5-Steps For Coping With Disappointment

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a pretty disappointing year. For some, it has been difficult to cope while others have strived during this time of isolation and quarantine. Coping with disappointment can also be extremely difficult because you may feel unworthy or like you have failed, but disappointment (as much as I hate to say it) is a normal part of life and it’s how you deal with it that makes all the difference. There are a lot of things that make coping in life difficult. 

For example, we have thoughts that are formed in our mind which trigger feelings and emotions. Feelings are experienced consciously which lead to emotions, which manifest unconsciously and bubble to the surface. 

Take this scenario; You’re running late for an event (work or otherwise) and are standing at a street crossing waiting for the little light in the shape of a person giving you the green go to walk across the road. Your thought processes goes a little something like this: “I’m running so late, I’m going to get fired and won’t be able to pay my rent and ill end up homeless”. This thought process triggers feelings of anxiety, worthlessness, hopelessness, and frustration. The emotions that come next are sadness, self-criticism, fear, and rejection. All of which is why you don’t wait for the green go and run across the road to be a little less late. 

Coping with disappointment works the same way. Here’s another scenario (one that I can personally relate to) you’ve spent months working on a project you think people will like and hope will use as a form of self-help. You spend a good portion of your nights and spare time working on this project and the day comes for it to finally be released for people to enjoy. However, no one does. 

The thought process goes like this “I suck at what I enjoy, no one will ever find my projects useful, I should stop and give up now”. Such a thought process triggers feelings of hopelessness and loss of self-worth which cause emotions like sadness, fear and rejection to occur. All of which is why you give up. 

So what can we do to cope better with disappointment? 

Well, we can change our initial thought process, which changes our feelings as well as emotions. 

I know what you’re thinking, HOW do we change these thoughts, feelings and emotions? 

I’m going to make it sound easier than it is, so be sure to practice okay?

You want to not think of the negatives as soon as something negative happens. Easier said than done, I know. But try it. 

Instead of thinking that no one will like your project, think about why you do it – it makes you feel good, it’s enjoyable, it breaks up your routine, someday someone will like it and will buy it – it may not be soon, but it will come if you believe in your project and YOURSELF. This changes the feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness, into more self-worth, confidence and hope! In turn creates positive emotions like joy, interest, gratitude, compassion and pride. 

Steps you can follow to cope better include:

  1. STOP the negative thought.
  2. CHANGE the negative thought into a positive thought.
  3. ASSOCIATE positive thought with positive feelings.
  4. ALIGN the positive feelings with positive emotions.
  5. BRING IT TOGETHER into one giant ball of hope and positivity (thought > feeling > emotion).

Let us know how this works for you or if it doesn’t!

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