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Over and Over

Seeking Out Disappointment
Over and Over

disappointmentWhat if you turned your world upside down by assuming your least favorite feelings are actually unconscious goals? I know it sounds masochistic, but go with it for a moment.

Let’s say that you live with a disappointed feeling in your mind or heart. This feeling tends to accompany you throughout life as if you cannot escape it. When you fail to live up to expectations, you feel the familiar disappointment. When you don’t get things done on your to-do list, you feel it. When you fall short of a goal, you feel that same old familiar disappointment.

In fact, your inner critic doesn’t give you much of break, does it?

What if this is all an unconscious set up, though? What if at some level you are actually seeking that disappointment in order to fulfill long forgotten ideas about yourself and the world? What if someone communicated to you – in some fashion – that you were a disappointment. You believed it (what other choice would you have). Now, you are unwittingly confirming that belief by returning to that old familiar feeling over and over.

You fail to live up to expectations because you have set impossible expectations to begin with.

You don’t get things done on your list because you create an unrealistic to-do list that can’t be accomplished in a day.

You fall short of a goal because the goal was not broken down into manageable chunks, but pie-in-the-sky.

You see? It’s a perfect set up. The unrealistic goals and expectations lead you right back into that old familiar place – disappointment with yourself. Whether or not this is true is interesting, but not the most interesting thing here.

It is more interesting to pretend the above is true and catch it happening throughout the day. When you wake up in the morning say, “Today, my main unconscious objective is to set myself up for disappointment, fail, then recycle that old familiar disappointed-in-myself feeling.”

Then, see if you can catch yourself in the act. If you do, you have a chance of doing something different. Over time, you may even dismantle the entire set up.

Seeking Out Disappointment
Over and Over

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2013). Seeking Out Disappointment
Over and Over. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2018, from


Last updated: 28 Feb 2013
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Feb 2013
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