How to Deal With Disappointment

We have all experienced disappointment at one point or another in our lives.

We have been disappointed at others, ourselves, our job, the weather – well -pretty much anything.

Disappointment is only natural and at times can be hard to escape.

Why do we get disappointed?

When our expectations are not met, and when we wish that things were different is when disappointment strikes. There are a few reasons as to why this happens.

1.  Perfectionism

Perfection doesn’t exist. Perfectionists live in their own world where they think that life should be perfect and so should they. This is an illusion.

2.  Unrealistic goals

Sometimes we set goals that are just too high. When not met, we feel disappointed. An example might be striving to become a multi millionaire at 30.  Instead, we find ourselves stuck in a job we have been working for the past 10 years.

Another example might be someone who buys 5 lottery tickets a week and has never won. They feel disappointment when they find out they are not the winner despite the astronomical odds.

3.  Overconfidence

Sometimes we are so certain that something is going to happen, but when it doesn’t, we feel disappointed.

It could be something as small as our sports team being a huge favourite and losing. Or something as big as being certain to get a promotion but not getting it.

4.  False ideas

Disappointment can strike when we have false ideas about rejection or failure. We don’t see these things as providing useful feedback. Instead, we see them as a tool to judge our own self worth.

How to deal with disappointment

1.  Let it all out

It is best not to keep your disappointment all bottled up. Understand that it is okay to be disappointed. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. If you are angry, then be angry (make sure you do not take it out on others though).

After you have let it all out, you can then move forward rather than dwelling on it.

2.  Change your perception

At first, disappointment can feel like the end of the world. But after you have let it all out, it will be easier to gain some perspective.

Looking at disappointment as a good thing is an excellent way to learn how to deal with disappointment. It provides an opportunity for growth. You can see that what you were doing wasn’t working. Therefore, you can learn from the experience, and make sure you are in a position to have your expectations met the next time.

3.  Talk to someone

People who struggle to get over disappointment often keep things to themselves. Therefore, one of the best ways to learn how to deal with disappointment is to talk to someone.

Sometimes we just need someone to be there for us. Someone who will listen without passing judgement. Talk to a friend, relative or your partner. They are the perfect choice to offload some emotional baggage.

4.  Have a backup plan

When things go wrong, having a backup plan is a great idea. This can keep you from being disappointed in the first place.

5.  Face the issue

It is often the case that you are disappointed not because of something you have done, but because of what someone else has done. If so, confront the person. Let them know that you are disappointed.

Talking through the issue can help resolve the issue and can allow both of you to put it in the past. 

6.  Change your expectations

I’m not saying that you should drastically change your expectations, but you should try to be a little more realistic. You might have set the bar too high, therefore, you might be being too hard on yourself.

Your goal might have been to lose 10 pounds by summer. Summer comes and you have only lost 5 pounds. This is still great progress that anyone should be proud of, and is certainly no reason to feel disappointed.

7.  Move forward

You have two choices when disappointment strikes. You can either stay disappointed or decide to move forward. Every single successful person has faced disappointment. It is how they reacted to the disappointment that dictates their future successes or failures.