Kicking on after disappointment | Tarnya Davis

What else could I write about, but dealing with disappointment after the A-League grand final and what Novocastrians might call Melbourne’s ‘hollow’ Victory?  If you’ve been on a month-long Buddhist retreat, you may not know that on Saturday night the VAR just happened to go offline at a critical moment, thus missing an offside goal, which resulted in the Jets losing the grand final. 

As I said last week, football is more than just a game, and fans have been coming to terms with what many feel is a grave injustice. As we try to bounce back from this crime against our team, it’s worthwhile thinking about how we deal with disappointment and notice how that can transfer into other parts of our lives. 

It’s OK to be upset when things are unfair, and sometimes being upset is the impetus we need to bring about change. Our tendency to focus on the negatives is known as a negativity bias, which is an evolutionary development designed to keep us alive. But when anger doesn’t transfer into action, or when there’s nothing you can do about a situation, anger can instead just fuel your suffering. By being focused on the negative, we often don’t notice the good. This doesn’t mean we always have to be cheery in the face of setbacks, but it is easier to deal with life’s ups and downs if we accept that things can – and do – go wrong, often for no reason. 

Numerous studies show that our ability to persevere through difficult circumstances makes us more resilient. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger … next season.

Tarnya Davis is a clinical and forensic psychologist and principal of NewPsych Psychologists.