But try to obtain a renewed sense of the other person’s perspective. Your first step should be to bring your consciousness up to a more neutral or positive level such as desire, neutrality, willingness, or reason, so that you are in a better position to react to your situation. The Ritual – How to Deal With Disappointment Effectively Disappointment can be dealt with via having rituals to follow. And there are likely more disappointments on the way. But you didn’t. It can make a huge difference to how you process situations that leave you feeling put out or let down. By attaching yourself to this thought, this illusion, it’s causing you anguish. Building on the studying example above, say you did a lot of prep work for your exams. However, understand that your goal is a reflection of an underlying desire. They are preventing you from constructively acting on your situation and living your life the way you should. So you feel disappointed. Dealing with disappointment requires you to let go of your mental illusions and expectations. As the opening quote says, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” With this lesson, you walk away from this experience a better person. 2020 has been a year of disappointments — often serious and grave ones — for so many people, from job losses to school closures to illness and death. In times when I feel really down, I prefer to spend time by myself. Take a moment to sink in and let yourself feel the disappointment so that you can move on. Given the convoluted nature of desire, there are no experiences that … It is to be in a loving, authentic relationship with someone. Disappointment can trigger lots of different emotions, including stress, so it’s important to deal with these secondary feelings, too. They are on their own journey, and although disappointment can feel personal, it’s often not. As someone who is irrationally superstitious, I’ve often resisted the idea of imagining a positive outcome, thinking it will somehow curse the process. Whenever you experience disappointment, you are pulled down to a lower state of consciousness, where your thoughts are predominantly rooted in fear, sadness, grief, or apathy. from there, you can respond and deal with it in a manner that allows the second party to understand that they have disappointed you. Now that you have a list of your roadblocks, figure out how you can overcome each one. These illusions are giving you an inaccurate view of reality. It can spur you to become better prepared — mitigating your anxiety in the long run. Look for positive activities to recharge yourself. Finally, do the best you can. Instead of tying all your expectations to this one person, connect with the underlying desire to be in an authentic relationship. A common example when people get attached to an external projection is in relationships. Do whatever makes you feel better. So don’t ignore your feelings of disappointment. Distract yourself by listening to music, by watching a movie, by talking with someone, or through reading a book. Check out my posts on breaking out of negativity: Dealing with disappointment is definitely not an easy task. When you are disappointed, ask yourself: “What am I getting hung up over? Accepting your feelings is the first step in feeling a bit better. When the outcome does not happen the way you envisioned, you become disappointed. Instead of sitting in your state indefinitely, once you have allowed yourself to acknowledge that you are in good company, start the process of reframing. Most people are inherently good. Your belief that he/she is the one is an illusion you need to release yourself of. How To Deal With Disappointment: The Complete Guide Step 1: Put yourself in a better mental state. Stop doing that. These are often times where my sleep suffers, and I spend the hours between 2:00 am and 4:00 am with dark thoughts about what the future might bring (not to mention all of the mistakes I’ve made along the way). Here are five ways to overcome chronic disappointment in relationships: 1. Two ways to do that and to focus your attention outward is to: Help someone out. Take some time out to practice mindfulness. Any of these practices can help make you more resilient in the face of disappointment. Someone once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” The quote recognizes that when we experience disappointment, our hopes and expectations are out of line with reality. Let them drive you forward. Is it better to think it through ahead of time? The Causes of Disappointment. When you start doing that, you will find that you are able to live consciously and freely instead of subjecting yourself to external outcomes. So if I don’t get this, I’ll keep trying, approach the problem in a different way, or do something a little bit different next time.”. If you did that, you’d rarely put yourself out there and try to reach your goals. I. i personally deal with disappointment by understanding why the second party made the choices that let me down. Don’t lower your expectations; shorten your list of expectations. “Being aware of a negative outcome can help you get your resources in a row, but you are still likely to have to go through a grieving process for anything that makes a tear in your life story,” says Markman. In the last part, I will share my story on how I overcame a period of disappointment in my life. This is not sustainable because your goals are just external outcomes, and these are impermanent. In other words, just because you lose one round, doesn’t mean the fight isn’t worth fighting. Being trapped in such a state prevents you from thinking logically. If others have disappointed you, you may give up on them. You want to be with him/her, but person A does not reciprocate your feelings. They feel like they have taken a step back from what they want to be. In part 1, I shared 3 reasons why disappointment is good. What should you do then? If so, there are many ways you can do that, such as working at Company G, Company H, or even setting up your own business. Here are 13 things that can signify that you might need to break up, as it's never fun to deal with chronic disappointment from anyone, especially a partner you care deeply about. Or do you just end up wasting energy and causing yourself anxiety when you can’t know the outcome yet anyway? A certain number of fantasies about what you would do if you reached your goal can be helpful,” says Markman. Take a break. Because the ability to learn, move on, and try again using a different approach is the key to success. You should allow yourself to take a moment to wallow because if you do this, then you may find your sense of calm more easily if you allow yourself not to be calm for the initial shock of disappointment. If reading your favorite book uplifts you, then pick up the book and start reading it. So how do you prepare yourself for what might be a large, perhaps even life-changing, disappointment? That’s why Markman says some of the best tactics to steel yourself while you wait involve distracting yourself. Let’s say you went for an interview with Company A. Sometimes, simply spending time alone may be the best way to clear your mental clutter and regain personal energy. Believe it or not, entering into denial is the first step in the coping cycle. He/she is not the person who can give you what you desire. One of the hardest things to do in a world where everything is immediate—we are all under external pressure, and time is a scarce resource—is to just let yourself experience a feeling.Even at the most difficulties times, such as grieving, on average we only allow ourselves 1 to 2 weeks off or work, and then we mostly expect to get back into normality again.Human beings are not very good at allowing the experiencing of emotions in full w… Sometimes focusing on the worst-case scenario helps. If you are new to this series, read part 1 first. "One way to cope with disappointment is by writing down our feelings," says Diana Raab, PhD, creativity expert and author of Healing with Words and Writing for Bliss. " 1. That’s the very nature of the world we live in ; it’s not ideal, it’s not perfect, and shortcomings are bound to … Soak them in with your senses. Person A is just one of the many people in this world you can fall in love with. Exercise. Be kind to yourself. For this question in particular you need to show that yo can deal with disappointment and move on positively. We all feel this way from time to time. There are many other possible destinations, such as point C, D, E, all the way to Z. Moving Forward 1. Watch a movie, take a warm bath, or order take out. Become aware of them and release them. Trying to deny what you’re feeling and telling yourself to get over it can make you feel even worse. There are many ways to study. I wanted to better understand how we could brace ourselves for big news so I asked two experts to weigh in. It also prevents you from moving on. Relationships you’re not being good at? Habits you haven’t stuck to? There are many other ways to fulfill this desire. Zoe Kinias, an associate professor at INSEAD who studies resilience, says that you can bolster yourself by playing out the possible negative outcome. Pick up the pieces. When you are disappointed, your source of disappointment is rooted in your attachment to a certain outcome. Copyright © Personal Excellence  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy  |  Contact, a loving, authentic relationship with someone, How To Deal With Moments of Negative Self-Worth, My Experience with Disappointment and How I Overcame It, 10 Free Meditation Videos to Relax Your Mind, How To Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control, This Powerful Sculpture Shows the Inner Child In Us. Distract Yourself. One action you might take, for example, is gathering the resources you’ll need to get through the disappointment. Much of this advice might fall into the category of “easier said than done,” especially when you’re staring at your ceiling in the middle of the night. Don’t take it personally 3. And then there’s point A-1, A-2, A-3, etc. Step 1: Recognition and awareness of the feelings of disappointment Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. If you are disappointed about something, that means you harbor a certain perception on what it should be. Eating you haven’t done perfectly? Read: Part 4: My Experience with Disappointment and How I Overcame It. People 5 Major Work Disappointments and How to Handle Them Are you in the midst of a major work disappointment? It could be not getting a job, getting a bad score on a test or not getting that double platinum and high score that you were hoping for. If we look at the relationship example in Step #2, you are disappointed because you want to be with person A. it may not always be the right, or best choice, but understanding the situation always helps. You love the job scope, the benefits are great, and you have heard great things about the place. And even, yes, elections. But you should balance any agonizing with some sense of hope, as long as you aren’t overconfident that things will go your way. Understand what it is and write it down. Here are the seven suggested steps for dealing with disappointment that will help you to turn your life around. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche. In part 2, I talked about 3 destructive methods of dealing with disappointment which you should avoid. You become a stronger individual. Their wisdom and empathy can help us deal with disappointment in our own lives, as these 12 inspirational quotes can attest: Disappointment is the nurse of wisdom.” – Sir Bayle Roche. As these thoughts arise, intentionally (and gently) let go of them, and simply allow yourself be without needing to do or get anything. The best remedy to deal with disappointment is to acknowledge and work through the emotion it evokes. Often they feel agonizing, my mind vacillating between imagining the best possible outcome and bracing myself for the worst. It is not the reality. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. 1. Perhaps you studied for the wrong chapters. Many people get disappointed with something because they view it as a setback. Or do you just end up wasting energy and causing yourself anxiety when you can’t know the outcome yet anyway? These distractions will help settle you down. “If you want to succeed and you worry you might fail, the gap between those realities creates motivation to take action,” says Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well, and Advance Your Career. Passive Responses to Disappointment If you respond passively to disappointment you are likely to give up what you were trying to achieve or become overly self critical about why you didn’t achieve it. When you share a disappointment you have experienced, make sure that you: Don’t just tell them you handled it well, show them how you did it. What activities do you most enjoy doing in your life? Here’s their advice. Working at Company A is just one of the many ways to achieve that. What am I expecting from reality that I’m not getting?” Seek out these illusions, one by one. all of the mistakes I’ve made along the way, buffer resiliency in advance of disappointment. Okay, so you got fired. Many of us tend to beat ourselves up when things go wrong. And remember to keep it in perspective. Focus on your underlying desire, not your external projection, which is only one way of fulfilling your desire. If you feel at peace, you are probably okay. The best way to deal with feelings of disappointment is to acknowledge the pain and discomfort that you're feeling and give yourself time to heal and fully process your emotions. Step #2 to deal with disappointment is to focus on your underlying desire for your goal, not the goal itself. But this is an illusion. This alone time lets me sort out the thoughts in my mind, think without interference, and gain clarity on what to do in my situation. where you can fulfill your desire just as well, if not better. In part 1 on 3 Reasons Why Disappointment Is Good, I shared that one of the reasons why disappointment is good is because it represents an opportunity for growth. Another way to look at it is to be without courage (dis-couraged). Or help him with moving boxes and other stuff into his new home. If however, you find you are unsettled, or resenting your child or the situation you are in, it may be time to look at things and make some changes. Some of these disappointments will not make much of a difference, but there are also disappointments that can change the course of our lives. Do you deal with disappointments with any of these methods? How do you prepare yourself for what might be a large, perhaps even life-changing, disappointment? Identify them. You can't keep thinking that the... 3. When you’re absolutely sure you need a … What you originally thought was sufficient to achieve your goal isn’t. Talking with my friends, on the other hand, helps me learn other perspectives which I may not be aware of. We all have different expectations. You injured your leg. Your disappointment is helping you move toward your goals, not away from your goals as you originally thought. You won’t guard yourself against pain by trying to feel it ahead of time. Book proposals. Perhaps you studied without understanding the subject. If person A does not want to be with you for whatever reasons, he/she is not the person who can meet your desire for a loving relationship. “Energy with direction is work, but energy without direction is heat, and it comes out as worry and anxiety.” So ask yourself if the negative emotions you’re feeling will actually compel you take further action that would help “stave off the negative outcome.”. While you may feel disappointed, this experience is showing you that there is an error in your thinking. But we always focus on the few things that go wrong, rather than the things that go well. The first step, as always, is awareness: pause right now and turn inward, to see if you are feeling frustrated or disappointed with yourself for anything. This is called “defensive pessimism.”, But if you’ve already done all that you can do to affect the outcome — perhaps the job interview is completed, you’ve made your case to a potential funder, or you’ve voted and made calls for your candidate — then agonizing doesn’t do you much good. All rights reserved. Help a friend plan for a party or a meeting at work. Haggai now speaks to the willing but discouraged workers. I’ve never been more thankful for a new season of the Great British Baking Show. That’s why it’s hard for people to “just deal with it.” Acceptance doesn’t come first either. Question how and when you developed these illusions. Our text suggests several reasons for their discouragement, most of which revolve about the problem of a bad memory. In your mind, you continue to hang on to the perception that you should have gotten an ‘A’. You had the belief that these actions would result in top results. If you’re worried about losing your job because of the economic downturn, for example, you might get your finances in order or reach out to former colleagues who might know of job leads. … Worry can also compel you to gather resources – such as social support – to help you stay resilient if the worst-case scenario comes to fruition. Job interviews. “Thinking positive thoughts is fine. Generally, a good “gut check” can help you determine if a boundary has been crossed. As long as you are trapped in it, you can’t get to where you want to go. You can’t prepay your pain. Wanting something really badly means that you care, and that’s a good thing. Let’s look first at the causes for their disappointment—and in so doing we will discover something about our own personal struggles. “Life is not just about reaching the goals; it’s about living it to the fullest.” In every situation you are in, choose the action which lets you live in alignment with your inner desire the most, within your abilities, within your situational context. We blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. For the things that have gone wrong, do what you can to learn from the experience. What is your underlying desire to go to point B? While you may feel disappointed, stop and think — What is your underlying intent? When you connect yourself with this desire, you will realize that point B is just one of the many destinations you can go. However, that is just an illusion that you are playing in your head. This makes negative experiences worse than they really are because we play them over and over in our heads — when they are simply natural occurrences in the universe. If you don’t get the outcome you want, all of the effort you put in this time is setting yourself up for your next time at bat. Instead, you may need to increase your input and/or change your approach to get the results you want. Accepting unwanted outcomes is not always easy. Perhaps you did not study the right way. Your goal to work at Company A is merely an external projection of your inner desire to grow and challenge yourself to the fullest. Promotions. There is no disappointment in the present moment. They were already planning how to celebrate,” Kinias says, before the electoral college votes were counted. I have the skills and experience to be up for consideration. However, you are passed over for another candidate whom they deem a better fit for the role. By Raghad Ebied We are all inevitably going to face moments of disappointment in our life : disappointments from work, family, friends, society, and even ourselves. We tend to overestimate the intensity of negative feelings, like sadness, anger, and frustration, and we think we’re going to experience them longer than we actually do. Read my Privacy Policy. This last tip is the one that I’ve been putting to good use over the past few days. There is no way you can apply until 2 years later. There may be times when the feeling of disappointment is so overwhelming that it feels like the end of the world. Are there any goals you haven’t accomplished? Do something nice for yourself. Company A happens to have a policy of only accepting job applications from the same person every 2 years. Definitely don’t wallow in misery. The next step to deal with disappointment is to release yourself of your illusion of what reality should be. Is it better to think it through ahead of time? “If you consistently go after things, you set yourself up for success down the line,” Markman says. I can recall many times in my life where I’ve been waiting for big news and was worried that things wouldn’t go my way. If taking a stroll along your neighborhood makes you feel relax, then get out of your house and enjoy the breeze outside. He suggests watching a silly movie that makes you laugh, practicing mindfulness by taking deep, focused breaths, or going for a run — anything he says, that will “decrease the energy.”. You are able to constructively channel into your inner desires to live the life you want. If calming your mind doesn’t seem to be work, then immediately distract yourself from your disappointment. Researchers call this “affective forecasting,” and the reality is that negative events usually prove to be less intense emotionally and the bad feelings are more transient that we expect. Actively Accept Your Feelings of Disappointment. There are the leaders who are anticipating the possibility of more layoffs, the small business owners who aren’t sure if they can survive another mandated closure, and the parents who aren’t sure how they will perform their jobs if schools can’t remain open. Not even entertaining the possibility of the negative outcome can be emotionally devastating. Because they are not taught to properly deal with disappointment in school or in life, they deal with it in a destructive way instead. For example, you like person A. The best way to prevent the same situation—and resulting disappointment—is to make a plan of action. If anything, it’s natural for things to go wrong. Start off by recognizing that a job in Company A is just a projection of your inner desire. You have gained something which nobody else is privy to. So when you’re worried about how devastated you might feel, remind yourself that that’s the cost of caring. Here, your perception that studying hard = automatically getting an ‘A’ is false. It is merely one of the many ways to fulfill your desire. Protect yourself Avoid the highly educated relative who might tell you “all things happen for a reason” or that you somehow attracted this disappointment with the wrong thoughts. Because when you do that, you fall into the trap of associating your existence with them. By the natural order of things, there will always be a percentage of things that go well, a percentage of things that go “okay,” and a percentage of things that go terribly wrong. Many people remain disappointed because they are hung up over what reality should be. I know I’m not alone. Kinias points to self-affirmation techniques in which you reflect on your core values and how you carry them out, by being a good friend or participating in community service, that can “buffer resiliency in advance of disappointment.” She also suggests mindfulness practices where you focus on your breath: “breathing slowly and consciously, experiencing the inhale and exhale through simple guided mediation.” She explains that this helps “to release both negative emotion and attachment to sunk costs.” You can also reach out to people who share the same worry or who can provide help if and when you need it. This perception is not the truth — it is simply your lens with which you see the world. The first negative way is to drown out your disappointment with random activities. Disappointment isn’t fun, but it’s a part of life. “In those moments when the outcome is utterly out of your control, the worry is only going to create heat,” Markman says. This is another important part of dealing with disappointment. This is a perfectly natural response. If your anxiety motivates you to take action that can affect the outcome, then it might be useful. 2. You may feel sorry for yourself and sulk. … One of my main coping mechanisms during these times of uncertainty is thinking through the potential disappointment. But if you work hard on the steps above, they will pull you out of the void you are in. “The risk is when people are blindsided with overconfidence — as many Hillary Clinton supporters were in the 2016 presidential election. “There will be a sting if you don’t get it, and the pain is often proportional to what you invested,” says Markman. Your experience has allowed you to gain new lessons, whether about yourself, the situation, or the world. … As Markman says, “there’s no way to prepay your pain.” And reinforcing negative emotions can cause more pain in the leadup to and after the disappointment, explains Kinias. 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