Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Not much to be gained by taking no risks:

A risk-free life may be 'safe', but it's unlikely to be satisfying.
By Dr Barton Goldsmith
Date: February 22 2013
Editor Rating:

Keep your expectations low and you won't get disappointed. But you won't get much else either.

Yes, it's emotionally safer to have preferences instead of expectations or not to expect much from yourself or others, but what does that really get you?

Dealing appropriately with disappointments is different from setting yourself up for them. A setup might be auditioning for a TV talent show when you've never successfully performed for the public. Not only will you be disappointed, you could be humiliated in front of millions of people (which might lead you to seeking solace in the bottom of an ice cream container).

What you have to remember is that when you put yourself out there, whether it be for love or in front of the world, you are taking the risk of him/her/them not responding the way you would like. You also have to remember that very few people take risks and being able to do so says something wonderful about you. 

A brave person is not one who rushes into battle without the thought of serious injury or death; it's the one who is frightened but marches forward anyway. This is true courage.

It may take a good friend or a loved one to point out to you that, even though things didn't go quite how you would have liked them to, you have accomplished something huge and should be proud of yourself.

Appropriately dealing with disappointment doesn't mean you can't sulk a little. It's natural to re-evaluate after a disheartening experience. It also doesn't mean you have to suck it up and put on a happy face when you feel like crawling into a hole. It does means that you have to learn from your encounter and take steps to make the next time better.

It also helps to keep things in perspective, which may mean simply believing that there will be a next time.

If you have the fortitude to step into the spotlight or ask the coolest person at the dance to skip the light fandango with you, that's quite a feat. If the spotlight fades or the music stops before you've done what you wanted, you then have to plan for the next opportunity. And there is always another opportunity. It may take a different shape, but it will be there. 

The problem for some people is that, if their dream doesn't work out the first time they try for it, they usually settle for something less. 

That may not be a bad thing - a good experience is worth its weight in gold. But a great experience is priceless. Moreover, if you don't at least reach for the brass ring, you will always wonder what life might have been like had you made the attempt. 

If you have been disappointed in life, take heart because the real truth is that nothing was ever lost by trying. Even if you don't win the prize, the worst that will happen is that you have more knowledge to do better the next time.

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