How to Bounce Back from a disappointment
I’m a huge sports fan. I love watching my favorite teams compete, and I always root for the underdog. So when things don’t go my way, it’s hard not to feel disappointed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back from failure or disappointment—it just takes time and some self-reflection. Here are some tips on how to get through any rough patch:
Don’t beat yourself up.
It’s normal to feel disappointed when things don’t go according to plan. But instead of beating yourself up over it, remember that you’re still the same person you were yesterday and will be tomorrow. You deserve credit for trying your best and working hard on whatever you were trying to accomplish. And if you let other people down by not meeting their expectations, they’ll understand—they want what’s best for you too.
Don’t be afraid of failure; in fact, embrace it as an opportunity to learn something new or improve yourself (and then try again!). After all, mistakes are how we grow as individuals and teams!
Take a breath.
Take a breath.
This step is simple, but it’s also most important: when you’re feeling angry or upset about a disappointment, remember to take some time for yourself and calm down. Sometimes it takes more than one attempt at breathing deeply to feel calmer. If you don’t manage to relax right away, try again later—and if there’s still no relief after several tries, talk with someone who can help you work through your emotions.
Consider what you’ve learned from the experience.
In order to bounce back from a disappointment, you have to consider the big picture. For example, if your friend suddenly decides they don’t want to hang out with you anymore and they start ignoring your texts and calls, ask yourself: What did I learn from this experience? Did it help me understand my friend better? Did it teach me how people handle conflict or how friendships can change over time? Did it remind me that everyone has different needs and priorities in their lives (and sometimes those need to change)?
The next time someone tells you about an experience that sounds like it might be disappointing for them—or if something actually happens—think about ways that this could be a learning opportunity for both of us. Ask yourself: What can I do differently next time so as not only prevent future disappointments but also learn from them when they do happen?
Think about what you can do differently next time.
It’s not a good idea to make a list of everything you want to do differently next time. That can be overwhelming and defeat the purpose of having a short-term plan, which is to take action right now. Instead, think about what you can do differently this time around that will help ensure better results next time.
Here are some ideas:
- Change your approach – maybe it was too intense or not intense enough
- Ask for help – do you need more resources? Or less?
Find the silver lining.
In the face of disappointment, it’s tempting to feel sorry for yourself, wallow in what-ifs and could-haves and maybes. But this is a surefire way to keep your disappointment alive. Instead, try focusing on the silver lining of your situation: What did you learn from this experience? What did you do well? What would you do differently next time? Or even better—what are some things that would’ve been great if they had gone according to plan but didn’t?
- How can I use these lessons moving forward (for example: If a job interview goes south one day, I’ll avoid wearing green)?
- What’s another opportunity for me right now (for example: Maybe my best friend needs help with her blog)?
Talk to someone who can help.
If the disappointment is something that is weighing on your mind, it can help to talk about it. Consider talking to a trusted friend or family member who knows you well. Or, if you’re feeling particularly down and want to open up more than usual, consider seeing a therapist or other professional who specializes in helping people work through their emotions. In any case, make sure that the person you choose is someone who will listen without judgment or criticism—and remember that sometimes all they need to do is lend an empathetic ear.
At first it may seem like sharing your feelings would increase them rather than decrease them. But in reality, acknowledging how disappointed you feel helps get rid of some of those negative thoughts that are plaguing your head at this time—and once this happens it will be easier for those positive thoughts to come back into play!
Get back in the game, but take it slow if you need to.
Take some time to heal. If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t rush back into things. Give yourself a chance to recover and find a healthy balance between fun and work. If you’re not ready for a full return, that’s okay! Sometimes it’s best just to take it slow until you feel like yourself again. This can help prevent further disappointment from affecting your ability to bounce back from future disappointments in the future.
Remember: You are more than one mistake or failure (or even many). The next time something goes wrong, remind yourself that this doesn’t define who you are as a person—it doesn’t even define this situation! Don’t let one bad experience stop you from trying again in the future; instead, let it serve as motivation for doing better next time around!
You can come back from anything with a little bit of work and planning.
In life, we’re bound to face a few disappointments. We can’t control everything in our lives. But we can control how we respond to those disappointments. Here’s what you need to know:
- You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true: Your thoughts have a lot of power over your emotions and behavior. When something goes wrong, spend some time thinking about how it could have been different—instead of immediately getting angry or frustrated about the situation as it stands now. For example, if your boss didn’t give you the promotion that was promised at the beginning of the year (and then announced that someone else got it), try thinking about all the things that went right throughout the year instead. Maybe they noticed your hard work on another project and gave you more responsibility because of that? Maybe they noticed how well-prepared and professional you were when presenting at meetings? Or maybe they even gave feedback on improvements they’d like to see from next year onward!
Whatever positive things come up for you in these reflective moments are worth celebrating now—rather than stewing over what happened earlier in the day (or week).
We hope that you’ve found these tips helpful, and that they’ll help you bounce back from any disappointments in life. We know how hard it can be, but we also know that with the right attitude and persistence, anything is possible!