We all face disappointments at some point in our lives. Some may be life shattering, while others may not be as hard; but at some point in our lives we will face disappointment. The causes of disappointment vary. It may be that you were overlooked for a much anticipated promotion. Perhaps your teenage daughter became pregnant before completing high school, or your teenage son has given you the news that he is about to become a father. Maybe your spouse has betrayed you, or a friend has revealed a secret you shared in confidence. Perhaps you have failed at achieving a goal you were actively pursuing. Whatever the situation, you are disappointed and cannot seem to overcome it; but, how you face this disappointment will determine your future happiness and affect your state of mind.
If you hold on to the pain and emotions you’re experiencing as a result of this disappointment, you may find yourself growing bitter and depressed. Such emotions take a toll on our emotional, mental and physical health. Therefore, it is important that we learn to deal with disappointment.
I recently saw a quote on social media by Brad Warner that gives a pretty accurate definition of disappointment. He states, “Disappointment is just the action of your brain readjusting itself to reality after discovering things are not the way you thought they were“. So, you’re readjusting to reality; but how long will this readjustment take? Timing will be different for everyone, as we all have different tolerance levels. However, in order to conquer disappointment there are a few things of which you need to be cognizant:
1. The person who failed you is human and therefore prone to failure;
2. You can make the decision to heal or to remain engulfed in self-pity and despair;
3. You can learn a lesson from the disappointment and use it to guide you in the future; and
4. Your life is too valuable to allow this incident to take you down the road to depression and bitterness.
You may not see it now. All hope may seem lost – but it’s not. Know that you have a future, and the pain of your disappointment will not last forever. Stop feeding it. Stop fueling it, and look for the good in the situation. The hollow feeling of disappointment will gradually leave as you make a concerted effort to rise above it. Look for the good in your situation. Ask yourself: “What can I learn from this?” Then, make a concerted effort to let go of your negative emotions. Do not allow the disappointment to leave you bitter, alienated or ashamed. Do not lose your positivity in life. Rather, let it be a period of growth and strengthening. Robert Altinger said, “The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.” The candle will shine, sometimes a little dimmer but it will shine.
Be that candle that will not be extinguished by life’s disappointments. Be that candle! Get up! Pursue your passion! Don’t give up on your dreams, your life or on others.
Another quote from an anonymous individual says, “Do not let today’s disappointment cast a shadow on tomorrow’s dreams.” Rise up! Take charge of your happiness. Pursue your dreams and passion. Love as you have always loved. Do not let that disappointment change you and allow you to wallow in bitterness. Cross over that mountain of disappointment and witness the beauty of the valley as you move on.