How to deal with disappointment

Mental health is getting a lot of attention. We’re worried about becoming disconnected from each other. We’re on the lookout for anxiety and depression more than ever before. But what about those in-between feelings? 

You’re not exactly sad. You’re not anxious either, or angry. But life has been letting you down lately. You’re feeling disappointment. 

Disappointment isn’t new, but recent crises have exacerbated it. Yet crises also create breakthroughs. You must discipline your disappointment and push forward to create the life you deserve. 

Your mindset controls everything in your life: your career, your relationships and your physical appearance. And you control your mindset.. Those who use this power to learn how to deal with disappointment will thrive. Those who don’t could be left behind.

Let go of disappointment and create real, lasting change in your life

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What is disappointment?

Disappointment is a complex human emotion that’s related to sadness. It’s the “let down” feeling we get when things don’t go our way. It can also be combined with other emotions: We might feel frustrated, upset and even a little angry at the person or event that messed with our perfectly laid plans. These emotions are all part of the spectrum of the human experience. 

Psychologists and social science researchers have proposed various categories for human emotions over the years, but there are four core emotions that have always been included: fear, anger, joy and sadness. They operate on dichotomies: fear and anger are opposites, with emotions like frustrated, annoyed and excited in between. Joy and sadness are also opposites, with emotions like disappointment, boredom, pride and serenity in between. Of course there are many other emotions, but thinking of it in this way can help you identify and learn how to deal with disappointment.

Why do we feel disappointment?

We feel disappointment when life doesn’t live up to our expectations. Period. We’ve all created a blueprint for our happiness. This is the way we think our lives need to be: the job, the family, the two-car garage and the white picket fence. We also live our lives with expectations: We expect others to treat us kindly. We expect hard work to pay off. We expect to be rewarded for living ethically and making good choices.

But that isn’t how life works. Other people won’t always treat you with respect. Your partner won’t always live up to your relationship expectations. And bad things do happen to good people. These facts of life make dealing with disappointment a regular event – and one you must master.

 disappointment women

Is disappointment always negative?

dealing with disappointment

No, disappointment doesn’t have to be negative, because emotions themselves are neither positive nor negative. They are the result of the way we frame a situation, and they are there to teach us something. We wouldn’t have evolved such a complex web of emotions if they didn’t serve us in some way. The key is to turn your disappointment into action.

Tony says, “Disappointment either destroys you or drives you. You have to decide which!” It’s not your fault if you get knocked to your knees – life happens. It is your fault if you don’t get off your knees. Dealing with disappointment isn’t always easy, but like any obstacle, you can turn it into an opportunity.

How to deal with disappointment

Whether you’ve had a rough week, month or year, you can get out of your rut and thrive again. Learn how to deal with failure and disappointment and you’ll take back control of your life and your destiny.

1. Commit to what you can control 

One of the greatest truths you can learn in life is this: The only thing you can control is yourself. And part of that control is that we get to choose our emotions. Dealing with disappointment means following this excellent advice from Tony: “Take control of your consistent emotions and begin to consciously and deliberately reshape your daily experience of life.” 

2. Let go of expectations 

Those who have mastered how to deal with disappointment have really mastered something else entirely: letting go of expectations. When you don’t expect life to give you anything, you can never be disappointed. Instead of asking what life can give you, trade your expectations for appreciation. Decide that you will feel grateful, relaxed and confident – no matter what. 

3. Shift your focus 

What you focus on, you feel – and become. When you focus on the negative, you bring more negativity into your life. But when you choose to focus on what you have rather than what you don’t, you’ll attract even more abundance and gratitude. Don’t focus on your disappointment. Use techniques like priming and visualization to focus on the future you want – then put all of your energy into making it happen. 

4. Choose your words wisely 

Focus isn’t just about what you’re doing – it’s also about what you’re thinking. If your mind is filled with limiting beliefs, like “I don’t deserve happiness,” learning how to deal with failure and disappointment feels like an insurmountable obstacle. Empowering beliefs allow you to grow from failure and achieve your dreams. Next time a negative thought crosses your mind, change your words. You’ll also change your life. 

5. Reframe your experiences 

Why do we so often hold on to our disappointments, as if they are some sort of armor or bragging rights? The truth is that you must let go of the past – because the only thing that genuinely makes us happy is progress. Find the lesson in your disappointment, reframe it in a positive way and then let it go. Your past is not your future, unless you live there.

Ready to take control of your emotions – and your life?

The only way to beat disappointment is with progress. Download the Breakthrough App and get back on track today.