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Getting Past Disappointment

If things could always work in our favor life would be nice right? If the outcome to what we hope, desire and expect always pan out life would be one big happy place. Well, uh, unfortunately—in some cases fortunately—life doesn’t work that way. Disappointment will come and you will go down a road of complex feelings mixed with emotions from anger, hurt and sadness combined. It’s life, and in order to get through it, you’re going to come face-to-face with disappointment at one point or another. However, the key is to not let it spiral into chronic discouragement of hopelessness despair. Because let’s face it, beating yourself up over something that just wasn’t meant for you (at the particular time) isn’t going to get you no where. In fact, it’s only going to set you back.

The cycle of life is filled with disappointments. After graduation, you won’t snag your dream job after a few rounds of interviews at your dream companies. Signing the deed for that house or condo may fall apart on the closing date. Having a baby and married by 30 won’t go down as you planned it to. Yes, these things suck. And they are discouraging, but here’s the thing: when disappointment occurs it has to be dealt with. You face it, embrace it and move on.

The same things that can put you down are the things that can lift you up. So next time you don’t receive the news you anticipated, and decide you want to go in a funk, try these four techniques that are almost guaranteed to help overcome disappointment.

1.     BE STILL

One of the best ways to clear your head after it’s been clouded with disappointing news is to pray and/or meditate. A classic gospel song I Won’t Complain tells a story of there have been bad days and good days, but when it’s all said and done the good definitely outweighed the bad, so there is no reason to complain. This is something to think about when you’re clearing your head from being disappointed: although something you were really hoping for to work out didn’t, you have— have to remember this one bad day is nothing compared to the good days you had and all the good days ahead of you.


It’s almost impossible to not get inspired— or re-inspired after hearing Les Brown speak. One of his most infamous lines he screams throughout his speeches is, “YOU HAVE TO BE HUNGRY!” If you’re hungry enough you will take disappointing news as encouragement news instead to keep pushing to whatever you’re trying to achieve. Because again, what you’re after will not always happen the first time around. It may take a few attempts, but you have to be hungry. You have to be determined and not let one no—or a few no’s get you and keep you down. Les Brown and other motivational speakers really have the cure for wiping the blues away and installing motivation in you.

 We all have that person: the one who you can only say certain things to and they are the only one to “get it”. The person you could laugh with at the most silliest things. Yeah, that person—call them. If you’re close enough, they may sense something is wrong and it’s okay to brush it off and make it seem as if it’s nothing and it’s also okay or tell them. Let them know you didn’t get your merit increase or the promotion you was anticipating. Your person will know what to say to relief you from your disappointment, even if it is just for the moment.


There’s no set cure for dealing with disappointment. It’s just several ways to get over it. Disappointment will have you down for a day or two, but you have to bounce back. Do what you have to do. Bounce back. Figure it out. Bounce back. Write quotes of encouragement on sticky notes and stick them all over your wall. Bounce back. Listen to that one song over and over that puts you in a good mood. Bounce back. Listen to TED talks inspiring and poignant speeches. Bounce back. Read stories about all the greats: At 30 Oprah Winfrey was between jobs; Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team; Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65 and failed 1009 times before succeeding . . .and the list goes on. All faced disappointment, and all found a way to bounce back.

 Instead of focusing on the disappointment, place your concentration on your next move and ways you will exceed your expectations. Remember just because you fall don’t doesn’t mean you stay down.

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