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Tips for dealing with disappointment

Dr Elizma van der Smit. January 2018

· Life Skills

TOP TIPS

Anyone who tells you they have never experienced disappointments is either lying or is dead. Everyone is going to experience some form of disappointment throughout their lives. Use the tips in this article to help you get through them.
 

  1. Focus on the fact that life gets better.
    Life goes on, so don’t get hung up on your disappointments. Moving on is your best defense against your disappointing experiences. There are a few instances where this isn’t true. But, overall, the sun will be shining tomorrow.
     
  2. Use disappointment as a learning and growing experience. 
    Try to assess why you are disappointed. Is it something you did or didn’t do? If you have control on part or all of the situation, take note of what happened and try not to repeat it.
     
  3. Learn from others who have experienced similar disappointments.
     Someone in your family or community is going to have experienced similar disappointments as what you experienced. Seek out these people and ask them to discuss how they dealt with their situations.
     
  4. Set your expectations about disappointments.
    When you expect a situation not to go your way, you will be better prepared mentally for when it doesn’t. Keep trying other opportunities. It’s a number’s game. Eventually, something will go your way. But, this will only happen if you continue and not get tripped up by your disappointments.
     
  5. Don’t dwell on regrets.
    You can’t change the past, so don’t even try. Some people will spend a lifetime worrying about what happened in the past, they forget to continue living their lives. Worrying about something you have no control over, i.e., the past, is counterproductive and pointless.
     
  6. Have an alternate plan or two.
     When you have an alternative route to take, disappointments aren’t as serious. You just move to the alternative path and move on with your life. You will have a liberating feeling by treating disappointments in this fashion.
     
  7. Find someone to mentor or coach you.
    If you get beaten down by disappointments, find someone who can lift your spirits by given you guidance. A mentor will be able to evaluate what happened and determine how to move forward with your life or career.
     
  8. Learn a new skill to overcome disappointments.
    If your disappointments stem from obsolete skills, do something about it. It’s never been easier to learn new skills, and in many cases, for free. You don’t even need to leave the comforts of your home to take advantage of learning. Most new skills can be learned online.
     
  9. Consider the fact that others are worse off than you.
    Unless you are truly in the doldrums, you need to realize that others have worse situations than you. If you are healthy, and your prospects are good for getting yourself out of your current situation, don’t worry too much about disappointments. Give yourself some credit.

ACTIONABLE STEPS

1. Map out a plan to learn a new skill. Even if you aren’t looking for a career change, it’s always good to keep relevant. Start out on YouTube.com to see what is available to learn for free and choose your interest. Then, write down the topics you want to learn about and seek out lessons and courses.

2. Volunteer at least once a month. When you help others, you come to realize that your situation is not so bad. You should volunteer to help people and not to compare your situation against theirs. Still, it can be a great way to get some perspective. Contact your community for organizations that you can get involved with.

3. Take the past three disappointments and

create a formal analysis of why they happened. Try to list out what went wrong along with what you could have done differently. Write down aspects of the situation where you had control and others where you didn’t. Use this as a guide to change the situation.

FURTHER READING
 

  1. Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love, and Life:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608682412?ie=UTF8

  1. Dealing with Disappointment:

https://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Disappointment-John-Hindley/dp/1784981206/

  1. Dealing with Disappointment 2:

https://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Disappointment-Bill-Goldner/dp/1498471226/

  1. Hope Beyond Disappointment:

https://www.amazon.com/Hope-Beyond-Disappointment-Discovering-Unstuck/dp/1492348953/

  1. Overcoming Life’s Disappointments:

https://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Lifes-Disappointments-Learning-Frustration/dp/1400033365/

This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.

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This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.