Disappointment is something everyone will have faced at some point in their lives to some degree although some more than others. This can range from not getting the job you wanted, scoring lower on the test than you thought you would or getting turned down by the person you like.
Whatever the disappointment maybe it is important to try and cope with the situation and not allow it to consume your life. Disappointment is a form of sadness, a feeling of loss. Here are 5 healthy ways to cope when things don’t go your way.
1) Acknowledge Your Feelings
It is not a bad thing to feel disappointment, the fact is when something doesn’t turn out the way you expected or hoped you may be sad, angry or feel depressed. The important thing to remember is that these are your feelings, you are entitled to them, but it is not healthy to blame others for your emotions.
Talk about your feelings but do not attack others for not sharing in those feelings. A good coping mechanism is to take responsibility for the situation, so you should really ask yourself what you could have done differently. But only take responsibility for what you truly are responsible for and nothing more and nothing less and there may be situations that you are not to blame for anything.
2) Gain Perspective
In the immediate aftermath of a disappointment it can be hard to realize really what has been lost. The instinct is that this is the worst thing happening right now but once you compose yourself you need to really look at the situation, put it in perspective.
It is important to challenge your previously held beliefs especially those that are no longer adaptive. Essentially, you need to realize that dwelling on a failure in one thing will hinder you from considering new and different options.
3) Get Rid of Self Doubt
A disappointment is a knock to the ego, you are left feeling like you were not good enough for something. This does not mean that you are worthless at everything or that you won’t one day be able to achieve your goals.
When you allow self-doubt to consume you, you risk giving up on the things you want. Reassess the situation in the short term, perhaps lower your expectations of yourself while you work toward achieving your goals. It is important, however, not to doubt yourself. You can get past this disappointment and build back up to new success.
4) Search for Solutions
Once you have reconciled that the disappointment occurred and that it wasn’t world ending and that you are capable of moving forward, next you need solutions. Engaging in problem solving can be important in dealing with stress such as disappointment.
So, start planning - what are your next steps? If your career path has stalled, what can you do to restart it or redirect it? Perhaps you were turned down by a person you liked. Well then, they were not the person for you, keep looking. You may not always be able to find a solution to get the thing you were originally aiming for but you can find a way to use what you have to gain something worthwhile.
5) Get Some Distance While You Adjust
Your goal didn’t land, leaving you saddened. Create distance from the cause of your stress. This can be emotional distance if not physical but trying to let go of what you wanted even for a while will allow you to adjust your goals. Once your confidence is back and you have a new game plan to implement you can start working toward trying again.