Finally, do the best you can. 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. Let’s look first at the causes for their disappointment—and in so doing we will discover something about our own personal struggles. Dealing with disappointment requires you to let go of your mental illusions and expectations. He/She is not going to be only person you are capable of loving; there are many people out there who can be compatible with you. 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. Because the ability to learn, move on, and try again using a different approach is the key to success. Feeling your misery in advance of the news also isn’t helpful because we aren’t very good at predicting future emotions, as extensive research from Dan Gilbert, Tim Wilson, George Loewenstein, and Daniel Kahneman has shown. You want to be with him/her, but person A does not reciprocate your feelings. That’s the very nature of the world we live in ; it’s not ideal, it’s not perfect, and shortcomings are bound to … There were college and grad school applications. When you are disappointed, your source of disappointment is rooted in your attachment to a certain outcome. And then focus on doing the best you can. Many people get disappointed with something because they view it as a setback. 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. 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. “In those moments when the outcome is utterly out of your control, the worry is only going to create heat,” Markman says. We blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong. "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. " However, understand that your goal is a reflection of an underlying desire. There is no way you can apply until 2 years later. I. The first negative way is to drown out your disappointment with random activities. You had the belief that these actions would result in top results. Check out my posts on breaking out of negativity: Dealing with disappointment is definitely not an easy task. 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. So, you might think of the pain as a good thing and allow yourself to grieve if things don’t go your way. Your belief that he/she is the one is an illusion you need to release yourself of. While you may feel disappointed, this experience is showing you that there is an error in your thinking. It is not the reality. Many people remain disappointed because they are hung up over what reality should be. Practice acceptance. As these thoughts arise, intentionally (and gently) let go of them, and simply allow yourself be without needing to do or get anything. 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. “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. It can be writing in your personal journal, walking in the park, watching a happy movie, playing games, or talking to positive friends. Step 2: Attach yourself to your desire, not your goal. So how do you prepare yourself for what might be a large, perhaps even life-changing, disappointment? But we always focus on the few things that go wrong, rather than the things that go well. This is not sustainable because your goals are just external outcomes, and these are impermanent. Believe it or not, entering into denial is the first step in the coping cycle. You become a stronger individual. Become aware of them and release them. Book proposals. Company A happens to have a policy of only accepting job applications from the same person every 2 years. If anything, it’s natural for things to go wrong. Any of these practices can help make you more resilient in the face of disappointment. 1. To start mediating, simply become aware of the sights and sounds around you. But this is an illusion. Be kind to yourself. When you’re absolutely sure you need a … This is a perfectly natural response. So don’t ignore your feelings of disappointment. 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. 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. Your experience has allowed you to gain new lessons, whether about yourself, the situation, or the world. It is to be in a loving, authentic relationship with someone. It can spur you to become better prepared — mitigating your anxiety in the long run. Actively Accept Your Feelings of Disappointment. As long as you are doing that, there is no reason why you should feel bad, because you have done all that you can. 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. There are many ways to study. Start off by recognizing that a job in Company A is just a projection of your inner desire. If your anxiety motivates you to take action that can affect the outcome, then it might be useful. Some of these disappointments will not make much of a difference, but there are also disappointments that can change the course of our lives. If we look at the relationship example in Step #2, you are disappointed because you want to be with person A. These distractions will help settle you down. There may be times when the feeling of disappointment is so overwhelming that it feels like the end of the world. Kinias suggests adopting Maya Angelou’s words from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” In Kinias’ experience, successful leaders have the capacity to anticipate and plan for setbacks, but this tactic works best “when balanced with positivity and an ability to enjoy and experience the present moment, through optimism, mindfulness, and social support.” Being both planful and hopeful can improve wellbeing and make us more resilient if and when the worst-case scenario comes true. Most people are inherently good. 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. Talking to a counselor or therapist, like the licensed professionals at BetterHelp, is a good way to learn how to overcome bouts of serious disappointment. This perception is not the truth — it is simply your lens with which you see the world. If you are disappointed about something, that means you harbor a certain perception on what it should be. Given the convoluted nature of desire, there are no experiences that … Disappointment can trigger lots of different emotions, including stress, so it’s important to deal with these secondary feelings, too. And there are likely more disappointments on the way. 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. This is another important part of dealing with disappointment. Relationships you’re not being good at? If you're feeling a great deal of pain after a disappointment, it's important to practice some self care. 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. If playing games makes you happier, go ahead and play them (but not in an excessive way). When you connect yourself with this desire, you will realize that point B is just one of the many destinations you can go. What is your underlying desire to go to point B? For example, you like person A. Do something nice for yourself. I’ve never been more thankful for a new season of the Great British Baking Show. You can't keep thinking that the... 3. View the setback as an opportunity to grow and change. 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. But instead of achieving that outcome, you fell short of your expectation. Disappointment isn’t fun, but it’s a part of life. The next step to deal with disappointment is to release yourself of your illusion of what reality should be. For me, I find that a combination of activities including alone time, talking with my good friends, and watching my favorite shows uplift me considerably. You injured your leg. And then there’s point A-1, A-2, A-3, etc. It is merely one of the many ways to fulfill your desire. For this question in particular you need to show that yo can deal with disappointment and move on positively. … Identify them. Here, your perception that studying hard = automatically getting an ‘A’ is false. When the outcome does not happen the way you envisioned, you become disappointed. With this kind of disappointment — and even more serious ones — I suggest that there are five steps to follow: 1. Instead, you may need to increase your input and/or change your approach to get the results you want. Sometimes focusing on the worst-case scenario helps. “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. There are also several research-backed ways that you can prepare yourself for a negative 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. This quote lets us know that while disappointment can be painful, there’s also an upside. It can make a huge difference to how you process situations that leave you feeling put out or let down. And if you have trouble quelling unhelpful, negative emotions, try distracting yourself with something fun or meditative. People 5 Major Work Disappointments and How to Handle Them Are you in the midst of a major work disappointment? In part 1, I shared 3 reasons why disappointment is good. “The risk is when people are blindsided with overconfidence — as many Hillary Clinton supporters were in the 2016 presidential election. He/she is not the person who can give you what you desire. In part 2, I talked about 3 destructive methods of dealing with disappointment which you should avoid. There is no reason to self-blame when things go wrong. Here’s their advice. “Thinking positive thoughts is fine. You are able to constructively channel into your inner desires to live the life you want. As someone who is irrationally superstitious, I’ve often resisted the idea of imagining a positive outcome, thinking it will somehow curse the process. Definitely don’t wallow in misery. Zoe Kinias, an associate professor at INSEAD who studies resilience, says that you can bolster yourself by playing out the possible negative outcome. What you originally thought was sufficient to achieve your goal isn’t. You feel that you have lost what could have been a great relationship. 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.”. Your disappointment is helping you move toward your goals, not away from your goals as you originally thought. Let them drive you forward. it may not always be the right, or best choice, but understanding the situation always helps. What activities do you most enjoy doing in your life? Because when you do that, you fall into the trap of associating your existence with them. You love the job scope, the benefits are great, and you have heard great things about the place. Read my Privacy Policy. If calming your mind doesn’t seem to be work, then immediately distract yourself from your disappointment. That’s why it’s hard for people to “just deal with it.” Acceptance doesn’t come first either. Ask yourself this question: What is your underlying desire driving your goal/expectation? Being trapped in such a state prevents you from thinking logically. Does this mean you should look for a new... 2. All rights reserved. Take a moment to sink in and let yourself feel the disappointment so that you can move on. Job interviews. 1. A common example when people get attached to an external projection is in relationships. In this part, I share how to deal with disappointments in a constructive manner. Do whatever makes you feel better. And the goal in life isn’t to avoid all negative feelings. Person A is just one of the many people in this world you can fall in love with. We can tap into that present moment through the act of meditation. Two ways to do that and to focus your attention outward is to: Help someone out. There are many other ways to fulfill this desire. Soak them in with your senses. This is part 3 of my 4-part series on how to deal with disappointment. Watch a movie, take a warm bath, or order take out. 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. It is normally preceded by denial. A certain number of fantasies about what you would do if you reached your goal can be helpful,” says Markman. You reach a new state of awareness, consciousness, and growth which you have never had before. If you feel at peace, you are probably okay. They feel like they have taken a step back from what they want to be. Our text suggests several reasons for their discouragement, most of which revolve about the problem of a bad memory. The first thing you need to do is ask if worrying really helps. Generally, a good “gut check” can help you determine if a boundary has been crossed. Or help him with moving boxes and other stuff into his new home. 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. Here’s the thing: Sometimes worrying does help. And even, yes, elections. There are many other possible destinations, such as point C, D, E, all the way to Z. 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. Disappointment and how to deal with it It is inevitable, at some point in everybody’s life you will hear “no” or let yourself down. Sometimes, simply spending time alone may be the best way to clear your mental clutter and regain personal energy. Sign up for my newsletter to get my personal development tips and updates sent directly to your inbox: Unsubscribe whenever you want. You can’t prepay your pain. Okay, so you got fired. One of the first things that happen when disappointment comes is discouragement. You can be hopeful but you don’t want to be overconfident. For example, if you’re waiting to hear about a new job, Kinias suggests you might tell yourself, “There will be other opportunities. And remember to keep it in perspective. So when you’re worried about how devastated you might feel, remind yourself that that’s the cost of caring. But if you work hard on the steps above, they will pull you out of the void you are in. “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.”. If reading your favorite book uplifts you, then pick up the book and start reading it. You see a career at Company A as your dream career. We all have different expectations. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. Exercise. As long as you are trapped in it, you can’t get to where you want to go. 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. You got dumped. Of course, this is rubbish. But you should balance any agonizing with some sense of hope, as long as you aren’t overconfident that things will go your way. Accepting unwanted outcomes is not always easy. Instead of tying all your expectations to this one person, connect with the underlying desire to be in an authentic relationship. 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. 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. Say you are at point A and you want to move to point B. 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. By attaching yourself to this thought, this illusion, it’s causing you anguish. In your mind, you continue to hang on to the perception that you should have gotten an ‘A’. where you can fulfill your desire just as well, if not better. Eating you haven’t done perfectly? Distract yourself by listening to music, by watching a movie, by talking with someone, or through reading a book. We all feel this way from time to time. Example: Say you thought that you should get an ‘A’ after studying for a paper. 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. However, you are passed over for another candidate whom they deem a better fit for the role. I know I’m not alone. Your goal to work at Company A is merely an external projection of your inner desire to grow and challenge yourself to the fullest. Many of us tend to beat ourselves up when things go wrong. Moving Forward 1. 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.”. Another way to look at it is to be without courage (dis-couraged). 2. If others have disappointed you, you may give up on them. Do you deal with disappointments with any of these methods? This last tip is the one that I’ve been putting to good use over the past few days. One of my main coping mechanisms during these times of uncertainty is thinking through the potential disappointment. Stop doing that. It also prevents you from moving on. The best way to prevent the same situation—and resulting disappointment—is to make a plan of action. Often they feel agonizing, my mind vacillating between imagining the best possible outcome and bracing myself for the worst. “There will be a sting if you don’t get it, and the pain is often proportional to what you invested,” says Markman. I’ve never known the best way to make it through these waiting periods. Because they are not taught to properly deal with disappointment in school or in life, they deal with it in a destructive way instead. Question how and when you developed these illusions. 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. I wrote about this in Living in Alignment with Your Purpose in the context of living your life purpose. You might imagine what you’d wear to the first day of your new job, or think through who you’d call to share in the good news. If you did that, you’d rarely put yourself out there and try to reach your goals. 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. How do you prepare yourself for what might be a large, perhaps even life-changing, disappointment? Don’t take it personally 3. Help a friend plan for a party or a meeting at work. Let’s say you went for an interview with Company A. What should you do then? Focus on your underlying desire, not your external projection, which is only one way of fulfilling your desire. In other words, just because you lose one round, doesn’t mean the fight isn’t worth fighting. 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. 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