Are You Letting Your Disappointments Destroy You?

This is part 2 of a 4-part series on dealing with disappointment.

  1. Why Disappointment Is Good
  2. Are You Letting Your Disappointments Destroy You?
  3. How To Deal With Disappointment
  4. My Experience with Disappointment and How I Overcame It

Night time at the Desert

How do you normally deal with your disappointments? Do you block them out of your life? Do you sleep them off and hope that you will feel better when you wake up? Do you tap into them as a source of energy for your future goals?

Dealing with Disappointments In Destructive Manners

Many people are caught like fish out of water when they are faced with disappointment. Because they are not taught on how to deal with it, they end up adopting various destructive approaches instead.

1. Avoidance by numbing yourself with other activities

Some people try to drown out or tune out of their disappointment by engaging in anything that takes their mind off the subject. They may partake in activities such as partying, hanging out, sleeping. They push themselves into going through the motions of daily life so they can just operate in auto-pilot mode without thinking. Some turn to addictions such as retail therapy, playing games, emotional eating, sex or even stimulants such as alcohol and drugs. These people seek solace in whatever that is within their radius, in their effort to avoid being alone with their disappointment. Rebound relationships are commonly formed for this reason, where the person tries to get over the previous relationship without having to deal with it directly.

While these give a temporal uplift in the short-run, they do not resolve the issue. Soon after, they face another situation which leads to disappointment again. Instead of properly resolving the problem, their immediate reaction is to turn to the same set of activities and actions to drown out the emotions. This eventually continues in a downward spiral.

2. Denying your goals and dreams

In the longer term, some block out their dreams and goals in life, pretending they don’t exist. They develop dual personality halves – on the outside, they erect a wall which serves as a form of defense mechanism; on the inside, they hide their real self and desires underneath. They condition themselves into not setting any expectations, since disappointment will not occur where there are no expectations.

For example, people who have been scarred by negative relationships tend to develop barriers to love. On the outside, they appear aloof and cool; however on the inside they long to find their special someone. Because they fear getting hurt, they deny their desire for relationships and refuse to let people into their lives. At some point in the future, this denial catches up with them and it creates a backlash. Have you ever met such people before? They look like they don’t care, but you know on the inside, they really do care. As they block out their desires, they in turn make themselves more miserable in the long-run instead.

3. Giving up on your goals and dreams

There is another group of people who give up on their goals and dreams. While they still long for their goals, these people resign to a fate where they will never reach them. They become depressed and self-depreciative, devaluing their own self worth and thinking they are not meant to achieve anything. They spend more effort everyday trying to convince themselves and people around them that they will never ever achieve their goals, as opposed to acting on them.

What Happens When You Deal With Disappointments Destructively

If you have ever dealt with disappointments in the above manner, you are not properly dealing with them.

In the first part of the series Why Disappointment Is Good, we discussed that one of the reasons disappointment is good is because it represents passion for a cause. The higher your disappointment, it means the stronger your passion is.

Whenever you try to drown out your disappointment, deny your goals and dreams or even give up on them, you are really just rejecting who you are on the inside. You are denying your desires, your wants, your goals, your dreams, your visions, your real self – everything. These desires originated from somewhere inside of you, for a reason – and that reason is not for them to be denied. To quote Esther and Jerry Hicks from the book Ask And It Is Given, “If you have the ability to imagine it, or even to think about it, this Universe has the ability and the resources to deliver it fully unto you.”

When you try to deny your real desires, you are just hollowing yourself from inside out. You can try to pretend everything is fine and lead your everyday life, but you cannot fool your subconsciousness. Everyday, living feels like an empty act. Over time, you will find yourself sinking from a state of disappointment and dissatisfaction to a state of apathy. You start living everyday in a lifeless, zombie-like manner, with no passion or zest. You feel like you are just shriveled up on the inside; Everything through your lens just seems barren and empty.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way at all. You are not alone in your disappointment. Everyone has faced disappointment at some point – your friends, family, teachers, managers, co-workers, etc. I have faced disappointments before as well, from all different areas of my life. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to you. As much as disappointment is an emotion triggered without your conscious undertaking, you can proactively deal with it in a conscious manner. As long as you learn how you address your disappointments properly and pick up from here, you can lead life the way it is meant to be led – in alignment with your passions and inner desires.

In the next part, we will discuss how to deal with disappointments constructively.

This is part 2 of a 4-part series on dealing with disappointment.

  1. Why Disappointment Is Good
  2. Are You Letting Your Disappointments Destroy You?
  3. How To Deal With Disappointment
  4. My Experience with Disappointment and How I Overcame It

Image: Desert