Thursday, August 8, 2013

{When Life Gives You Lemons} Dealing With Disappointment

This post does not result from me being in the pits, rather it is a cumulation of me reflecting on the past year and observing how others handle their disappointment...I hope we all can learn something from it. 

Life, when lived to the fullest, taking risks and pursuing goals & dreams, will have its disappointments.  Sometimes I feel like the bigger the goals and aspirations, the bigger the disappointments. These disappointments I speak of include things throwing a wrench in our plan, falling short of a goal, pouring  heart and soul into something, only to have it not go as anticipated...leaving us in the pits!

Sarah captured the feeling of being in the pits perfectly, "I am in the pits. Not like peach pits. Nope. Not even like a pit in the ground. That sounds relaxing. I'm in the big, old, hairy, stinky armpits of life. And life doesn't believe in deodorant and is sprinting uphill in Georgia at noon in July with me tucked up in its pits. Get the picture?"

Trust me, I have been in the pits, from breaking my collar bone 3 weeks prior to what would have been my first half Ironman, falling short of a BIG goal and finishing a race overcome with disappointment, to putting myself out there and applying for opportunities {several times}, only to receive an email saying I wasn't selected. I get it...these moments hurt, leaving us questioning "why?", doubting ourselves, and perhaps even sparking anger inside of us; all of which are normal reactions when so much heart, soul and passion are invested in something. 

But it's how we respond and react to these disappointing moments in life that reveals our true heart and what's important to us. 

These moments of disappointment should be driving forces to pick ourselves up, dust off the dirt, and keep trudging forward; taking one  leap of faith at a time, as we move closer to our dreams and goals.  It's in these moments that we have the opportunity to assess what went wrong and what can be done differently, evaluate what is truly important to us, and decide how will we proceed. We have the choice to dwell in the anger, pain, disappointment, and frustration or LEARN and GROW from the anger, pain, disappointment and frustration. It is also so important to realize and acknowledge how our personal responses to disappointment effect those around us. The same moment of disappointment for one person might be a moment of joy and success for another person, and it's important that we do not remain so self focused that we miss the opportunity to celebrate in others' accomplishments.

One thing I have been struggling with recently is the vulnerability that comes with being actively involved in the social networking world. I want to share my goals, what I am working towards, and the real me, without worrying about publicly facing the disappointment that comes with not achieving  said goals or falling into the trap of comparison and self-doubt {as easy and obvious as it seems to most, I want to be confident with posting my race results on here, which I don't always do}. While I struggle with this constantly , I am also reminded of the blessings that have come from being willing to give it my all and just be myself.  Through social networking I have branched out, putting myself out there in the world of vulnerability, only to face disappointment {i.e. applying for the NUUN Hood-To-Coast team last year and the Oiselle team}. But I am here to tell you that those "NOs" have turned into the best "YESes" I could asked for! Those "NOs" have resulted in lasting friendships, amazing opportunities, a passion for relays, a deeper love for running, and a greater sense of self worth.  I am beyond thankful that I did not allow the "NOs" to discourage me from continuing to pursue my dreams.  Today I am humbled, honored and oh so thankful to say that I will be running Hood-To-Coast with NUUN and am a proud member of the Oiselle Team.  The  "YESes" that will come from the "NOs" are only beginning; everything happens for a reason, in perfect timing!

Please, whatever you do, DO NOT let the disappointing moments in life stop you from pursuing that which is most important to YOU! 

And when life gives you lemons, don't just make lemonade, make Strawberry Basil Lemonade! {I had to incorporate the lemonade quote AND the recipe for my favorite summer beverage!} 


  1. Great post, Holly! We have to keep putting ourselves out there to move forward. Keep learning and growing. :)

  2. I totally agree with all of this! I put myself out there on my blog , social media, to friends and family EVERYONE about qualifying for Boston this year and I fell short. It was really hard to deal with it and even harder since I had broadcast my goal to the world! But it actually turned out to be a valuable lesson because I learned that it's ok to fail and at the end of the day, no one thinks any differently of you. If anything, it makes you more relatable to your internet and real life friends because they also aren't perfect and have failed before.

    Congrats on Oiselle! I also just became a bird! :)

  3. Great reminder---I have been there--am there--and the reality is that although I do think it is ok to let ourselves feel --the only real choice we have is to keep going and try again.

  4. Great post! I put big goals out into the social media universe when I ran my first marathon. After a less than stellar race, I felt shame because I didn't live up to the goals and everyone knew it. BUT it was a learning experience to put myself out there like that. I'm going to keep posting big goals - it only helps in my mind.

  5. great post! and you're totally right - itz all about how we approach situations!

  6. Love this perspective. If we always reach our goals we probably aren't setting them high enough. Remember that other people fall short of their goals too, and probably like realizing that they are not alone!

  7. Everything in life teaches us a lesson and as a result, we grow stronger :)

  8. You make some very good points - especially about making strawberry lemonade! ;) Go big or go home!