Disappointments are a part of life and are impossible to avoid completely. Sometimes they are huge and life changing. Sometimes they come as little annoyances. Some disappointments are signs that we need to improve in certain areas of our life. The way we handle disappointment is related to our upbringing and formative experiences. You shouldn’t live with the aim of totally avoiding disappointment. Not taking any risk makes you a mediocre who can’t achieve anything. You also shouldn’t live so carelessly that you make poor decisions all the time leading to constant disappointments. There should be a balance.
Setting extremely high or unrealistic expectations for yourself and others leads to unnecessary disappointments. Some disappointments are actually healthy for our growth and takes you a level higher in life if you constructively deal with them. There are three major ways of constructively dealing with disappointments.
- Accept that you’re hurt– You must accept how you feel about being disappointed and let the emotional reactions flow. Not accepting how you feel further confuses your emotions. That you refuse to talk about it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Refusal to accept your emotions is not a symbol of strength. You only become stronger when you deal with the situation and let its lessons shape you into a better person. Don’t take further decisions in your moment of hurt. Emotions always cloud our sense of proper judgment. Don’t fantasize about how things would be if that disappointment didn’t occur. Be careful of the advice you receive during this stage because you may be tempted to accept advice that justifies your emotions only to regret it later.
- Analyze what happened– After the stage of accepting your emotions, you tend to start having thoughts about what caused the disappointment. Most people engage in self- blame. This causes a feeling of shame and inadequacy. This feeling of inadequacy causes them to compare themselves with others.
People who are disappointed by others begin to have feelings of spite, betrayal, and bitterness towards them. When you’re disappointed by someone, analyze :
— their cause of action,
— their context of action,
— the weaknesses they have that prevented them from doing certain things right,
— their motive of action.
You may need to communicate with them to find out all of these instead of focusing on how you feel. Sometimes unanswered questions cause wrong judgment. Also, some disappointments are beyond our control. You should focus on managing their effects rather than engaging in self-blame. If you notice series of disappointments in certain areas of your life, evaluate your expectations, strategies, weaknesses, attitude, and the kind of advice you receive concerning that area of your life. Write them down, analyze what you should change or do better, and learn from your mistakes. Without analyzing what happened, you can’t make progress.
- Don’t stay sad– Now that you’ve evaluated the situation, see it as a growth process and be happy about the new things you have learned. If you are disappointed that a relationship failed despite all your efforts to make things work, analyze the factors that caused the relationship to fail and understand that those factors were out of your control. Do not fantasize about things being better. Fantasy is not reality. Accept that those factors were simply out of your control and there’s nothing you could have done about it. Period! Even if you still love the person, there is a better love out there for you to find. Be happy that you will get to experience a better and long-lasting relationship in the future. Forget the past and move forward.
Disappointment is not made to destroy you. It’s okay to move on. Apply the lessons learned and use them to make better decisions in the future. Engage in something fulfilling so you can remember and appreciate your worth. Don’t focus on the goal you failed to accomplish. Focus on the desire that led you towards that goal and let it motivate you towards another goal. Surround yourself with the right company that will motivate you to reignite your passion to take another purposeful risk. Don’t let the emotional by-products of disappointment settle in your heart and negatively influence how you see yourself and others. Remember that a positive attitude attracts opportunities. Give yourself time to heal but most importantly, heal completely.