5 Practices for Dealing with Disappointment

How do you respond to disappointment?

Have you ever been disappointed? During a recent meeting, I had the opportunity to speak with a young leader who was very upset.

Photo by Franke Reymark

When I asked, what was wrong, the flood gates of disappoint poured out. This emerging leader was upset because he didn’t get a promotion.

According to the young leader, he was the best qualified applicant, had a track record of success, and a great interview. So why didn’t he get the job? When he asked his boss what happen, he was told the organization decided to go in a different direction…

This emerging leader’s disappointment was consuming him. As I listened, I was reminded of my own experiences with disappointing situations. I knew exactly how he felt. How? Because over the course of my life I have experienced disappointment on more than one occasion.

At some point in our lives, we have all experienced disappointment.

Disappointment is a natural part of life. The question is not if you ever experienced disappointment but how does one respond when we are disappointed.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles Swindoll

How we respond to disappointment will determine our level of success. Why? Because if we don’t address our disappointment, it can become a root of bitterness in our lives. Therefore, we must shift our mindset from a negative to positive perspective to ensure our continued success.

So how does one deal with disappointment? According to research by Psychology Today, implementing the following five practices will assist us in with dealing with disappointment:

  1. Acknowledge your emotions
  2. Step back and review your mind-set
  3. Recognize your talents and encourage yourself
  4. Seek positive solutions
  5. Make adjustments and try again

Over the course of my life, I have experienced numerous disappointments. Like the young leader I had spoken with, I have also applied for positions and was disappointed when I wasn’t selected. However, early in my career I learned two valuable lessons:

  • First, I learned not to tie my ego to my position because a position does not define who I am.
  • Second, it is just as important how I responded when I didn’t get the position as it was when I did get the position.

Now for the rest of the story…

After the young leader finished venting, I shared the lessons I have learned. I reminded him that a positive mind-set was critical in shaping his ability to move forward.

The young leader smiled and said, “I know you are right, but.” Before he could finish his statement, I reminded him to be positive. He stopped after “but” and smiled as he walked away, saying thank you!

How do you respond to disappointment?

Your friend,

Dr. Kim Moore, guiding you to lead with confidence!

Dr. Kim Moore

Kim d. moore

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