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Five Ways to Deal with Disappointment

Updated on August 30, 2014

I was lucky enough to have a mother who raised me with the philosophy that everything happens for a reason. It’s a mantra I have learned to be true. Therefore, after the initial shock of any disappointment in my life, I could eventually count on finding another opportunity along my road of life. Unfortunately, not all of us are born old souls with a wise parent. I was lucky enough to learn the hard knocks of life the old-fashioned way- totally on my own. Here are a few tips that have eased my disappointments throughout a 36-year teaching career, an on-going writing career, and by existing as a mere human being who has always lived life out loud.

When turned down for a coveted advancement in your field of work, write out all your specific talents for that position, then rewrite your resume accordingly. The new resume should give you the impetus to keep looking elsewhere with renewed enthusiasm. Remember, there is only one of you, no matter how steep the competition.


When your significant other breaks up with you, list all his or her deficits, and how those would not have worked out in the long run. Get your profile up on any of the reputable dating sites and go out with friends for a night on the town. By the next morning, things always look a little less daunting. As the days progress from one to the next, you will soon be in a new relationship with minimal memories of the previous one.


If you lose a talent contest, think about where that momentum would have taken you in your life and count your blessings that you didn’t win. Be careful what you wish for because there are inevitable hidden obstacles you didn’t consider when you initially signed up. Keep perfecting your craft and entering contests. You will learn to sharpen your desires to fit contests more suited to your unique lifestyle and personality.

A loss definitely builds character. It teaches you to be humble, mindful and grateful for other things in your life. People with humility are always winners when it all shakes out.

Don’t lose your sense of humor! I recently viewed a documentary about why many Jewish Americans are so funny. Every Jewish comedian interviewed recounted stories of relatives who survived the Holocaust. Those relatives said that humor was the only way they could begin to take a step into the light; otherwise, their devastation would have eaten them up alive.

No one likes to be disappointed, but it’s our failures that teach us how to appreciate our successes. I guess this truth is one of those hidden gems one is able to mine when they’ve lived long enough to rely on the odds of time and experience.


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