How to Deal With Disappointment
With the new year comes hope for better things to come as well as the reality that disappointments will come our way. Some disappointments are small and easy to shake off while others shake us to our core. We know they will come in one form or another. The question is how do we deal with them when they do?
1. Feel It
One of the hardest things to do for many of us is to just let ourself experience a feeling… especially a painful and difficult one. Studies have shown that even at the most difficulties times, such as grieving, Americans only allow themselves 1 to 2 weeks to feel sad or to grieve before expecting to get back into normality again. This isn’t always reasonable. Give yourself permission to feel the pain, even lean in to it. Let it out. And know that eventually the pain of disappointment will lessen.
2. Get Perspective
Once you have allowed yourself to experience the emotion of disappointment you can then get some perspective. Take a few steps back. Look at what you do have instead of only what you do not have. This is not denying the loss or the pain you have experienced but it’s acknowledging that there is more to your story than just the heartache right in front of you.
3. Know Yourself
Disappointment can ripple through to the core of who you are. Sometimes disappointments can catch us so off guard and turn our lives upside down. If you don’t know what your core values are, you may not have a framework to support you when you experience negative emotions that are inevitable when things go sideways.
Knowing your own heart and your values gives you the freedom of choice. You can choose to be driven by what happens to you, or you can choose to live in line with your principles. So I ask you… what are your core values? What principles do you live by no matter what comes your way?
4. Practice Acceptance
As human beings, even though we know that some things are bound to happen, we’re not always willing to accept them.
Every time I am disappointed, I feel overwhelmed by my emotions. I’m inclined to withdraw, wanting to wallow in my disappointment. Each time, I have to accept that I will feel these things again.
I have to accept that I will continue to be disappointed—that it is a part of life, part of being human. I also have to accept that I will probably continue to struggle to accept this fact, at various points throughout the rest of my life!
This is a lifelong challenge and fundamental to dealing with disappointment. I will be disappointed, I will disappoint, you will be disappointed, and you will disappoint. Life will be disappointing—but it will pass.
Practice acceptance and we may suffer less as it is happening and notice the good things in life more.
Disappointment is a part of life and life is often difficult. But we can grow if we can endure. We can be present and aware even in the midst of negative emotions that come with disappointment and therefore live more fully.
We understand that this sounds simple but it’s not easy. We are always here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions for us! Give us a call at (562) 537-2947.
Written by Lisa Smith