This post focuses on practical tips in handling disappointments and I sincerely hope it lifts the mood of someone currently going through a bitter experience.
One important fact to note is:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We all go through disappointments at different stages of our lives but it mustn’t overshadow our happiness or stand in our way of achieving success.
The Free Online Dictionary defines disappointment as a feeling of dissatisfaction which stems from your expectations not realized. It’s also categorized as the feeling of being displeased and discontent with the affairs of life.
At times our lives seem like a rollercoaster going up/down, fast/slow and we suddenly develop a CLOSURE because it affects us physically, emotionally, spiritually.
There are several things that could create disappointments in our lives such as:
- Life tragedies
- A cheating spouse or partner
- Broken Relationships
- Job loss
- Failed Promotion.
- Financial Mess.
- Academic Failure
Eliza Tabor says “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.”
Once again, everyone goes through seasons or cycles of disappointment and we can gain some form of encouragement from:
- Albert Einstein; who failed his entrance examination.
- Walt Disney; who was sacked from his first media job.
- Winston Churchill who; faced many years of political failures and he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the age of 62.
- Michael Jordan; who was relegated from his high school basketball team.
- The Beatles; who were told their kind of sound wasn’t catchy enough and the guitar music was on its way out
- Oprah Winfrey; who endured an abusive childhood as well as several career setbacks including being fired from her job as a reporter because she was “unfit for television.”
One mustn’t forget the words of Henry Ward Beecher who states “Ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”
The feelings of disappointment are often accompanied by fear, worry, sadness, anger and the aim of this post is to suggest useful ways for dealing with disappointments.
In no particular order they are as follows:
Recognize The Hurt
It’s important you recognize and accept the hurt associated with every disappointment. Don’t be too hard on yourself because it clouds your perspective to life.
Embrace the reality of it being normal to feel upset, get angry, or show some frustration when faced with disappointments.
You are human and once you recognize the hurt, it’s time to condition your thoughts.
- Embracing Optimism.
- Thinking Constructively.
Take Your Time
The road to recovery involves a step by step process. On this journey, it’s important you exercise patience; analyze the whole situation again defining what gave rise to the disappointment before proceeding with the right cause of action to manage the situation.
This prevents frustrations, stress, burnouts, negative self talk or image…. and allows emotional healing to take place.
Don’t rush it. Sometimes it’s just best to let things be as they are temporarily; knowing you can live with and learn from the experience of facing disappointments.
Take A Break
Take a break from the affairs of life that overwhelm you.
Take time out to rest, go on a holiday…. At times it’s just refreshing for all other life events to be on hold (temporarily) while you deal with the disappointment with a view to overcoming it.
The benefits of taking a break are as follows:
- It gives you physical, emotional and spiritual strength.
- It reduces the likelihood of depression, anxiety or stress.
- It gives you time to think.
- It increases resilience and the ability to cope
Don’t Hide Your Frustrations
Don’t hide your frustrations rather; express how you feel within reason.
Share your disappointing moments with trusted friends, family, peers. They could serve as a platform for relief.
Worry a little bit, but with purpose differentiating productive and destructive thoughts.
Remember, there are several ways to resolve different issues and learning from the experiences of others could reduce stress levels and bring about happiness.
Expressing your frustrations is very important because it promotes understanding and puts the message you are trying to pass across in the right context.
Always remember to:
- Express yourself in an appropriate manner.
- Where there is a tendency to act irrational; exercise a bit of self discipline.
- Pull yourself together (it may be difficult considering the circumstances involved; but it is important).
- Be honest about how you really feel.
Grow A Thick Skin And Feel Good About Yourself
Develop a thick skin to life’s disappointments so that it doesn’t meddle or interfere with your happiness.
You can grow a thick skin by:
- Building resilience which ends up combating panic attacks and reducing emotional stress.
- Celebrating other achievements and enjoying every wonderful experience you’ve had knowing it doesn’t hurt to spoil yourself a little bit.
- According to research people feeling depressed fail to pay attention to their success, achievements or strengths.
Feel good about who you are (positively), where you are now and display confidence about what to look forward to in the future.
Not forgetting to slow down on excessive self criticism because over time, constant negative feelings result in negative affirmations.
Build Your Confidence:
Display your self confidence by being strong, determined and decisive on the whole scenario of disappointment. This will give you the ability to remain focused in difficult times.
Handling disappointments with a high level of maturity equips you with the appropriate mindset to seeing things move in a positive direction.
You can build your confidence by:
- Positive affirmations.
- Believing in yourself.
- Taking risks.
- Communicating clearly and properly.
Stay healthy with the following tips:
- Exercise as much as you can.
- Get enough sleep and relax.
- Eat well.
- Get up and move your body. Don’t be confined to your chair, bed or sofa. You would gain emotional and mental strength by being active.
- Laze around.
- Listen to music.
- Don’t succumb to the temptation of drowning your sorrows with alcohol or getting high on drugs
All these contribute to reducing your anxiety and stress levels.
Learn From Your Experience
Form the habit of managing your disappointments carefully. Life lessons are essential for personal growth because it promotes character-building.
It’s difficult, but you could attempt to find the positive side of a bad situation.
Learning from your experience may:
- Prevent the event from occurring again.
- Give you an opportunity to reflect on all that’s happened.
- Help you improve on various actions necessary.
- Present a different perspective to life.
- Take you down the route to positive outcomes.
Yes, live life. Be actively engaged. Get involved in constructive things to lift your mood and spirits.
Although I must stress, it’s important to exercise a bit of caution, moderation… when living life.
Get involved in things that would serve as a distraction with a view to changing your focus from the disappointment such as:
- Funny Movies (Comedy)
- Meeting up with friends……….
You have absolutely nothing to lose but happiness to gain in that moment
Give It Another Go
Try again if you’ve failed several times. Don’t lose your enthusiasm rather; stay focused, work hard, be positive and GIVE IT ANOTHER GO.
People become successful by doing things over and over again with different approaches, new insights, strong drives, new skills etc.
Robert Kiyosaki states “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”
Create Positive Relationships
Building positive relationships with a network of trusted friends could provide huge benefits such as enhancing your level of reasoning, expanding your horizon, having a shoulder to lean on……
In the context of friendship;
If you’ve developed trust and isn’t scared to share your feelings of disappointment with the fear of being judged or ridiculed please GO AHEAD!!!
You can always learn from the experience of others because there are different approaches to resolving several issues.
- Peace Of Mind.
- Burdens Lifted.
- Emotional support and freedom attained.
- Comfort and Care.
Seek Professional Help:
If you sense the need for professional advice, do not hesitate to call or visit your local GP, a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.
On a final note, I leave you with the words of Martin Luther King Jr which is “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”