Disappointment sucks. Not knowing how to manage disappointment makes it worse.

We all get disappointed in life. It’s impossible to avoid. So, the challenge becomes how to manage disappointment in a healthy way? Yes, it is possible and we’re going to show you how to do it. It’s not as hard as you think and with a little practice, you’ll be an expert.

First, what is disappointment?

Disappointment is the state of being dissatisfied, discontented, or frustrated. A loved one hates you, or is in trouble, is tough to take. Wanting financial security and watching it drift away is also painful. How to get out of it? You’ve heard of the animals in traps (and even humans) that bite off a limb to escape and survive. That technique may work in the wild, but doesn’t work with the spiritual condition. And disappointment is a spiritual condition. We’re going to be disappointed by something almost every day, until we get out of the habit.

Life is disappointing right now

Who hasn’t been disappointed by something in the pandemic? Events were canceled, trips were canceled, jobs were lost, people got sick. It’s impossible to avoid disappointment in life right now. However, it’s important to remain in reality and as solution-oriented as possible.

The Real Vs. Imagined Trap

If you are actually caught in a trap and don’t have a cell phone to call for help and can’t get out even by gnawing off your feet, you have good reason for frustration and disappointment. For most everything else there is a solution.

Disappointments are nothing but failed expectations. If you expect your utilities to work, your loved ones to be reasonable and love you back, your flights to be on time and connect, your business opportunities to pan out just as you imagined they would, then you are bound to be disappointed quite a lot in life. Think of disappointments as rocks that drag you down. Here are 5 ways to let go of the weight.

1. Avoid Disappointment By Lowering Your Expectations

Knowing that you have no control over the weather, equipment, billing systems, and the behavior of other people, you don’t have to take any setback as a personal disappointment. Planning without expecting any particular outcome lowers the stakes. It helps to know the negative outcome doesn’t matter that much.

2. Be Grateful For Small Solutions

There is a feeling of relief and mastery when you repair what can be repaired. Lorna fixed her electricity and phone issues with two phone calls and the airline got her home on a nonstop flight. Arriving home safely filled her with joy, as did seeing the sunrise, and reuniting with her dog.

3 Letting Go Is The Key To Resilience

An author we know was rejected so much she was frequently in despair. It felt so personal. Judy thought she was a good writer and felt as if editors were torturing her every time her work was turned down. Other people we know experience the same feelings when they have a hard time getting a job, are laid off or fired, get hurt by a friend, lover, or family member. Or they simply feel awful when others seem to be having fun. The Taylor Swift song “Shake it Off” has been such a success because shaking it off is the key to resilience. Imagine putting those rejections in a party balloon and letting go the breeze take them far far away.

4. Be Optimistic

It is a fact that optimistic people are happier, experience fewer disappointments, and enjoy life more. Optimistic people also live longer. Optimism brings also hope and confidence. It is the opposite of expectation. Think optimism as a lifesaver that buoys you up and keeps you safe in troubled waters while disappointment is a heavy weight that can drag you down.

5. Practice Self-Care And Journal

Use whatever recovery tools you have to keep your spirits up. Journaling is a wonderful activity to get your thoughts clear and on paper. Writing about the disappointment might help you see things differently. A little self-care can also help combat disappointment. Do little things to make yourself feel better and soothe the soul.


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation. Leslie is a proud member of Rotary International.

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