Handling The Trauma Of Disappointment

Feature Article Handling The Trauma Of Disappointment
MAR 1, 2024 LISTEN

Hurts and disappointments can hold gifts.
~ Eleanor Brown
Disappointment is an inevitable part of life. It’s no respecter of persons.

It’s often the result of unmet expectations and unfulfilled dreams and desires. Perhaps a few examples will drive home the point.

You worked hard. You were expecting to be promoted to the next higher rank or grade, but someone else gets promoted over and above you.

You approach a family member who you trust to get a loan to start a business but didn’t get. A student who was expecting to excel in an examination fails miserably.

You planned a wedding, but on the appointed date and time, your- would- be spouse fails to show up. Your spouse disgraces you in the presence of your friends.

The aforementioned are eloquent examples of disappointment. It can impact our life and well-being in many negative ways.

The one who has met with such disappointment can feel hopeless and lost. They may have feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, discouragement and frustration.

Some may grieve and cry. Others may want to avenge.

One can feel unloved if the disappointment is coming from a friend, an acquaintance or family member. It can degenerate into stress, depression and suicidal tendencies.

We must learn to handle disappointment before it kills our dream of building a healthier, better life. Even though disappointment can seem a heavy burden, we can look for the motivation to learn from the experience and move on.

Instead of wallowing in self- pity, there are strategies that can help you bounce back from your difficult situation. They are unpacked below for your benefit.

Get the understanding that life will not always go according to plan. In her book, “Just Listen”, Sarah Dessen wrote: “Disappointment is just the initial shock of the universe reminding you that life doesn’t always go according to plan.”

No success comes on a silver platter. Setbacks in the form of disappointments will occur. However, when we reach down to the depths of our soul, we will discover the resilience we need to navigate past the disappointment.

Disappointments and setbacks should be seen for what they truly are, tools for adaptation and growth. You can always harness the power of disappointment to move forward in life.

When you meet with disappointment, it’s not a signal to stop what you’re doing. It does not tell you to give up on your dream.

Zig Ziglar an accomplished writer and author wisely said, “Disappointment is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” Zig offers us a fresh perspective on disappointment.

It is not a permanent barrier. It’s possible to rise above the challenge of disappointment and achieve success.

Disappointment is part of the process of rising to the top. It’s part of the journey to the world of success.

Instead of feeling let down and being discouraged by disappointment, use it as fuel for your determination and ambition for your journey to success. There is joy and glory in the overcoming of setbacks and disappointments and the subsequent success we achieve.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey advises us to “Turn our wounds into wisdom.” It speaks to the fact that we can learn valuable lessons from our disappointment. And from that we can press on to success.

Most of us hardly know that disappointments also point to the fact that possibilities exist for us to explore and find new paths to achieving our goals. Look for the silver linings in your darkest moments.

At times we may be going after something which may not serve our best interest. When there is disappointment, it’s time to pause and reflect on your goals.

Perhaps nature has planned something better that is waiting for you. A mental shift will put you on that path leading to a better end.

When we get disappointed by people we trust, the tendency is for us to take revenge. We keep hatred, anger and resentment in our hearts against such people.

Buddha wants us to rethink. We are actually hurting ourselves not the other person.

Buddha makes the following wistful remark, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Focus and be grateful for all you have, instead of allowing anger to consume and control you.

Sometimes it is better to move on and avoid any arguments with people who disappoint us. Be with people who buy into your dreams, vision and desires.

People who value you will support your efforts with the resources you need to succeed. Mandy Hale put it beautifully when he wrote: “Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.”

We know disappointment can hurt us terribly and cause us to ruminate on it for long periods. We can make our self- talk a positive one.

Make up your mind that you are not going to allow this to fester and linger on. Disappointment should not get the best of you.

Take in the wisdom seeds of Joel Osteen who said, “You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”

Always remember your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. When you change your negative inner dialogue to a positive one, expect positive things to happen.

It pays to know the difference between expectation and reality. The results we get in real life situations may not match our expectations.

The awareness that our expectations may not be fulfilled will not make us upset when we meet with disappointment. We will see it as normal and not get discouraged.

Instead of allowing our disappointments to keep us in a rabbit hole, we can learn and grow by it. Samuel Johnson, success icon, gives us this wisdom for handling disappointment when he wrote, “I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed.”

Your life can turn into hell when you meet with disappointment. It helps when you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, that people will not always do things in your favour and that challenges are part of the process for getting to the top.

Lori Deschene offers us this useful advice: “Accept that you will never be perfect, life will always have challenges, and other people will sometimes disappoint you. Acceptance is the first step toward peace.” Acceptance of our imperfections in an imperfect world will produce a healing effect on us.

Disappointment is an inevitable part of life. It’s part of the process for getting to the top.

However, disappointment is not entirely bad. We can grow by it and even thrive because of it.

We will be grateful if we get over our disappointment and achieve our goals. Our success will be more meaningful if we overcome the plague of disappointment.

To conclude my thoughts, here is my favourite quote on disappointment by motivational expert Lori Deschene, “Sometimes you just have to take a step back, take stock of your life, and recognize what isn’t serving you. It might be a relationship that causes you nothing but heartache, a pattern of behavior that sets you up for disappointment or failure, or even just a refusal to accept reality for what it is. Whatever it is that causes you pain, find the self-awareness to be honest with yourself and the strength to let go. Nothing will change till you do.”

Yours in inspiration,
Abundant Robert K. AWOLUGUTU
Author of Manifestation Secrets Revealed.