Disappointment is always caused by wanting something to be different than it is. Carrying disappointment, anger or resentment will not make your life better and it will not change anything.
You can use disappointment constructively. If your disappointment comes from a life situation that can be changed, you can focus on how to change your path to one that will lead to a happier life.
Paula was in a job that brought her stress, anxiety and often tears. She was a well-paid professional and knew that in the tight economy transferring her skill set to another profession would be difficult. She felt trapped and was sinking into an emotional downward spiral. For several years she searched for another job but found nothing. Finally on the brink of physical and emotional exhaustion, she had the courage to be realistic. Paula accepted that she couldn’t change the corporate culture, so she chose to change herself. She reduced her living expenses, cutting the cable and downsizing her car and apartment. Then she quit her job. To pay the bills, she became a dog walker. I saw her about 6 months after the switch and the change was amazing. She stood taller, carried herself with strength and confidence and exuded joy. Paula hadn’t found a job and money was tight, but she knew that quitting her job was the right choice.
If your disappointment comes from a life situation that can’t be changed, the healthiest action is to change your mind.
Robin’s friend Sue had a great sense of humor, she was fun, funny and sweet. When Robin told her something in confidence, Sue announced it in public. When Robin told her how she and her husband had successfully handled a problem, Sue scoffed and said that she would never do it that way. Robin wanted to maintain their friendship, but not the dynamic. She realized the she couldn’t change Sue, so she changed her mind. Robin accepted that she couldn’t get everything that she wanted from one friend. She accepted that Sue would never be someone to confide in and that they would never agree on food, politics or money. But in her own way Sue was entertaining and fun to be with. She accepted Sue as a living, breathing sit-com sometimes venturing into a dramedy, and stopped asking for anything more. It worked for them.
The only way to keep from feeling disappointed is to be realistic about what you can and can’t change. Then take appropriate action.
Dead people say: Let go of unrealistic expectations, of yourself and of others. You were not created to be miserable!