We all face disappointment in our lives from time-to-time, and it hurts, but it’s what we learn from life’s disappointments that makes all the difference between falling apart and becoming a much stronger person despite such.
I’d like to share the following tips that I’ve learned over the years which have helped me to handle disappointments and reduce the situations which lead to disappointment in the first place.
1 Accept how you feel. Feeling “hurt” is normal and doesn’t disappear overnight! Accept it hurts and know that it won’t hurt forever. The sooner you allow yourself to “grieve” your disappointment, the sooner you will heal from it.
2 Realise that you are not a disappointment. Just because you may have been disappointed, had a setback, or made a mistake and disappointed someone else doesn’t mean that you are a disappointment or failure.
The truth is:
- Just because you were disappointed today or you disappointed someone doesn’t mean that you’ll be or do that tomorrow or the next time.
- This does not label you as a disappointment (unless you choose to put that label on yourself).
- If you keep moving forward and you keep taking action then you’ll move on and you’ll improve.
Q. Who is never disappointed? Or never feeling low about a setback or a mistake?
A. The people who never really go outside of their comfort zone.
Remind yourself: “disappointment will happen if you go outside of your comfort zone“.
3 Learn from your disappointments. Instead of getting lost in the pain and negative emotions that can come from disappointment, choose to see these times as something you can learn valuable lessons from, as well as something that can help you to grow as a person.
Ask yourself questions, e.g.
- What is one thing I can learn from this?
- How can I adjust my course to avoid this disappointment in the future?
- What is one thing I can do differently next time?
Perhaps you need to give yourself a better balance between rest and work to be able to think more clearly and thus avoid making mistakes. Or maybe you can learn to communicate better the next time you’re in a similar situation, etc. You might even realize that you need to make a bigger change in your life and start spending less time–or no time at all–with someone who has disappointed you too many times (or always makes you feel like a disappointment no matter how hard you try).
4 Perhaps you need to lower your expectations. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself (and others) can lead to much disappointment. Accept who you are and accept your abilities, and likewise do the same for others. I’m not saying don’t try hard in life to improve yourself, but sometimes we try to make a square peg fit into a round hole. Not everyone is cut out to be a brain surgeon, a secretary or a ballet dancer, etc. Don’t try to be someone you are not and you won’t be disappointed. Equally, don’t expect others to be something they are not either.
Having too high expectations can:
- Cause much stress and suffering within you and in the people around you.
- Get you stuck in procrastination because you become fearful of being disappointed or disappointing someone else once again.
- Harm or possibly lead you to end relationships, jobs, projects, etc. because your expectations are out of this world.
5 Tap into gratitude. When you take a stock-take of all the blessings you have in your life, you cannot remain in a negative mood long-term. Being grateful for all your blessings is a great way to put your life into perspective.
6 Give yourself a break. Focussing on your goals all the time can lead to stress. Perhaps you just need to take a break for a while to re-charge and put your goals into the perspective of what has been aforementioned.
Take time to rest, have fun… and chill out. Tired minds and bodies lead to all sorts of problems which only complicate and compound your feelings of disappointment. After you’ve taken time off from your goals and dreams you’ll likely be in a better place to accept and learn from what happened, plus you will be better able to move forward once again.
7 Improve your self-esteem. Improving my self-esteem helps me avoid getting dragged down too far into self-criticism and negative emotions after a disappointment. You can improve your self-esteem by:
- Not comparing yourself with others.
- Reading books re: improving self-esteem and confidence.
- Writing down your a list of all your gifts and strengths and referring to this list often. Seeing your list in black and white is a good reminder of how much you have achieved and how far you have come.
- Use your gifts and strengths to help and train others. There is nothing better for boosting self-esteem than sharing your gifts and skills with others. Try it and see!
These are useful tips which I’ve used myself over the years. Hopefully, they will help others who are currently facing disappointment to stand up, dust themselves down and walk tall again too.
Next week: 7 ways to enjoy a staycation in 2021
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