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Dealing with disappointment

How I wish I could immune myself to the disappointments of life, but no matter how I much I try to protect myself, disappointment find its way. Despite my efforts of planning, anticipating and scrupulous dissection of all the important aspects of my everyday living, unwanted consequences abounds—leaving me reeling with questions and frustration. Even if I try my best to avoid its clasp, I’m always caught up when I least expect it.

Oftentimes I am bothered as to the reason of my thwarted expectations. Albeit my efforts to make more predictable what will come ahead, certain events beyond my control destroys the orderly thread for which I try to weave. One of my greatest disappointments is failure. Even with my hard work and meticulous consideration of my methods, failure seems to warrant my every attempts of success. In every avenue of my life, the haunting promise of disappointment threatens my positive expectations. There’s always the nagging of “what if’s” with every endeavors I pursue, and fear visits my thoughts whenever I hope for the best. Perhaps you may dismiss me as being negative, but I believe that most of us have had the same fears once we experienced the bitterness of disappointments.

The question arises as to how to deal with such unfavorable circumstance thrown our way. For most the common responses are denial and rejection. When things don’t go as planned or when an unforeseen hitch nudges us out of our sense of control, we immediately place the responsibility on external forces or shout such injustices through blaming. In our belief that this approach can make amends, we’ve become adamant of this unhealthy response; we continue this practice despite the fact that it does nothing to improve the situation. In the long run, we find ourselves mired in bitterness, confused as to the reason of our misery.

What is disappointment and why must we experience its uncompromising sting? Does it serve any purpose other than the experience of betrayal? Is there something to gain out of this chaos?

The above-posed questions are what oftentimes bother our minds about the true intention of disappointment. With our illusion of dominance above everything, we take pride in our belief that the force of our existence is the only determining force that can shape the events happening unto our lives. Little is our awareness of the fact that there are other forces much powerful that greatly affects the unfolding of life. Without any clear understanding of this truth, disappointments will assume its enigmatic stance. Dealing with disappointment I’ve learned is the best approach to gain something positive out of a seeming negative circumstance.

Being human espouses fallibility. Therefore, anything done under our influence can never be without fault; perfection solely belongs to the domain of the divine. In our effort to gain full control of every situation happening into our lives, we have forgotten the mechanics of chaos over which our existence is subjected. Tolerance we have denied ourselves when dealing with our thwarted expectations. Consequently, we have blinded ourselves of seeing the other side of disappointments.

“What other side do you mean? Disappointments are nothing more than an unwanted experience. What good can it possibly have?” These questions may have brewed on your minds while in the background I’ve been suspected as a crackpot—I hope not J.  An old mantra states that things are not what they always seem. If we stop resisting and start seeing we can go beyond the ugly veil of disappointments to see its underlying purpose, to wit:

  • a sign to guide our way
  • an admonition we must take heed
  • manifestation of our errors
  • a call to redefine our approaches
  • lessons worth learning

We don’t have to settle ourselves with our habitual negative perception of disappointments. Instead, we should be wise enough to maneuver ourselves from our preordained beliefs and open our mind to see the bigger picture. Keep in mind that disappointments are part of our lives, whether we like it or not. If we continue to deny this fact, we’ll never get pass by it. By changing our perception about this experience, our negative connotation associated with disappointments will falter. Then a new perspective will dawn, one that is founded on understanding rather than of confusion. In the process, we will realize our lack and our mistakes. We will see our own shortcomings rather than of others. We will learn to abide rather than to dominate.

So the next time you are bothered by disappointments, look within yourself and consider the following:

  • be aware of your mind’s propensity to resist
  • observe your reaction and desist any temptation of fault-finding
  • understand the fact we cannot control every situation
  • disappointments are a fact of life
  • let go the grudge and learn from the experience
  • pick up the good pieces, evolve, and move on

Wisdom comes in many forms, and one of them is through disappointments.

“Man must be disappointed with the lesser things of life before he can comprehend the full value of the greater.”

–Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

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24 Responses to “Dealing with disappointment”

  1. hassan says:

    On your journey through life, you will undoubtedly face disappointment, both large and small. In fact, the more you aspire to step into a greater life, the greater the risk you face of being disappointed. However, it’s how you deal with it that counts. Disappointment can build character and patience when allowed to do so. It can teach you to learn from your setbacks, accept life with all its unanticipated disappointments, and come out the other side stronger.
    hey walter .great post thanks for sharing this keep going

    • Walter says:

      Such great points you have shared here Hassan. Truly, we can learn from disappointments if we go beyond its ugly veil. :-)

  2. Dealing with disappointment is not always easy. I find it too be extremely hard. The problem is that you only get disappointed by having expectations. Without expecting anything you won’t get disappointed. That’s why you will find that some of your best experiences were when you didn’t have any expectations at all.
    Just my thoughts here ;) .-= Julius Kuhn-Regnier´s last blog ..7 Real Life Bloggers to Inspire You =-.

    • Walter says:

      Dealing with disappointments have never been easy. It is actually hard to bear our failed expectations. But you are right Julius, if we let go of our expectations disappointments will not ensue. :-)

  3. Giulietta says:

    Hi Walter,

    Excellent talk about disappointment. Before I learned how to take my power back, disappointments would crush my spirit. I dwelled on the circumstance, letting it sour my life.

    Then I got to the point where I started to let it go.

    When you think about a disappointment, it’s usually someone else’s choice not to “pick you” for x, y, or z. Doesn’t mean you can’t pick yourself up and move on.

    There’s always another way to look at a disappointment — as you mentioned — you can look at it as an opportunity to change course or stay on course with different folks.

    Thanks! Giulietta the Muse
    .-= Giulietta´s last blog ..Do you live a permission-based life? =-.

    • Walter says:

      Disappointments are indeed spirit crusher, and I have been a victim of it many times. Picking up ourselves and moving on is the right choice to do when faced with this unwanted situation. However, one must be willing to take on the choice of emancipating from their disappointments. :-)

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Walter,

    It’s a common human condition – facing disappointments and failures. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced either emotion, but you provided great options to rethink about disappointment and failing. After all “things are not what they always seem” is very true. That perfect job? Didn’t turn out to be so perfect after all. That great new toy that you wanted? Well, it’s been put in the cupboard along with all the other toys. That brand new relationship you expected to last forever? Well, it didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted. These are all life lessons that we can use to make more meaning in our lives.

    Thanks for sharing,
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Are You Paying Attention? Help Can Come From Anywhere =-.

    • Walter says:

      I do believe that disappointments are more of lessons to be learned rather than a painful experience we must bear. Our most important shield to protect us from its sting is to let go of our expectations; without expectations, the hidden lessons will be revealed. :-)

  5. Alissa says:

    Dissapointment sucks. I’ve been turned down for job interviews a bunch of times in a row and it was really disappointed. It’s really easy to spiral those negative thoughts out of control and turn it into depression. We definitely have to be careful!
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..The Phrase I Hate… =-.

  6. Emily Jane says:

    I think how easily we are disappointed stems a lot from our personality type (Myers-Briggs), but I think our knowledge and personal awareness are key in telling how we cope with diappointments. If we know we are more sensitive than most (ahem!) and are AWARE of that, then we are capable of questioning whether it’s our own tendencies or the other person’s intentions that are causing the disappointment. And if it is in fact the latter, then we have to remember that we all have a choice in how we deal with anything, disappointment included, and we can actively make that choice to learn and grow as much as possible from the situation rather than being consumed by it. :) .-= Emily Jane´s last blog ..On Writing… and Reading to Hundreds of Strangers!! =-.

    • Walter says:

      Self awareness is the key to mastering our emotions. The more we master ourselves, the better we can control our responses to unwanted situations–especially disappointment. :-)

  7. Jean Sarauer says:

    “Wisdom comes in many forms, and one of them is through disappointments.” This is so true, but I must admit there are many times I have not welcomed Wisdom when she knocked on my door in the form of disappointment. I am getting better though and do try to find the lessons to carry with me on the road ahead.
    .-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..How to Write Riveting Review Posts =-.

    • Walter says:

      Wisdom serves the purpose of elevating our understanding. The more we gain wisdom, the lesser is our suffering from things and events that we don’t understand, including disappointments. :-)

  8. Nacie Carson says:


    I love your thought that disappointment can be looked at as a way sign post on the road of life. It’s amazing the number of disappointments I’ve had that have, I realize after some time passed, not been very disappointing at all – instead, they have been opportunities disguised as disappointments!

    Wonderful piece!

    .-= Nacie Carson´s last blog ..5 Free Things To Do While Unemployed =-.

    • Walter says:

      I have learned that life is all lessons. There are certain events in our lives that are unwanted, but our resistance to such events is prompted by our lack of understanding. By going beyond our false perception, we can see the wisdom at the other side. :-)

  9. Travis says:

    Maybe I’ve just become more carefree over the years, or maybe my entire perspective on life has changed, but I’ve noticed that I’m less bothered by “disappointments” than I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, we all experience them, yet as cliche as it sounds, when presented with a disappointing situation I try and focus on the lessons learned as opposed to failing to achieve my desirable outcome.
    .-= Travis´s last blog ..Healthy Lifestyle Series Part 3: The Power of Carbohydrates =-.

  10. Walter says:

    I believe you did acquire a great understanding about the true nature of disappointments. Focusing on the lessons is the most appropriate approach in dealing with our disappointments, just as what you are doing. :-)

  11. Mandy Allen says:

    Hi Walter, my disappointments always seem connected to inappropriate expectations – so I just stopped expecting! It’s amazing how much difference it makes!

    Enjoy the journey.

    .-= Mandy Allen´s last blog ..Can you afford it? =-.

    • Walter says:

      Indeed it is Mandy. We need to make the choice of abandoning our expectations, as you’ve said, it will make a big difference. :-)

  12. Hi Walter,

    I think it helps to realize that the bigger the expectations the bigger the disappointment will be.

    We need to have certain expectations which helps us to motivate us to work towards the goals that we want to achieve.

    Perhaps dwelling less on the expectations and hopes and staying more in the present while taking the necessary actions that will move us forward might lessen the blow and disappointment when things don’t turn out exactly the way we wanted.

    At seems to be helping me when I remember to stay more in the present.

    .-= Vance@Make Money Online ´s last blog ..Make Money Online NOW, 5 Steps To Your First Online Dollar =-.

    • Walter says:

      It’s amazing the wisdom of the present moment. While expectations dwell in the future, disappointments will rob us of the manifestation of what is. Expectations is part of our make-up, but we must learn not to dwell in it; life will always be uncertain, and if we expect life to be what we want to be, then disappointments will ensue. :-)

  13. Hi Walter–

    Sorry, I’m late to the party. One thing I like to remember when dealing with adversity:

    Proverb: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present.

    Oh, and Michael Jordan didn’t even make his high school basketball team…!

    We must fail repeatedly in order to succeed. :D

  14. Great post, last thing you want is seeing a disappointed person this post will be of great help to such persons

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