|Sometimes things in life don’t work out the way we’d like or expect them to. I’ve had one of these experiences recently and it led to me feeling disappointed. I wont go into what happened here, but will discuss what I learned from the experience.
Disappointment is a mix of emotions including sadness, rejection, frustration and anger. Feeling let down. Feeling like you have failed. None of these emotions or feelings are positive.
But if you take some time to think about it, there is a positive side to disappointment. Here are some positives:
- Learning – You can learn a lot from the experience that caused you to feel disappointed. You can use this learning to help you navigate future similar events.
- Stepping stone to future success – Anyone who is successful has often failed (and no doubt felt disappointment at the same time). But they have used past failures and disappointments as a stepping stone to future success.
- Thing happen for a reason – I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason. Even if you don’t understand it at the time. Opportunities that I have failed to get in the past have nearly always turned out with me feeling grateful that I didn’t succeed in the first place.
- An opportunity to take time out, reflect and re-plan – Feelings of disappointment take you out of your normal logical cognitive functioning. This can be an opportunity to take time out, reflect on choices made and change future plans.
- Motivation – Feeling disappointed initially demotivates anyone. But once you get past this initial stage you can use it to motivate you and use it as springboard to future success.
- To get perspective – Disappointment can be used to put things into perspective. Ask yourself: are you going to care about this in a year’s time? Is it life or death? Will it cause the world to end? Compare what’s important in your life and this disappointment to gain a more positive perspective.
- Look at how well you did – Ask yourself: Could you have done anything more? Would it have changed the outcome? If the answer to both of these questions is no, then recognise that you did your very best. Make peace with yourself and accept this.
- Other opportunities – Know that other opportunities are open to you. Yes, there is always the risk of failure and/or disappointment, but think of the benefits of these opportunities should you be successful. Now imagine how many of these opportunities would you have missed had you not been disappointed now. You might have an even better opportunity awaiting you around the corner.