Dealing With Disappointment

We’ve all been there – you’re feeling really good about something, and it doesn’t work out. Whether it was a job you didn’t get or even  just a night out with your friends that didn’t pan out the way you had hoped, when you really have your heart set on something it can be extremely disappointing – upsetting, even – when it doesn’t work out the way it should have.

I, for one, have had plenty of times when I’ve felt this way and it can be really crushing to you emotionally. There was an internship I desperately wanted a few years ago. It was my dream job, but it was also a very competitive internship program to get into. Over 2 months I went through several phone interviews and eventually made it to the final round. It was pretty much between me and one other person. I really thought I would get it, but after a few days passed, I got an emails saying that I didn’t. It was absolutely crushing, one of the most disappointing things I’d ever experienced. It took me a very long time to get over it. Through that experience, I learned how to be better at dealing with disappointment and overcoming the emotional toil it brings. I wanted to share with you all what I do to get over that hurdle and how I encourage myself to keep moving. Sometimes it just helps to know that other people are in the same boat as you, right?

Take the time to be upset, but don’t wallow in the negativity…

You’re upset, and you have every right to feel that way, so let your feelings out! Cry if you want to – just let everything go! If you don’t want to cry, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching your favorite movie, or you could be like me and start crying in the hallway right before one of your college classes (so embarrassing, not recommended). Either way, my point is, just do whatever you have to do to get those emotions out of your system. But don’t let yourself stew in all of these negative feelings because that will just make you feel terrible. You’ll put yourself in such a bad mindset that the feelings of sadness you have will just get worse. The longer you’re in your funk, the harder it is to get out of it.

Write everything down…

When I feel disappointed about something, I find that writing about it in a journal makes me feel a little better. I actually purchased one of those “One Line A Day” books, so I’m able to write down how I’m feeling in that and I can actually flip back through it to read what I wrote on days where I felt happier. There are studies that say writing out your feelings is a great method to cope with your disappointment because it allows you to talk about what you’re really feeling and not have to worry about being judged. You can let your feeling flow without having to think about who you’re saying them to because your saying them to.

Put everything into perspective

Now that you’ve gotten over the really emotional part, and you’re able to think about everything with a clearer mindset, it’s important to take the time to reflect on what just happened. How we interpret a situation matters so much more than how it actually happened, so this is when you can really think constructively and learn from it. Personally, what I do is I remind myself of 4 things that really helps to put it all into perspective:

  1. It’s not the end of the world. In the grand scheme of things, this is so small
  2. Everything happens for a reason
  3. When one door closes, another one opens
  4. Just because the door is shut now, doesn’t mean it will be shut forever

Think about options and make a plan to move forward

The best thing you can do for yourself to cope with the feelings of disappointment is to make a plan. Figure out how to become stronger from this and turn it into something positive. What are your options? What’s your next step going to be? What do you need to do to get there? Take what you learned from this situation and use it to propel you forward. You’ll feel invigorated and confident in your future, and eventually you’ll look back on this exact situation and remember how it helped you grow.

Disappointment is something that everyone has to deal with for their entire lives. It’s not something that will ever just go away. There are times where you’ll feel it more often than others, and times where it will hurt more than others. But if you know how to deal with those feelings in an effective way, disappointment will never hold you back for very long. Find ways to truly appreciate the experiences that are shaping you, even the painful ones, rather than relying on the end goal to make you the person you want to be.

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