10 Simple Ways to Overcome Disappointment

Posted by 1 December, 2008


Everyone is disappointed at some point in their life. Perhaps you didn’t receive the grade you were hoping for on your math test. Maybe you didn’t perform as well as you had hoped for in the big championship soccer game.

My recent disappointment is that despite a good amount of effort, my wife and I have not secured our first real estate investing deal that I put into my goals for 2008. We’ve had quite a few that were very close to going through, but we haven’t quite made it over that “hump”.

Disappointment can be an ugly thing. Disappointment can be a temporary feeling for some people or it may drag others to depression depending on the severity of the disappointment and the mental state of the person. Disappointment has actually been classified as a type of mental stress (see reference).

So, what are some ways to overcome disappointment!


1. Exercise – If something is bothering me, I exercise. I don’t exercise to try and forget about the problem necessarily. I exercise and work through the problem in my head and I seem to always come to a solution. Perhaps it’s the endorphins helping out, but I seem to always come to a resolution.

2. Focus on the Future – There’s a reason why the rearview mirror in a car is small, but the front windshield is large. Focus your attention on what’s in front of you. Sure it’s good to know about the past, but DON”T DWELL ON IT!

3. Be with Friends – It’s amazing what being around friends will do for a person. If you are disappointed about something, find and friend and go talk about your disappointment. A lot of times people think their situation is unique when more often than not, many people have been through the same situation. Plus, it’s good to talk it through and a lot of times you’ll realize that it’s probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

4. Focus on What Makes You Happy – If you are feeling disappointed and watching a comedy makes you happy, go down to the store and rent a comedy from a DVD rental center. If you have kids and they make you happy, go play with them. It won’t take long before you forget about your disappointment.

5. Go Read – Reading can be a great tool to get your mind off of what’s bothering you and allow you to focus on the story in the book. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find that reading is a new hobby for you if you are not already an avid reader.

6. Go Walk Your Dog – If you have a dog, walking them is a great way to keep your mind off of your disappointment. A lot of the dogs I’m around are soi friendly, it’s hard not to forget about your disappointment.

7. You Have Your Health – Despite your disappointment, you have your health. I know I get caught up in sports, goals and activities, but instead of focusing on the fact that we came up short in a soccer game or didn’t quite complete a goal, I focus on the fact that I have my health. I have a lot of friends that are not able to play soccer due to their health so I am certainly thankful for the opportunity to still play.

8. Be Alone – This my seem counterintuitive to some of the other ways to overcome disappointment, but sometimes and for some people, it’s good to be alone. I know I sometimes enjoy being alone so I can have some quite time to myself without the distraction of the television of other noises.

9. Motivation – When I am disappointed about an outcome, it motivates me to not to want to feel that way again. For instance, I’m disappointed that I will probably not make my goal of purchasing our first real estate investment. Instead of hanging my head low over the fact that I didn’t accomplish that goal, I’m going to regroup and double my efforts!

10. Forgive Yourself – Just as you are taught to forgive others for their wrongdoings, you must live to forgive yourself and realize that you are human and not perfect. Things don’t always fall the way you want them do, but if you plan and put enough effort into your goal, you’ll definitely give yourself a good chance at realizing that goal.

What other methods or tricks do you use to overcome disappointment?

Photo by Diabloooz, The-O

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Categories : Happiness,Personal Development Tags : , ,

Trackbacks & Pingbacks
December 1, 2008

I would like to add another method which is to.. Focus on the Present. One of my favorite books, The Alchemist talks about focusing on the present in order to make the future better.

If we don’t snap out of bad patterns of thought and bad patters of behavior then we are not going to be able to take the actions to shape the future we would are hopping for.

Posted by Feedback Secrets
December 1, 2008

Focusing on the present sounds great to me. I know I have a tough time doing that. It seems like I’m always planning for the future and how I can improve. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check the Alchemist in the near future.

Posted by HIB
December 2, 2008

Falling down is not a problem, but staying down is. – Nice post. Thanks!

Posted by vilkri
December 2, 2008

Good point Vilkri!

Posted by HIB
December 5, 2008

Excellent list..I would add “Find a hobby”..Spending your time on a hobby can make you forget the disappointment you may have, and it can bring the enthusiasm back to your life.

Posted by myln
December 6, 2008

Excellent post! These are all great ideas. I have used many of them during times of disappointment, and it’s good to be reminded of them and how the did in fact help.

Posted by GaryD
December 6, 2008

Disappointment can be an excellent teacher, I think. Everything happens for good reason … examining the situations we are attracting (or not!) is like holding a mirror up to ourselves.

Also, what may initially seem like a disappointment may in time turn out to be a blessing.

February 1, 2009

I like The Alchemist too, read it several times. I must admit that I sometimes still deviate from the rule of focusing on present and find myself thinking too much about how it will be when…
great blog by the way
cheers, Marcus

Marcus’s last blog post..Foreign Currency Lending Makes Central European Families Insolvent

Posted by Marcus
June 22, 2009

Hey, I really like your illustration about there being a reason why the rearview mirror in a car is small, but the front windshield is large. Nice!

Posted by Steve
November 12, 2009

But what if your future is the disappointment? No matter how hard I’ve tried to change it, my future is limited and now I have nothing to look forward to.

Posted by Kempii
December 19, 2009

well i think disappointmet is a sin….because failure is not an ending, its a begining of new success.

Posted by shehram javed
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