Disappointment has a bitter taste. Most of us will have experienced it - perhaps combined with an unwanted shot of rejection and a side order of despair.
Disappointment can be crushing. It encourages a rash of negative feelings - shame, hurt, anger, despondency. When you've gone all out for something, the disappointment of not getting it can hurt as much as a physical blow to the stomach.
Given that disappointment is part of life, how do you deal with it?
I certainly don't have a definitive answer. Instead, here's what I'm slowly learning from the life knocks I've encountered along the way...
Time Don't expect to get over it immediately. If it meant a lot, it will hurt a lot. Slowly but surely the sting of the smack will subside. At the very least, you'll get better at living with it.
Perspective If you're anything like me, you'll have experienced other such hurts. Being told that you'll bounce back is an oversimplification. But you will survive to tell the tale.
You're not alone While your particular disappointment is personal to you, bear in mind that almost everyone suffers setbacks in life. Avoid the temptation to fall into the role of victim.
Experience Something can be learned from each life experience. However deep the disappointment. However painful. However stomach-churning.
In the words of the Dalai Lama: "When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
And if you feel your disappointment represents failure, remember this quote from writer and novelist Michael Korda:
"The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure propels them into some new attempt at succcess."
So give yourself time. Acknowledge the disappointment. Remember that others have suffered similarly. Learn the painful lessons. Regroup, move on and start afresh. You can, and will, find the strength.
How do you deal with disappointment? Leave a comment and let me know.