“Disappointments are just God’s way of saying I’ve got something better; Be Patient.. Live Life.. Have Faith.. ” – Lanette Sem
Disappointment is one of those inevitable things. Despite the fact we know it is going to happen, we are never really prepared to deal with it when it does. Some people would suggest the best approach to dealing with disappointment is to lower expectations from the very beginning. I’m sure you all have heard it before, “No expectations, no disappointment!”. There is just one major problem with this notion; it goes against our natural instincts. As humans, with thoughts and emotions, we just aren’t wired that way. It is in our nature to expect good things to happen and to receive everything we have hoped and wished for.
So, what do we do when we expected a positive result out of something or someone, and it doesn’t turn out quite the way we expected. Often, we are left feeling let down, hurt, discouraged, and in cases even depressed. Here’s a small list of things I have found helpful when dealing with disappointment. Let’s dive in!
1. Process your emotions
When faced with disappointment, it’s extremely important that we process all our emotions; whether we feel sad, confused, angry or just flat out hurt! We all have different ways we process our emotions, so this step will vary from person to person. For me, it just means being honest with myself and acknowledging how something or someone has made me feel. Also, just realizing that it’s totally OKAY to feel whatever emotion I feel when I am faced with disappointment. Acknowledgment is huge for me when processing disappointment. For you, it can be something totally different! Whichever way you choose to process your emotions it totally up to you. If you take the time to work them out and feel whatever it is that you feel you’re on the right track! NOTHING good comes from suppressing your emotions and feelings.
2. Stay hopeful
Hope is one of those forces that keep us going day in and day out. I personally believe there’s a ton of power in a hopeful mind and heart. Life is hard, and disappointments will happen. With a hopeful mind, it makes it easier to get through the reality that you were disappointed by the result of something that didn’t go as planned. Having a hopeful heart can help you overcome some of your darkest days and moments; whether it is a job you didn’t get, an opportunity you missed, or a failed relationship/ friendship. Keeping hope that there is a better job opportunity out there, a better relationship/friendship to be had/made, and that things will eventually work out in your favor will help sustain you and keep you afloat!
3. Let it go
Now, this is a lot easier said than done! It is hard to just let things go when we had such high expectations. If you are having trouble “letting it go”, consider this – you’ve already spent time processing how you feel about the disappointing situation. So, what good would it do to hold onto the memory or to keep replaying what you could have done differently in your mind? It is important to let things go after we process them. Don’t fill your mental storage with negativity, instead create mental space.
I recall watching a message on YouTube about finding your purpose and dealing with tough seasons in life. Now, I would be lying if I told you I remembered every word that was said during the talk, but one thing I heard while watching stuck with me. Even months later, this one thing stuck with me! It was the belief that we will never get over something or someone until we get over what we had in mind about it. Oftentimes when we pursue things in life, we create a mental image of how great things will be once it comes into fruition. So, when it doesn’t come to past, we are stuck with this image of what could have been with nothing tangible to show for it.
Simply put, you cannot receive new blessings and opportunities if you’re still holding onto the memories of the ones that didn’t work out! Create that mental space by letting it go and allowing new blessings to enter.
Hopefully this list encourages you to look at how you handle disappointment differently! When life gives you lemons make lemonade, or ask for salt and tequila! 🙂