Maybe your job isn’t what you thought it would be. Maybe you’ve not met your financial goals. Or maybe your spouse has been profoundly changed by a radical diagnosis like Parkinson’s. Maybe you never expected or wanted to move away from where you used to live, much less be where you are now. Whatever the “what if” is that vexes you, for the sake of your soul, it is critical that you address this kind of circumstantial disappointment as soon as possible. Here are 7 things to do when you’re feeling disappointed.
Table of Contents
Give yourself an opportunity to grieve.
Grief is not just for death. There are times when we grieve the loss of friendships, love, health, dreams, expectations… Many things can be grieved. Giving yourself, and your spouse, permission to grieve is often an important step to healthy progress and growth.
Don’t keep blaming others, especially your spouse.
“Forgiveness is crucial to progress.”
Don’t keep blaming yourself.
Maybe you look back and realize that something you did or didn’t do is at the crux of your disappointment. Again, identifying that possibility is different than obsessing over it. You may need to forgive yourself as much as anyone else.
Accept what you cannot change.
A widely known prayer attributed to American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It’s hard to change what we can when we haven’t figured out or accepted what can’t be changed. Letting go of what’s over and done is critical to embracing what can be possible in the future.
Accept the lack of control of most things in our lives.
Much of our disappointments stem from a false sense of control. When we can understand and accept that there is far less under our control than we probably wish, it becomes easier to own what little we can control.