Getting Over Disappointment
Regardless of whether it is in your personal, professional, or romantic life, getting over a disappointment can be difficult, especially if it’s something on which you really had your heart set. Here are six strategies you can use to help you let go of your disappointment and move on to set new goals.
1. Avoid Getting Mired in Your Discouragement.
It’s okay to feel bad, but don’t get stuck there for too long. How long you think about your sadness depends on the letdown. Losing your favorite sweater may deserve a few minutes while losing your longtime mate deserves a little more time. The point is, acknowledge why you are disappointed, consider what you have learned, and then take action to move on. Staying in bed for a week will only make you feel worse, and you’ll still have to deal with the consequences.
2. Find Perspective.
Whatever the disappointment’s cause, try to maintain the perspective of how this will affect your overall life. You won’t even remember minor defeats in a few weeks’ time, and more significant downfalls should be kept in the perspective of your life as a whole. Focus on that which makes you feel grateful, what you have learned, and how this will impact you in the future. You may also want to consider how this setback affects others, which can be a powerful exercise in perspective. They may be hurting worse than you.
3. Remember You Cannot Change the Past
Whatever the disappointment, it’s done. It’s happened. You cannot change it, so you have two choices. Stagnate on your negative feelings about it or accept that it happened and move on. Imagining what might have been or considering the “if onlys’ can create more hurt and pain. Focus instead on what’s ahead and how you plan to get there.
4. Use the Chance to Examine Your Expectations.
Disappointment is when a situation does not meet your expectations. After a setback, look inward to determine if your expectations were appropriate. Did you expect too much from another person? Were you too demanding of yourself? How realistic were your goals for the situation? Reexamining your expectations is a great way to set new goals for moving forward. Be sure you are not setting yourself up for disappointment and be honest with yourself and the true nature of your dissatisfaction as you ponder these questions.
5. Take a Personal Inventory
Before you move on, this is a great chance to evaluate all the strengths you are bringing to the table to handle this and other disappointments you may face. Look at the skills you have that will help you through your situation, think about the tools and resources you have to help you form a new plan. Who is in your life that can assist you in moving on and progressing forward? Consider all the ways you can and are making the best of your situation and use those as resources for your next step.
6. Reassess and Set New Goals
Each blow in life is an opportunity for choosing a new direction. There is always another chance, to determine how you are going to decide to move forward. There is value in all setbacks, and you are only as good as what you learn from each one. Take that newfound knowledge and strength and put it toward a new plan for yourself.
Moving on from a setback is not always easy, but if you do the work and stay focused, you can find your way through to the other side with renewed focus and acceptance. It may take time, but you can move past your defeat and learn from your experiences, too.