8 Ways To Handle Disappointment

The interesting thing about life is that we will all at some point or another face disappointment. Disappointments as my mother would always say, “is a fact of life.” In my years of working with the mental health population, coaching and training, and leading people I have learned that when we don’t deal with disappointment it creates a road of discouragement, despair, and ultimately devastation. However, how do we handle disappointment? How do we deal with the pain that comes along with it? Whether disappointment comes from personal or professional sources, I want to give you 8 quick ways to pick yourself up after disappointment surfaces.


1) Use it as fuel

Frustrations can become wildfires and consume us, or it can be used as wood thrown into a controlled fire. One of the things I have always worked on is not allowing frustration to consume, but rather allow it to fuel my passion and propel me into my destiny.

2) Stay the course

When we allow disappointment to create a road of discouragement, despair and devastation we are getting off the desired course for our lives. My father always told me to H.A.L.T. before making decisions. Whenever you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired take a break before your decision takes you off course.

3) Remain Positive

One of the hardest things to do in dealing with disappointments is to remain positive. Especially when you don’t feel that you are being properly rewarded for your efforts. You have to remember that oftentimes the interview has just begun and there are other people counting on your so don’t lead them astray. Even our momentary negativity can cause long-lasting negative results. Stay positive!


4) Realize it’s their loss and someone else’s gain

I have always had the thought that when people looking over me, that it is their loss and someone else’s gain. Have you ever had a relationship end and then the person of your dreams was discovered? Referencing #1, use that as fuel to improve yourself and make them regret passing you by. In the 1998 NFL Draft, Randy Moss so passionately wanted to be drafted by the Cowboys, but when they went another direction, he made it his aim to make them regret that decision. The Cowboys regretted the decision going 0-7 against Randy Moss, and the Vikings gained a legendary receiver.


5) Let it out (don’t bottle it up)

Whenever we experience disappointment, one thing we must also remember…you cannot hold it in. You must let it out! One time I got horrific news about something I wanted. I felt I was qualified and on my way, but when the team went another direction, I remained professional, walked away, took a deep breath and reminded myself of who I was and where I was going. I am not the sum of this decision, and I will not bottle it inside. Find a productive outlet and let it out!


6) Get some perspective (Stepping stone or Stumbling Block)

Accountability partners are those who are able to see the blind spots in your life. As you think about heroes, how many of them accomplish great things alone? (i.e. Batman had Alfred and Robin) When you are disappointed, consult with your team and get some perspective so that you can use the disappointment as a stepping stone to success and not a stumbling block to destruction.


7) Practice what you preach

If you are who you say you are, regardless if people see it or not, be true to yourself. Don’t shrink back! Remain true to your guiding principles and remain true to yourself. I used to say, “he who listens to himself is foolish, but he who talks to himself is wise.” Sometimes “self” will tell you to give up, throw in the towel, it’s not worth it, but you have to tell “self” who you are and why you do what you do. Practice what you preach, even if there is no one else to listen.


8) Remember God is Sovereign

At the end of the day, we have to remember that “…all things work together for good.” If we believe that God is truly sovereign, then we should also understand that nothing happens that GOd did not permit to take place. He knows all, sees all, and is involved in the overall process. Trust God’s heart when you can’t seem to figure out His’ hand. He cares for you more than you may ever realize and has your best interest in mind.


Remember that life is full of disappointments; however, it’s the individual that properly responds to disappointments that will avoid despair and achieve greater success.



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