by Kate Muller | Featured Contributor
I can’t even tell you how many times my mother would recite this aggravating mantra to me when I was a kid.
My disappointments back then were relatively modest, but I’ve quickly come to realize just how painfully valid this saying can be an an adult.
No if’s, and’s or but’s about it, life is full of disappointments.
Try as we might to plan everything to a T, way too many things are out of our control. Real life is unpredictable and things don’t always go according to plan, but when our expectations aren’t met, the after effects of the inevitable letdown can be devastating.
Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you were hoping for at work. Or your long-term relationship just isn’t working out anymore. Perhaps you were relying on your best friend to come through for you and they failed to deliver.
Whatever the setback, the toughest part of any disappointment is picking yourself back up again.
The next time you come face to face with disappointment, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and follow these five steps to help you get back on top.
1. Talk It Out
Sometimes, all we want to do after experiencing a disappointment is shut down and bottle up all of our emotions.
Don’t do it!
Instead of holding it all in, project your emotions outward. Purge yourself of the negativity and talk to someone about it.
If you’ve been letdown by a friend or family member, take the time to let them know how their behavior made you feel. If your disappointment falls into a broader category, talk to someone outside of the situation.
Feelings of resentment, anger, vengeance, or betrayal are all valid when dealing with disappointment, but don’t use those feelings as a crutch to shift the blame. If you’re at fault, accept the responsibility.
After getting everything off your chest, you may even come to realize that what you’re going through isn’t so bad after all. Relying on an impartial third party can put a lot of things into perspective.
2. Get Moving
Whenever I’m in the midst of a particularly harrowing disappointment, I strap on my sneakers, press play on an uplifting playlist, and head outdoors.
Exercise is a great way to clear your head, blow off some steam, and collect your thoughts. Go for a walk, hit up a yoga class, or do a couple of laps around the park to ease your mind and reconnect with your inner self.
Getting in some exercise will help rid your body of stress, center your mind into a better state, and both motivate and encourage you to continue moving forward.
3. Embrace the Disappointment
This may sound counterproductive when all you really want to do is complain, nitpick, and scream at the top of your lungs! But the truth is, you’ll exert more energy trying to combat the disappointment than you will if you just embrace it.
Unfortunately, not all people are reliable and every experience won’t be a positive one. But when you factor outside sources into your personal success strategy, you’ll come up short each time.
Teach yourself to minimize those feelings of frustration by accepting the letdown and vowing to learn from it.
4. Reevaluate Your Objectives and Expectations
What were your initial expectations? Were they unreasonable? Fair? Realistic? Extreme?
The high level at which you set your expectations can very well be the impetus that triggers your disappointment.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own personal wants and desires that we’re blind to the fact that we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
Concentrate on your overall objective and reconnect with the reasoning that motivated you to pursue it in the first place. Determine whether or not you need to reassess your expectations and adjust them accordingly.
Avoid narrow-minded thinking by viewing your expectations with an unbiased attitude, and your personal satisfaction and happiness will not be let down.
5. Focus on the Future
You can go the ‘woe is me’ route and wallow in your disappointment, or you can disengage from the present and look to the future.
It’s your choice!
In the moment, things always tend to seem worse than they really are. So, the best thing you can do is focus on the future and remind yourself that bigger and better things are just around the corner.
Continue to move forward, look towards the future, and just know that what lies ahead will be far greater.
Wrapping It Up
We all experience letdowns in life, but learning how to deal with them is key. There is no antidote to disappointment, so it’s up to each one of us to pick ourselves up, learn from the setbacks, and move forward. You’ll see a vast improvement to your overall well-being as a result!
Now it’s your turn – what have you done to pick yourself back up after experiencing a disappointment?
Kate Muller is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. A Jersey girl through and through, Kate has a BA in Radio/TV/Film & Journalism and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media. She’s thrived within the digital advertising and marketing industries for the past several years, working for such companies as Time Inc., NBCUniversal, and Ogilvy & Mather.
Her savvy know-how of social media trends, campaign management, and writing for the web are what drives Kate to pursue her passions and help her clients’ businesses succeed. With a diverse understanding of blog writing, social networking, television writing, and copyediting, Kate provides her clients with premium content that drives traffic to their website, engages their readers, and saves them time. Check her out over at katemullerwrites.com.
Kate is a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, lover of good wine, bad reality TV, and live rock and roll music. She enjoys riding bike trails, trips into New York City, food truck festivals, and wearing long scarves with dark sunglasses on scenic drives through the New Jersey countryside. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @kmullerwrites.