When something disappointing happens, we often buy into the assumption that we are being tested and that passing the test depends on pushing through and persevering. Many of us do not give ourselves permission to be vulnerable, feel our feelings, or ask for help.
We live in a world where being strong and pretending we are “FINE” (Feelings Inside Not Expressed) is not only common, but often rewarded. “Be strong” is one of the most common pieces of advice I’ve heard, and it’s my least favorite because the implication is we shouldn’t feel. So we put on a mask, trying to look strong on the outside while falling apart on the inside.
Being strong is overrated. Pushing away an Expectation Hangover usually means you’re going to be pushing aside some valuable learning and healing. Vulnerability is a powerful tool for healing. Harshness and mental toughness diminish vulnerability.
Perseverance is important when dealing with challenges in life, but the key is to persevere by asking, “what am I learning” rather than mustering the strength to push it away or jump over it. @ChristinHassler (Click to Tweet!)
Consider: Have you been told by others, or do you tell yourself, to “be strong” when you are upset or something challenging happens? What are the costs of “being strong”? What does vulnerability mean to you?
Be resilient without repression. Although it may seem like we are protecting ourselves, being strong via suppression erects walls around our hearts and reinforces beliefs about it not being safe to feel our feelings or share them with another. Please do not underestimate the healing power and true strength of vulnerability.
P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.
Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.
Image courtesy of Brooke Cagle.