That feeling we get after every failure or unmet expectation is one of the worst feelings we women often experience. Disappointment is a terrible dose of “reality” that hits us like a truck coming out of nowhere. The very reason we experience disappointment is the fact that they we weren’t “expecting” things to happen the way we did.
We weren’t expecting to get our application rejected, we weren’t expecting our loved one to hurt us the way they did, or perhaps, we were expecting to succeed in a new experiment. It’s funny how this single feeling provokes a whole new set of negative feelings: anger, frustration, sadness, hurt, and maybe more.
Life is never perfect and we are all bound to make mistakes. As Martin Luther King, once said,
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose finite hope”.
Don’t let this bad mood get to you, woman! Here are seven steps to overcome disappointment and enter a new realm of zero regrets and “finite hope”.
1. Let it Out:
You don’t want to burst like an Elsa Queen later on. Learn to learn it out at the right time and in the right manner. This obviously starts with acceptance. Know that you are upset and know the reason why. If your boyfriend broke up with you rather than proposing like you had hoped, instead of trying to “get over it” or act like you didn’t feel a thing, accept what you felt. This is clearly a disappointing situation and that nagging feeling of displeasure is bound to knock at your door in some way, shape, or form. Don’t be ashamed to cry if you have to. According to American Psychological Science, and a handful of other psychologists, letting out your feelings is healthier than holding it back.
2. Look at it From a Different Angle:
Once you’ve accepted your problem and let it out, the next step is to ponder over it from various perspectives. Ask yourself if this problem is a long lasting one. Can it be repaired? Can you try again? Will it heal? Will it take just a little more time to get what you want? The answers to these questions will most likely be affirmative. Just like Mr. King says, “never lose finite hope”.
3. Talk to a Friend:
Another way to get perspective is by talking to someone who cares about you. Confide in them and ask them what they think. If this is a person who truly cares about you, they will probably try their best to make you feel better by showing you a different angle to the problem and possible ways the “problem” could be overcome. Even if this person doesn’t know how to respond with credible advice, simply the act of sharing your problem will do wonders to your mood.
4. Distract Yourself:
Sometimes, disappointment is just a lingering feeling that needs to get overridden by other thoughts in order to be forgotten. You’ve been beating yourself up for what “didn’t work” long enough. Now, it’s time to give yourself a break! Hey, you’re not perfect and neither is—well, anybody! Go do something that makes you happy like a party at the beach, a make-over at the salon, or shopping. Try to bring in something “new” to your life if and where possible. For example, a new hairstyle or a wardrobe full of new clothes. This will symbolize a new beginning and verify the fact that you are ready to move on.
5. Be Grateful for What You Have:
Don’t hang on to only what you’ve lost. Perhaps, it will be replaced with something better. As Bell said, a closed door has the potential to open a new door on the opposite end. For now, it’s best to focus on what you do have that you should be grateful for. Think about your friends, your family, or your kids. Take time out to nurture and cherish these blessings. Be thankful for the number of ways your life isn’t as difficult as it could be.
6. Find Some Motivation:
What motivates you to succeed and look to the brighter side of life? For me, a great book that talks about hope is good enough. For many others, a great motivational movie such as “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Good Will Hunting” are great reminders of what could be in our lives if only we believe in ourselves.
7. Reduce Future Expectations:
Very often, the problem to begin with is the fact that we had “inflated expectations”which is why we weren’t prepared for what could have happened that wasn’t in our favor. By raising our expectations we prepped ourselves up for disappointment. To prevent this from happening again, it’s extremely important to “lower” your expectations so that you are better prepared for the dark side of life. That way, next time you’ll only be dealing with what you knew could have happened, instead of what you were completely unprepared for.