We humans know that this rollercoaster called life can be filled with great joy, but also sometimes great sadness. But just because we know this simple fact, doesn’t mean that we are very well equipped to deal with the great disappointments in our lives.

These negative emotions are important, because they provide us with the opportunity to reflect and to work harder to ensure that we don’t cause harm to ourselves or those around us. However, some of these feelings tend to stick around long after they were useful. Then, it becomes important to move beyond our disappointment and be our productive selves again.

Of course, the worst thing you can say to someone dealing with disappointment is to “just get over it”. However, I did find the following pieces of advice helpful in my own life, and I hope they can help you whenever disappointment strikes.

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I find that traveling often changes my perspective drastically (photo by A&E).

Perspective is vitally important

Whenever we feel disappointment, it is usually because we feel that we let down ourselves or others around us. It is important to keep in mind that you didn’t let yourself or others down forever. You may have acted in a certain way or made a certain decision that had bad consequences, but this can never define you. Sometimes we do something bad enough to get us dumped or fired, but even then, all hope is not lost. I’m not saying the feelings will go away overnight, but I know that we all have the strength to overcome our deepest disappointments. Knowing that there is a much bigger picture to our life’s journey helps us to deal with the darkest moments.

Careful with your thoughts

When disappointment strikes, it is often possible to go into a negative thought spiral. We say things to ourselves like “the universe is against me” or “good things never happen”. It is important to realize that this is not true and that bad things sometimes happen to good people. Now is the time to encourage yourself by thinking of what you have already achieved and what you are capable of.

Acceptance and action

Disappointment can sometimes knock you flat on your back, so getting around to the acceptance phase can seem like a long way off. So don’t be too hard on yourself and take some time off if you needed, like a weekend by yourself just watching movies. But after that time, it is time for action. Staying active and focused on other things is often the best path towards acceptance. Having a plan is the best route to action. This can be a personal or a professional goal. Achieving these goals can give you the sense of accomplishment that often goes a long way towards overcoming disappointment.

These simple steps are the first on the road to getting past disappointment. When you do manage to make progress and life seems a bit better, also take the time to acknowledge that. We gain strength from overcoming disappointment, and this arms us with the courage to do it again in the future.