Disappointment, what to do with it?

Life is a journey filled with adventures, excitement, love, and happiness.  Some moments will take your breath away because they are so big, beautiful, and magical.  Imagine how happy a couple is when they get engaged, get married and how excited they are when they hear they have a baby on the way.  In these moments we are by nature simply happy and content.

Unfortunately, life is a journey filled with sadness, regret and disappointment as well.  Some moments will take your breath away because bad things happen, some moments you expect others you don’t, either way what you experience in that moment might leave you feeling disappointed, sad, and regretful. Imagine not getting that dream job you set your heart on, losing the person you love because things didn’t work out.  Imagine you set a goal for yourself, and you couldn’t stick to the plan and then feel disappointed in yourself. 

It is feelings of disappointment and sometimes regret that must be addressed, we then get a clearer understanding of why we feel the way we feel and can learn how to handle future situations better.

Internal disappointment we feel at ourselves.  For example, your relationship is not working, you have tried everything from changing yourself to couples therapy, but then nothing in the relationship changes, and eventually you make the decision to end the relationship.  You might feel regret because of things you said and did in the relationship, and you tell yourself you are a “failure”.

An important thing to remember when you feel like this, and it is applicable to any situation where you feel disappointed in yourself, is that you must realise that you made the choices you made and did the things you did, with the knowledge and experience that you as a person had at that moment.  The phrases “I should have” or “If only I didn’t do that”, will only lead to more feelings of regret and disappointment.  Don’t allow your mind to go there, those phrases are in past tense for a reason.

External disappointment is disappointment that you can’t control, for example fighting COVID-19, yet again we are back on level 4 and more restrictions have been implemented again.  We don’t have control over this, and it might leave you feeling discouraged, hopeless and yes, disappointed.  The 3rd wave is taking more away from us, and it is undeniable that this is devastating for everyone on different levels.

However, during this time, we must focus on what we can do to feel more in control of the situation. When we feel more in control, we can process our thoughts and feelings better, thus empowering ourselves to get through difficult times.

So, what are some of the things we can do?

  • Firstly, accept that this is the circumstances we are currently in.
  • Let it out, express the reasons for feeling disappointed, helpless, and even scared.
  • Stick to the basics to protect yourself and those around you, wear a mask, sanitise wherever you go, be mindful of what you touch and how you greet people. Stay home if you can.
  • If you lost your income, think about what you can do to generate an income again, keep going even though you might feel discouraged. When you have a plan, you will feel more motivated.
  • Talk, to family, friends, or a therapist. It is ok to ask for help, especially now, talk.