How To Deal With Disappointment: 12 Helpful Steps

When you get disappointed then it can hurt. Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot.

It can drag you down into a negative funk for days or even weeks.

But if you learn how to deal with that disappointment in a healthier and more helpful way then it can be less a lot less scary and painful and actually a springboard or learning experience for further personal growth.

That’s at least been my experience in the past decade.

And in this post I’ like to share 12 steps, tips and habits that I’ve learned over the years and that help me to both handle disappointment and to reduce the situations where I get disappointed in the first place.

1. First, accept how you feel.

Disappointment hurts. And that’s OK.

Don’t try to push it away. And don’t try to hide it under a big smile.

I’ve found that it works better to not be swept away by such tempting impulses.

But to instead accept how I feel. To let it all in and to hurt for a while.

Because if I do then it will go quicker and in the long run be less painful to process what has happened.

If I on the other hand reject how I honestly feel then those emotions can pop up later and at unexpected times. And make me moody, pessimistic or passive aggressive.

2. Remember, 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.

And this situation that you’re in right now won’t last forever. Even if it might feel that way today.

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.

3. Learn from it.

Instead of getting lost in the pain and negative emotions that can come from a disappointment choose to see it more as something you can learn valuable things from (and something that’ll help you to grow).

You can do that by asking yourself better questions.

Questions like:

  • 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 the next time?

Maybe you learn that you can likely communicate better the next time when you're in a similar situation or working together with someone else on a task or project.

Or that you need to give…

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