Dealing with disappointment is no easy skill. But without that skill, you face years of distraction and wasted effort.
All of us get disappointed. It happens in business, in sports, and in your personal life. Chances are you’re disappointed right now about something that happened to you recently.
To be clear, disappointment is different than anger. It’s really sadness. We don’t often call it that, but that’s how our brains feel. They feel sad. And let down. And that frustration is what we call “feeling disappointed”.
All too often disappointment turned into distraction.
The sadness you feel makes you complacent or wildly irrational — two ends of the emotional spectrum. And so instead of focusing on the things that you need to do in order to be successful, you obsess about the nightmare you see right now.
You can’t cure sadness with a few simple tips and tricks.
There’s no magic formula for feeling better quickly. Sometimes you just have to feel sad until you don’t feel sad anymore. But along the way, here are some ways for you to feel a little bit better.
- Stop denying you’re in a funk. It happens to all of us, so it does no good to pretend like you’re different than anyone else. Especially when you are disappointed. Realizing the emotional state that you are in right now is the beginning of the healing process. Don’t deny. Cry.
- Keep moving your feet forward. You have things to do. So do them. Look at your task list and see what you need to do. You don’t need to do the maximum, you just need to do the bare minimum. Despite how you’re feeling, the best way to take your mind off your situation is to do
- Go ahead and hit something (kinda). Get angry. Physical activity is a great way to release the sadness and pent up frustration that you’re feeling right now. So go do something. Walk somewhere. Run somewhere. Hit something. Don’t leave your emotions to boil inside you. That just makes you weaker.
- Let the right person who disappointed you know about what they did wrong. You have to be careful when you share your feelings about being disappointed. The wrong nouns and verbs can sound like a lot like whining. But you do have the right — and it’s smart — to tell the person who disappointed you why you are upset with what they did. You don’t need to find a solution to the situation. You just need to share your disappointment.
- Move on when it’s time to move on. You can’t (and shouldn’t) be disappointed forever. The faster you heal, the more time you have to focus on the best parts of life. So don’t dwell on the nasty side of personal experiences. When it’s time to let things go, let them go.
Sadness is a part of life.
It can be a healthy part of life if you can learn the lessons that life brings you and become stronger in the process. When you are hurting, no amount of explanation can heal the sadness you feel. In spite off your worry and frustration, the only real antidote to disappointment is to know how to heal.
The truth is that you don’t want to stop feeling — because that means you’re not living. But sometimes when you’re feeling pain you just want to know that eventually you’re going to start to feel better.
And that’s exactly what happens if you just keep moving towards where you want to be. One foot after the other.
You can take that first step today.