Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment


The gift of disappointment brings us into reality so we don’t get stuck in how things might have been.   

Whenever we do something in life with an expectation of how we’d like it to turn out, we risk experiencing disappointment. When things don’t go as we had envisioned, we may feel a range of emotions from slightly let down to depression or even anger. We might direct our feelings inward toward ourselves or outward toward other people or the universe in general. Whether we feel disappointed by ourselves, a friend, or life in general, disappointment is always a harsh feeling to experience. Still, it is a natural part of life, and there are many ways of dealing with it when we find ourselves in its presence.

As with any feeling, disappointment has come to us for a reason, and we don’t need to fear acknowledging it or feeling it. The more we can accept how we feel and process it, the sooner we move into new emotional territory. As we sit down to allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, we might want to write about the disappointment experience—the situation that preceded it, what we hoped would happen, and what did happen. The gift of disappointment is its ability to align us with reality so that we don’t get stuck for too long in how things might have been.


As we consider other disappointments and how we have moved past them, we may even see that what happened was better in the long run than what we had wanted to happen. Disappointment often leaves us feeling deflated by its message that things don’t always turn out the way we want. The beauty of disappointment, though, is that it provides a bridge to its other side where we can find the acceptance of reality, wisdom, and the energy to begin again.

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