At the very end of 2020, I found out that my non-fiction book, Finding Your Way Back To You, was no longer going to be published. I’d spent a long ass time working on this book, sharing my story and pouring my heart and soul into it in the hope that it might help someone else and be a comfort for someone struggling. I won’t go into details as to why this decision was made but alas, here we are. And today I want to talk about dealing with disappointment.
I think an important thing to mention before we get into the bulk of this post is the title. “Dealing with disappointment”, as opposed to “avoiding disappointment”. Because disappointment is inevitable. Repeat after me:
Disappointment is inevitable.
And I know this all sounds very doom and gloom but the quicker we acknowledge and accept it, the better. Whether it’s disappointment you’ve experience in your career (like me), a romantic relationship, a friendship that’s gone South, the government (cough cough) or something else, it’s coming. Whether you like it or not honey, it’s coming.
Related read: Finding Your Way Back To You When You Feel Lost
But I’m a pretty optimistic and positive person and I’m ALWAYS one for finding the lessons and the personal growth in hard times. As rubbish as it feels at the time, I always know deep in my heart that I’m going to be okay and I’m going to find my way again.
Just like going a poo, disappointment is a part of life that you just have to do. And dealing with disappointment is vital in how you cope with it and move on from it.
Here are 5 tips to help you when you’re dealing with disappointment:
Feel all the feels
I feel like with disappointment, you go through a sort of process. A bit like the grief process. And the first thing you’re going to feel is fucking sad man. Or angry. Or deflated. Those first onslaught of emotions aren’t going to be nice ones but they need to be felt in order for you to move on.
So… when the feelings come up – let them. Don’t hold it in. Even if it means breaking down in the middle of Tesco, just do it. You have to let it out before you can move on. And I truly believe that negative emotions (such as disappointment) can build up in the body. You might even notice yourself feeling more achy or tired during this phase.
Give yourself time to accept the disappointment
After I announced that my book was no longer going to be published, I got a slew of lovely tweets and messages with a lot of them asking what I was going to do now. Am I going to try other publishers? Am I going to consider self publishing? And whilst I obviously appreciate all the comments and suggestions, what I actually did was…
Nothing. Not a thing. In fact, I tried to think about my book as little as possible in January because I felt like I needed a clean slate with it. This was my time to accept that this thing in my life wasn’t going to happen anymore but that’s okay.
Consider the fact that it might not have been your path
This is a point that not everyone will agree with or resonate with BUT if you’re into your woo-woo stuff like me, then you might be like, “HELL YES”. So assuming you’re that sort of person, this might be a really important point for you to consider when dealing with disappointment.
I’m very much a believer in the power of the Universe and a divine path that’s been set out for us. Have you ever supposed to have done something, didn’t then found yourself doing something better? I believe this is the Universe gently guiding you in the right direction.
Make an action plan
Once the feelings are out of the way and you’ve accepted that this thing you tried to do failed or that person you trusted let you down, it’s time to make an action plan. And of course, this will vary extensively depending on the type of disappointment that you’ve faced.
Broken up with a partner who cheated on you despite thinking they were your soul-mate? Perhaps you plan of action could include removing all their stuff from your house, deleting them from social media, joining a dating site or something of that nature.
Remind yourself of everything you’re amazing at
And finally, disappointment can leave us feeling pretty naff about ourselves. We can start to question our abilities or whether we’re worthy. Our self worth and self love can definitely take a beating here. But remind yourself that it’s not your fault and consider making a list to expand on this one.
For my life coaching recently, I was asked to write a list of all my achievements and things I’m good at to prove to myself that I am good at something and I am worthy. This is something I struggle with, so I know how important it can be to have those reminders.