How to Manage Disappointment
Whether you lost a job, saw the end of a relationship, or didn’t get the raise you were expecting, disappointment can be a powerful emotion. There are steps you can take, however, to transform a disappointing situation into one filled with promise and opportunity.
Sometimes, all it takes is a mind shift and support from others.
8 Steps to Manage Disappointment
1. Treat the event as a teaching moment by considering what you can learn about yourself from the situation.
Careful reflection will often reveal areas in which you could have done something differently. Take those lessons and apply them the next time you are in a similar spot.
2. Choose to believe that some opportunities are better left uncovered.
Decide that where you are in life is the direct result of the choices you’ve made and the opportunities that were presented to you. If a situation doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, embrace the idea that life has other things in store for you.
3. Call a friend and talk about how you’re feeling rather than wallowing in your misery.
Be active in seeking support from others. The people who know and love you will be able to remind you of your good qualities at a time when your primary focus is on your flaws and imperfections.
4. Allow yourself time to grieve.
If disappointment comes from the loss of something, such as a job, a relationship, or an expectation, allow a reasonable amount of time to experience that loss.
Acknowledge that it happened, recognize the disappointment and move on. Remember that self-indulgence is rarely productive.
5. Avoid assigning blame to others.
While other people or factors may have influenced how a situation unfolded, there’s little you can do to change those influences. You can only change your own attitudes and actions. Trying to cast blame on others will often only make you critical and defensive.
6. Accept that change is a necessary part of life.
Change moves us forward whether we want to go or not. The trick is to learn how to be fluid in that movement. Choose to believe that the struggles you face and the challenges you overcome help to make you a better person.
7. Reevaluate the situation.
If things worked out differently than you had hoped, look at what opportunities are now possible. When you look at the situation through a new lens, you may see things that were invisible to you before.
8. Learn to express thanks for the blessings in your life.
Take a tally of the things for which you are grateful. Often, that list will cheer you.
Note that if your disappointment leads to ongoing depression or anxiety, you may benefit from seeing a health care provider.
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