How to Deal With Disappointment – Learn From It

Just about the time I started the draft for my book, developing a new product and feeling pretty good about the way things were shaping up, out of the blue a zinger hit me! Things just didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I was disappointed and my confidence level plummeted.

I could have easily taken refuge under the covers, never to emerge again from my self-imposed exile into inertia. And, literally, I did retreat to the safety of my bed for a while.  I was unmotivated and ready to throw in the towel.

One day as I sat at my desk mindlessly shuffling a stack of papers, I was lifted out of my fog by one of my favorite vocalists, Diana Krall, belting out “Pick Yourself Up and Start All Over Again” on the radio:

Nothings impossible I have found
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again
Don’t lose your confidence if you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off and start all over again

Bingo! That was exactly the message I needed to hear!

Instead of being productive and focused I realized how much time and energy I had given to just one disappointment. I let it plunge me into a state of doubt and confusion. I let it zap my energy, chip away at my confidence and mire me in a state of unproductive “busy” work.

Has that ever happened to you?

You may be wondering how I could get stuck in such bottomless pit. Well, I got there like everyone else – by allowing it. I allowed it by dwelling on what “could/should” have been and letting one setback color my world with a smokescreen.

But the good news is I learned from disappointment and can now get back on track and silence the negative chatter that distracted me from starting fresh.

Here’s what I learned from dealing with disappointments:

  • Reevaluate Your Expectations – Disappointment may mean that you’ve set an unrealistic expectation. When you encounter disappointment and find yourself procrastinating and stuck. Instead of staying mired in time wasting, unproductive activities, use the time to reflect and re-focus on your expectations. The result just might be more clarity, relaxation and direction.
  • Acknowledge setbacks but don’t dwell on them – Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t turn out the way you expected. Remember, a setback is a temporary condition that you can use to re-evaluate your priorities. Dwelling on a setback only serves to erode your confidence and keep you from achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. The key is to learn from the lesson lurking in the setback and move on to things that give you a sense of accomplishment and success.
  • Go with the flow – If I’m procrastinating, maybe my mind and body is telling me to just “be”.   Down time is not a bad thing. And, when all is said and done, it’s good to just “chill out” – take a nap or go for a walk to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.

So, when you’re dealing with disappointment and things don’t turn out the way you expected, take solace from the song, pick yourself up and start all over again.

How do you pick yourself up when faced with setbacks, procrastination and disappointment?

And, to get more motivational tips, I invite you to visit to join our Self-Care Circle and get your free Special Report, Building Strong Boundaries that Create Breathing Space in Your Hectic Life.

Gladys Anderson |Self-Care Genie

Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, teachers, therapists and other caregiving women to set limits so they have more time, and energy to devote to self-care.

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