Dealing with Disappointments in Life

disappointment emotions life May 05, 2022

We will inevitably experience disappointment in life. Whether it's a failed relationship, a job loss, or any other setback, we will inevitably feel let down. Dealing with these disappointments is not easy, but it is necessary if we want to move on and find happiness again. This blog post will discuss some tips for dealing with disappointment healthily.

To feel disappointed is normal.

Everybody feels disappointed at some point in their lives. Disappointment happens when the outcome of something is different from what we expect. One may feel angry, frustrated, or sad when such things happen. For example, disappointment can occur when we fail to land a job we are applying for, do not get the prize we are hoping for, the weather suddenly changes which spoil our outing, or events play out differently from how we want them to happen. Disappointment hurts, and lingering on the feeling for a long time can damage your life. It prevents you from moving forward and making the right actions and decisions. There are ways how one can deal with disappointment, and it's essential to learn them to be able to get back up again.

1. Lower your expectations

Disappointments mainly come as a result of things not meeting your expectations. You want something positive to happen, but it turns the other way around or is not as good as you want it to be. Nothing's wrong with expecting; we all want something good to happen for us. However, things can get problematic when we have high expectations. We want the best or most optimal thing to occur. The reality is that we may not always get the best out of every situation. Mediocre results may appear or even not at all. It will help you if you learn to adjust your expectations and tone them down a bit. Do your best and see how things turn out.

Some may get the idea not to expect anything at all. While this may work for some, it may not be healthy for one's mind as it can cause somebody to strive less in life. An excellent way to manage disappointment is to adjust your expectations based on your skills and emotional adaptability. For example, if you think you can achieve the top spot in something or the odds are great, go for it and expect high. However, if you are not that good at something or you think the odds are low for something to occur, lower your expectations so as not to feel disappointment once the results show up.

2. Take a look back and analyze the situation

After feeling disappointed at something, try to look back at the unfortunate situation and see why such a thing happened. Then, depending on the root cause, you will be able to handle disappointment better in the future should a similar problem occurs.

  • If the other party causes the unfortunate outcome, it's better to move on after feeling disappointed since you cannot easily control the actions and thoughts of others. For example, if you got disappointed after breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, your personalities may not be compatible. Maybe the character of the other party conflicts with yours, and changing and controlling somebody's personality is something you cannot force upon another easily. Yes, it's challenging to move from a breakup, but moving on will be much better for you.
  • Let's say you are participating in a tennis match and you lose. After experiencing disappointment, look back at why you lost. Is it because the opponent is too skilled or you didn't train enough and properly before the match? If you realize the fault is on your side, you can improve and prepare yourself better to win the next time you play. And even if you lose again next time, you can deal with disappointment better knowing that you did what you could and prepared beforehand.
  • You're in for a major disappointment when you expect a specific result from situations involving luck for a particular outcome. For example, joining a raffle or contest consisting of drawing lots or placing tickets to score a chance to win is a game of chance that does not involve any skill (other than increasing your chances to win by spending more money to place more bets). Therefore, don't expect anything from such instances involving luck; hope for the best and get surprised by what happens. You will only gain more disappointment if you hold on too much to obtaining the top prize from such games.

3. Feel the disappointment, but don't linger on it for too long

It's okay to feel disappointed after an unfortunate event or something went against what we expected. Let out the negative feelings, but don't hold on to these thoughts for a long time. Otherwise, negative emotions and thoughts will fill your head and affect your mental and physical health, such as anxiety, stress, or resentment.

After feeling disappointed for a short while, you have to do things that will help you bounce back. First, release your anger and emotion, and then try talking to your friends to have some form of letting out. Talking to others may even give you a different perspective on things. Finally, accept what has happened and realign yourself by looking at your goal and trying a different approach to accomplish it.

4. Treat disappointment as a learning experience

One way to overcome disappointments is to look at them as learning experiences. Being disappointed is an opportunity for growth. For example, you got disappointed because you wanted something badly. Disappointment then acts like a signal that perhaps you did something wrong. Next time, one may learn from such instances and become stronger and more optimistic about dealing with things. Take a break if you feel overwhelmed. Remember that having a growth mindset will make you more prone to disappointments because you will be stepping out of your comfort zone more often. That's why it's vital to learn how to handle disappointments because they will happen. Don't treat yourself as a failure when they occur; learn from it and then move forward again.

Feeling disappointed is only a phase.

Disappointment is a normal feeling, and we will experience it since it's impossible to get everything we want in life. However, it does not mean we should not strive anymore for something. On the contrary, it's essential to get a perspective of who you are and what you can do versus what the world offers. Then, you can adjust your expectations, and don't go striking for something too high above your capabilities. It will also be helpful to think that a single disappointment is not a total loss for you. You may have something else in your possessions and resources, and maybe you can adjust your efforts to utilize them to get something else. Try your best, see what happens afterward, and you may be surprised at the results you get.

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