Everyone gets disappointed. It happens. It’s part of life. However, it can be pretty overwhelming at times.
According to the English Oxford Dictionary it means: “sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”
The worst thing I think you can do with that sadness is bottle it up. I have found that, if you let it linger too long, it can be all encompassing. Disappointment seems to be the chameleon of emotions. It can turn into despair, frustration, anger, panic and can leave you feeling alone, hurt and completely at a loss… that is, if you let it.
Fear of disappointment, or disappointing others, led me to sell myself short constantly, to not expect too much, or anything at all. It taught me to settle, so I wouldn’t feel it as much or so it wouldn’t affect me… it also taught me that none of the options above are the right thing to choose. Instead of running away from feeling disappointed, what I needed to do was figure out how to curb feeling so down when I did face it. I needed to find a way to get out of the blue headspace so I could get myself moving forward and away from things that leave me feeling like a used kleenex or not good enough.
Whilst long term solutions are a matter of circumstance and of the mind, there were and still are a few things that work for me in the short term, to help me avoid festering in my own disappointment, tackle the situation and face the feeling head on, so I can steer clear of getting too down in the dumps over something beyond my control.
1. Select a banging playlist, put your headphones on, turn the volume up until you can’t hear anything else over your tunes and jump. Just jump. Jump around. Flail your limbs. Lip synch to epic proportions. Close your eyes, pretend you’re headlining at Wembley to a sold out crowd. Give it some welly, g’waaaannn. You’ve got to get rid of that energy before it turns into tears or rage.
2. Pick up a pen, grab a sheet of paper or open a word document and write. Doesn’t need to make sense, doesn’t need to include grammar, spelling, punctuation. Just write. Get it out of my system. Write about whatever. Just let go.
3. Talk about it. I mean you might sound like a nutter, but just talk through why you’re feeling so crappy out loud, to yourself, step by step, point by point. If you can detach yourself from it emotionally, even the tiniest bit, you might be able to figure out the exact reason why you’re feeling so pants. It might not be the reason you think it is. Figure out the real reason behind it all and you can move on from it that much quicker.
4. Is it going to matter in 5 years time? If not then don’t concern yourself with it. Don’t waste moments of your life feeling negative, even if it’s swallowing you up whole. Try and find the positive things this situation could lead to. Even if they are teeny, tiny or sound silly, if it’s a positive thing then that’s good. There are pro’s and con’s to every situation, except, when we’re feeling down for any reason, the con’s are much easier to find.
5. If it is because of a person, if you come to realise that they don’t need or want you around, then you owe it to yourself to save your time, emotion and energy. Turn around, give ’em a smile, wave and shout, “Ta-ra, you utter flapjack. All the best. Have a good one.” Then turn back around and walk away.
…and here’s the secret: whatever happens, don’t turn back. If you turn back to take one last look, you run the risk of walking backwards into the mess you left behind. The pain is worse the second time round. This time, you need to be strong. Stronger than you think you are.
We all get disappointed. Maybe it’s over a missed opportunity, being told we are not right for something, being let down by people, being let down by things around us. We can all move on and overcome things. We can even use disappointment to motivate us to prove others, and ourselves, wrong. Good things come to good people, don’t let one set back stop you. Tackle the fear, tackle the sadness and carry on.