Disappointment is that emotion which arises when the outcome of an event falls short of what we had hoped for. We can all relate to feeling let down or angry when we believe we deserve something that does not happen or a sense of deep sadness we feel after losing an opportunity.
Disappointment and Expectation are so interlinked that the higher the expectation, when unmet, the deeper the disappointment will be.
Disappointment may also occur when faced with attacks to the ego by way of criticism and judgment from others and even the loss of certain things we may value, like respect, appreciation, support (emotional) and love. The loss of one’s own sense of meaning and purpose in life can also give rise to disappointment.
We can’t hide from the experience of disappointment. Even though everyone feels dsappointed at some point of time or the other, it is still quite a painful and unpleasant experience. Some people try to avoid it be telling themselves that the unwanted outcome was to be expected any way, and that it doesn’t matter anyway.
Here are some strategies that may help you respond to feelings of disappointment:
1. Acknowledge your emotions. Allow yourself to feel the disappointment for a while. We would like to remind you – it’s okay to feel what you are feeling. Your feelings are valid.
2. Allow yourself to feel sorry for the lost hope, or value in this moment. Write it down, talk to some one about it.
3. Design the new plan: Be kind to yourself. Remember that there is no one single path in life’s journey nor a single destination. Allow yourself to look forward to a new goal, or even alter the current one.
4. Celebrate yourself: even if the outcome wasn’t what you were looking for, acknowledge all that went well for you in the pursuit of your goals. You have emerged more knowledgeable, wise and strong from the experience!
How have you responded to moments of disappointment in your life?