Ever been disappointed?
THAT was a dumb question.
So, as you know, it feels awful.
And I’m going to go as far as to say that deep disappointment is probably one of the worst feelings ever.
But not to worry, right here, right now, I’m going to tell you what you need to do to never feel disappointed again.
You must never try anything new, do anything daring, take any risks, pursue any of your dreams, go for any of your big goals, or start any new relationships.
On second thought, just to be sure, you may as well just not ever leave your home again.
But, if you, like me, don’t want your life to be boring, lonely, and totally meaningless, you’re going to need to experience at least some, or maybe even a lot of disappointment in your life.
Yes, disappointment is hard. Probably one of the most difficult and painful feelings one can have.
But like most other feelings, doing whatever it takes to avoid it is really not worth it at all.
And, like most feelings we feel, there are both helpful and unhelpful, beneficial and detrimental ways to deal with them.
So if you, like me, do want to live your life and have new, exciting, and fulfilling experiences, you are inevitably going to have to deal withe the pain of disappointment at least every once and a while.
And here are 3 things that will help you immensely through this disconcerting emotion:
Notice it, lean in to it, experiences it. Whatever. But let yourself feel the disappointment and feel it good. Don’t run from it, or get angry or all judgy with yourself for feeling it. Don’t even try to put on a happy face. Not yet.
Sometimes we really do need to let ourselves feel whatever it is we’re feeling and feel it good. Because getting mad at ourselves for feeling, or putting on a happy face and pretending we’re fine, when really we’re not, is doing nothing to help our cause, and it will actually make things worse.
Find Your Tribe:
Tweet it out, put a posting or craigslist or pay for a facebook ad. Whatever you need to do.
But find people who are going through the same kind of disappointment as you and commiserate with them. Talk to them about how discouraged, frustrated, devastated, angry or hurt you are. And let them tell you how peeved they are too.
Find the people in the same boat as you. The people who get it. The people who can yell and kick the dirt with you. The people who can cry with you. The people with whom you can say “WE WERE ROBBED!!”
Because do you know what the #1 thing is that makes people feel so much worse when they are going through anything upsetting or challenging? The feeling that they are alone in it. The belief that everyone else got what they wanted and they themselves did not. Which then turns in to things like, I’m no good. Orwhat did I do to deserve this? Or there must be something wrong with me.
But there isn’t something wrong with you, and you may need others who are going through the same thing to prove this to yourself.
Do Something Empowering:
Feeling disappointed brings with it a strong feeling of helplessness. Like something was taken from you that you were hoping for or thought you deserved, and then you had no say over the outcome. No say over your fate in that moment. It feels awful to feel so powerless in the face of disappointment.
So once you’re ready and have felt the hell out of the feelings in step 1, find something you can do to help you get back up and on your feet.
If you want to try again to get that thing you wanted, then figure out what you need to do to increase your chances for next time. Look at other ways of getting what or to where you want. The bottom line is take some useful action.
Do something that will help heal the wounds and get you back on your feet and feeling productive and empowered again.
Yes disappointment is awful. But no, we can’t avoid it all together so we may as well learn to accept it for what it is and deal with it the best we can.
If you enjoyed this, please do share it. And if you do, let me know so I can thank you!
I’m Julia Kristina MA, RCC, an I’m a CBT, Mindfulness, and Positive Psychology registered (aka licensed) therapist and life coach out of Vancouver BC.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1 I do in-person sessions from my office in downtown Vancouver, or virtually to any where in the world via SKYPE.