in e-mail) or Contact in the menu above (if you are on the website) with “essential emotions” in your message to learn more about our premium essential oils and related products that you may want to add to your parenting toolbox.  I’ll send you a short video and then follow up to see what you think.