Dealing With Disappointment (Step By Step)
What is disappointment?
Disappointment comes from unmet expectations or when things don’t go the way we wished them to be. Here is a simple example of disappointment, a person who graduates hoping to find a job that pays 2000$/month and only gets an 800$/month paying job will certainly become disappointed.
Disappointment has nothing to do with whether you’re in a good or bad situation. For example if that man wished to earn 10,000$/month and only managed to earn 5,000$/month then he may get disappointed although this 5000$ may be a dream for someone else.
Should I change my future expectations to avoid disappointment?
Of course not, many people start to change their way of thinking from being optimists to being pessimists just to avoid disappointment!! This is a huge mistake because it’s not a solution but it’s just an escapement method.
Dealing with disappointment is a mixture of both learning to have a positive way of thinking and having backup plans at the same time.
Disappointment and depression
Disappointment is usually the final step before depression. some people get out of disappointment while others crush land into depression. Understand that dealing with disappointment is an important step for preventing depression and for preventing yourself from building false beliefs about life like “there is no more hope” or “nothing works for me”.
Dealing with disappointment
The following are major causes for disappointment and the correct actions to take in order to deal with it.
- Being a perfectionist : perfectionists live in their own imaginary world. They think that life is perfect and that they should be perfect in turn. The problem with perfectionists is not only that they get disappointed when they get a B instead of A but the real problem is that they get angry when they score 99 instead of a 100. If you are a perfectionist then it’s time to live in the real world and forget about your illusion of a perfect world.
- Overconfidence: yes you may get disappointed because you are overconfident. after all you may not be weak but you just expected a lot out of yourself and that’s why you got disappointed when you didn’t find what you expected. If that’s the case then know that the winners in this life are those who are balanced. People who embrace uncertainty are the ones who manage to face problems. For example , A shy person may stay in his comfort zone and achieve nothing while the overconfident may get disappointed because of his unrealistic expectations.
- Setting unrealistic goals : again I’m not saying that you have to change your expectations or become a pessimist but what is meant by setting realistic goals is setting something that can be really achieved. After all setting a goal to become a millionaire in three months will only make you become disappointed.
- Having a backup plan: having a backup plan in case things go wrong will not only make you feel secure but will also keep you from getting disappointed in case something bad happens
- Having false ideas about rejection or failure: sometimes the main cause for being disappointed is a false idea about rejection or failure. Failure is only feedback telling you that you should change your way, be more flexible or try harder. Almost anyone who succeeded in anything failed tens if not hundreds of times before reaching this success. Understand that if you are serious about success then failure should be a friend who guides you to the correct direction. The road to success may be full of failures but in the end you will see your dreams coming true.
Disappointment and breakups
Some people face major disappointment after break-ups and so remain broken for months if not years. Dealing with disappointment in such a case may require additional steps from your side, in my book How to get over anyone in few days I described how factors such as listening to depressing music, having false beliefs about relationships and reminding yourself of your partner continuously can hider recovery.
In order to get over relationship disappointment you must make sure that you stop contacting your old partner, get rid of the false beliefs you have about relationships such as “the soul mate concept” and never listen to depressing songs.
By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.