As we go through life we all have moments, where things don’t quite work out the way we hope they would. We get disappointed, its part of life. What really can make a difference in your life is how you go about dealing with that disappointment.
So what is Disappointment?
The word disappointment can cover a range of emotions from sadness to rejection to disillusionment. We feel disappointment when things don’t turn out quite as we had hoped for, or when certain things in life fail to meet our expectations.
One of the most common misconceptions within the self improvement movement is that all one needs do is change their way of thinking so as to avoid disappointment in the future. This is straight-up not true. You won’t turn disappointment into victory by wearing rose-tinted glasses any more than you can turn a stone brick into a gold one with a can of gold spray-paint. This is not the solution; it is only an escape method.
Disappointment is part of life and so is learning to deal with it. You must learn to take the rough with the smooth and learn to time out to learn from your mistakes and analyze where you think you might have gone wrong. You should learn, also, that whilst it is only by taking risks that one can come out way ahead of the pack, the truly successful people are those who have learned to take calculated risks and always have a backup plan. So, no matter how excited and confident you might be, don’t go all-in with just one idea or investment- always have a Plan B.
Disappointment and Relationships
Some people become so consumed by their relationships that, when breakups occur, their disappointment becomes so emotionally crippling that they remain unable to function. To get past a broken relationship you must stop all contact with your previous partner, at least until you have moved past the pain and sadness of the breakup, in order to give yourself time to heal. Instead try and spend more time with the other people in your life who make you feel good, like your family or your best friends. Getting over a broken heart can be one of the hardest things in life to do, but it’s not going to happen if you’re moping around the house by yourself listening to Radiohead.
Disappointment and Depression
The final stage of disappointment is depression. Some people make it out of the disappointment stage without sinking deeper, while others land face flat into depression. It is vital that you understand one way of preventing depression is by dealing with disappointment. False notions that nothing works or there is no more hope must be stamped out as quickly as possible. For every problem there is always at least one solution, what is often lacking, however, is the courage to face those problems head on.
The Causes of Disappointment
Cause #1 Being a Perfectionist
Whilst there is nothing wrong with setting high and ambitious goals for oneself, one must also realize that there are forces out there which we cannot control. I’m not referring to anything spiritual here, but rather to those tangible forces which hold our universe such as friction, gravity, time and chaos. There are no true straight lines, smooth surfaces or perfect circles, all objects follow their own path and time flows at its own steady pace. Our world would not exist without a healthy sprinkle of chaos, it allows for genetic mutation, the growth of forests and the unique crystalline structure of a snowflake.
Unfortunately it also makes the weather unpredictable, causes stock prices to plummet, machines to break down and computer networks go berserk.
Living in an imperfect world makes it an illusion for anyone to try to lead a perfect life. So one should have the determination to strive for absolute perfection, but tempered with the wisdom that comes from knowing, that true perfection doesn’t exist.
Cause #2 Overconfidence
Overconfidence can lead to disappointment. To be a winner you must learn to look at life in its balance. People who are shy or introverted may sit in their comfort zones and have few expectations, while those who are overconfident may become disappointed as a result of having unrealistic expectations. The truly successful are those who believe in themselves and their abilities and are confident enough to take calculated risks, but never reckless ones. So although developing self-confidence is a stepping stone to success, you should also be sure never to make uninformed or irrational decisions or let greed cloud your judgment.
Cause #3 False Notions about Failure
Sometimes people get disappointed because of false notions about failure. A lot of people who have not achieved all that they would like, none the less, love to talk about how successful they are. You might wonder whether they are trying to convince you, or themselves. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to seek out role models or mentors.
Seek out successful entrepreneurs in your locality that you admire and offer to buy them lunch in exchange for one of their stories, or read the biographies of those you admire most. Those who are truly successful, comfortable with their success and content in their lives are far more likely to talk candidly, perhaps even self-mockingly, about their failures as these are the stories they find more interesting.
It is important to know that countless others have tried and failed before you, only to have tried again. Some of the world’s most successful businessmen and women faced bankruptcy and ruin, but tried again. Some of the greatest artists, writers, actors, musicians and composers ever born received rejection after rejection before achieving recognition. Even some of history’s greatest luminaries, from Socrates to Edison to Einstein, were jeered and ridiculed and often labeled imbeciles.
Treat failure as the most valuable form of feedback, learn from your mistakes and endeavor to always be more flexible and adaptable to change. If you are serious about achieving success know that failure can be your friend. The road to success is littered with failure and as you walk along it you will find it becomes easier to side-step. It is only by learning from your mistakes, accepting certain setbacks as inevitable and never straying from the path, that you will ever reach your ultimate destination.
Cause #4 Setting Unrealistic Goals
It is very easy to feel sometimes that everything and everyone is going against you, but if you think about that statement rationally, you will realize it’s nonsense. Low expectations are just as dangerous as overly high ones, you should always strive to have realistic expectations and set realistic goals and targets. For instance, saying, “I want to retire before I’m 50”, is a realistic goal but wanting to quit your day job and make a million in three months with some get-rich-quick system is not.
In part 2, we look at how to deal with Disappointment