Question:Disappointment - in work and life - is inevitable. Whether it's being passed up for a promotion or finding out from your crush he/she's just not that into you, what are some healthy techniques for getting over a setback? Is it having a 24 hour pity-party?
Answer:Disappointment – of the type you are asking about – is basically a grief process. We have to go through the stages of grief before we can actively move on to be more productive and “rebound.”
When we are disappointed, we try to deny what happened. We get mad that it didn’t happen. We try to bargain to see if we can still make it happen. We get depressed that it didn’t happen. And eventually, we accept – it’s not going to happen.
Knowing that the only way past this is to accept it, I try to get to acceptance as quickly as possible. I do this by embracing reality. I don’t try to deny it or bargain with it. It is what it is and the sooner I accept that, the sooner I can move on.
It’s not pretty, and it doesn’t feel good – but this is a lot like ripping off a bandage – just do it and get it over with. Stop fighting with reality – you are going to lose.
Interestingly enough, as soon as you accept reality, that’s when you can start working on your work arounds and either come up with another goal or figure out another way to get to the original one. I think what happens is that people are so afraid of losing their dream; they fight the reality of things not happening the way they want. What I have found is that by accepting reality fearlessly and quickly, I am more agile and better able to adapt to the reality of my situation and I am better able to turn things around in my favor.
So reality based problem solving. That’s my advice.