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How to conduct your bittersweet symphony

Monday, November 13, 2006

Written by Samartha Gamble

Dear Sammy,

For the past couple of months, I’ve been volunteering at a local organization. I had always wanted to work within this organization and put a lot of time and effort into everything I did. I basically worked my butt off in hopes of landing a position and was ecstatic to find out that they had an opening for the exact position I was volunteering for. I applied for it and I admit I was a more then a bit confident because I seriously thought I was going to get the job. But when I didn’t get that call back and found out they hired someone else – I felt betrayed! It was a bitter disappointment. Now I feel somewhat inadequate and a little discouraged about pursuing other job openings or even offering my time for free. Is it right for me to be feeling like this?

  • Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,

You were not deceived, but rather you were deceived by your own expectations as they permitted you to believe that this was your job. Let me begin by saying that every disappointment is a blessing and sometimes, something that seems to be horrible, eventually turns into a blessing in disguise. Disappointment is a distressing yet inevitable part of life and when we’re faced with disappointment, low self-esteem is usually around the corner. You are hurt, and understandably so, but you are personalizing this far too much. Please don’t stop volunteering at this organization. Go in and continue with the excellent work ethic you've always had. Disappointment has the capability of making anyone feel momentary helpless, like a punch in the stomach; it hurts, but you should not allow it to break your spirits. You have to change your thinking and consider this as only a small defeat and in the future you’ll be more emotionally equipped to cope with the negative feelings that can sometimes propel you toward depression. Keep volunteering, continue to be the first-rate volunteer that you've always taken pride in being. Disappointed I challenge, cajole, and encourage you to take a step back today from your disappointment and allow your blessing to find you in the same manner that disappointment did./

~Sammy

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