How to Manage Disappointment

Disappointment is a tricky emotion

Sometimes it might make us mildly uncomfortable, at others it can challenge our entire view of ourselves.

It’s easy to wallow and ruminate – feeling like a victim – powerless or helpless.

However, if we take action we can turn things around quickly, get back on track and start moving in the right direction:

1 – Accept how you feel and take 15-20 minutes to wallow it’s important to recognise our feelings.

Research tells us that naming and writing down negative emotions reduces their impact.

Whereas forced positive thinking can increase our stress levels.

2 – Disappointment can lead to other emotions eg awareness, acceptance, determination or anger, bitterness, depression.

You may not be able to control the events or people around you but you can control your emotional response to them. Take the high ground and take action to restore your equilibrium.

3 – Remember that YOU are not a disappointment – you are EXPERIENCING a disappointment.

You are exactly the same person you were before the news/event, with the same skills and positive characteristics. You’ve just hit a bump and you have the ability to manage it.

YOU are not a disappointment – you are EXPERIENCING a disappointment

4 – Learn from the disappointment – There’s a famous NLP saying “there’s no failure, only feedback” – given another chance – what WOULD you do that you didn’t do, what WOULDN’T you do that you did do.

5 – Remember that disappointment happens in the Learning zone – there’s no growth in our comfort zone. Everything wonderful in your life started in the learning zone.

eg your relationships, your favourite hobby, your dream business or job.

But with risk comes reward and a few stubbed toes. Disappointment is inevitable when we strive.

6 – Take a reality check – Is it really that bad? – what’s the worst thing that could happen? What have you really lost and how can you recovery some of that loss? Focus on what you DO have – write a gratitude list, start a gratitude practise.

7 – Check your expectations – I’m fond of saying that all negative feelings are the result of the gap between reality and our fantasy of what reality SHOULD be.

So, were you expecting too much of yourself or others?

Perfectionism breeds disappointment.

8 – Talk it over with someone close to you or a therapist. Get a new perspective from someone you trust, someone who has your interest at heart. They may help you see yourself and the situation in a more positive light. You may even identify an opportunity you’d otherwise have missed.

9 – Boost your self esteem – create a “Why I Rock” list – indisputable proof you are great. Maybe start with what your best friends or family would say about you eg kind, funny, caring, smart…add specific examples.

10 – Identify one small step to get moving again. Then take that action to continue forward towards your goal and watch as your confidence is restored.

…and if you need any help, just give me a call – I’m here to support you and doing both online and face to face sessions in Chiswick, Acton and Windsor

Crisis Counsellor, Hypnotherapist and EFT practitioner
07946 526 838

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