Handling Disappointments

Jan 29, 2024
handling disappointments, defeat, personal growth

Life is not always easy.


And if you are a successful, high-achieving individual but you're wondering how to handle a disappointment, then keep reading.


Perhaps you were passed over for a promotion. Or maybe you didn't land the position you had set your heart on after several rounds of interviews. Maybe a meaningful relationship has ended. Or perhaps you have experienced another type of loss or disappointment.


Disappointments are a part of life, but they don't have to define you.


As explained by Maya Angelou: "You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it."


When disappointment is high, it can be difficult to understand the "necessary" role that disappointment plays in your personal growth.


However, it is important to learn how to deal with disappointments in a healthy way. Here are three simple steps to help you handle disappointments:


1. Acknowledge your feelings: It's okay to feel disappointed. Don't try to push your emotions aside, instead, take some time to sit with your feelings and process them.


2. Be honest about yourself: Are you seeing common themes in your response to disappointment? Ask yourself, what can I learn from this? Or, how can I use this experience to grow?


3. Rise from it: Look for the good in the situation and support yourself in moving forward.


Today, I can see that disappointment has been an excellent teacher to me. But earlier in my life, I would dwell on disappointments, often rehashing or replaying scenes vividly in my mind (sometimes for weeks or even months).


After a few decades of this, I grew in self-awareness and started looking at disappointment from a new lens. I decided to change myself from the inside. Life is so much richer now, in spite of disappointments!


As the poet Rumi said, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”


Remember, disappointments are a natural part of life. And with the right mindset, you will emerge as a better version of yourself.


Listen here for more suggestions to deal with disappointments:


Stephanie Hessler is a High Performance Coach. She helps high-achieving corporate leaders and business owners who want to rapidly advance their careers and create a vision others want to follow, but have hit a roadblock. Therefore, Stephanie guides her clients through a transformational coaching journey called the BLISS Accelerator to turn their goals and dreams into reality. Previously, she worked in the investment business, including on Wall Street, for sixteen years. She earned her MBA at The Wharton School and her BA at Wellesley College. 

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