We've all been there; those moments that seem to linger. Being overwhelmed by a feeling of disappointment that you just can't explain isn't fun at all. Then, when things deviate from the set plan, this creates an intense feeling of frustration that doesn't seem to go away. How does one cope with these gut-wrenching setbacks? Is it at all possible?
Luckily, during these low points when things don't go as planned, there are a couple of tips you can apply that will make dealing with the situation a lot better. These tips include:
Step back from the situation and evaluate
Sometimes, the best thing to do when you are facing disappointment is to take a step back and ask yourself several important questions like, What is the cause of this problem? Is this the worst possible scenario?, or What does this disappointment permanently affect? These and other questions help you accurately scale the severity of the disappointment and select the most appropriate response to it.
You may briefly vent, but do not linger!
If you are disappointed and frustrated, it's okay to let off some steam by maybe screaming, talking to a friend, or complaining, after which you move on completely. You mustn't linger in this venting phase, however, as it may then begin making the situation worse.
Manage your thoughts and emotions
Different people have different methods of processing or managing emotions. Some such approaches include meditation, writing in a diary or journal, audio taping, conversing with a friend, etc. Utilizing any of these methods would help in this process of managing emotions effectively.
Cut yourself some slack!
This is an incredibly simple, yet effective method of getting over a huge disappointment. By giving yourself a break, you acknowledge that the disappointment you're facing is not your fault and that you need to do whatever makes you feel relaxed. Go outside, take a long walk, or visit a friend – whatever it is. Afterward, there’s a good chance you will feel rejuvenated and ready to go again!
Attempt to uncover or determine what’s really frustrating you
For some of us, the anger and frustration we feel when things don't go our way is a product of deep-seated anger that we have not yet addressed. And so, being able to cope when things go awry means uncovering what the root of the anger and frustration really is. This is necessary because the deep-seated anger will prevent you from being productive. The more control you can get over that anger, the less that disappointments will bother you.
Critically evaluate the situation and figure out the next step
Setbacks lead to situations that cannot be salvaged, as the events have already unfolded. You must focus on the things that you can still salvage from the situation and do your best to salvage them. You can't only focus on the negatives of whatever’s disappointing you. You must carefully analyze the situation and take the necessary steps to act on the aspects that can be salvaged. Remember: the key is to look for actionable steps and not focus on the elements of the setback (i.e., don’t cry over spilled milk).
Discover how the setback occurred and take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again
A lot of the setbacks we face in our day-to-day lives may feel like they stem from circumstances that are beyond our control. The reality is that most of these setbacks are a result of factors that are under our control, and so we must identify the factors that led to the setback to understand how to prevent it from happening again.
For example, if you had difficulty getting a cab to work in the morning, causing you to arrive late and lose a job opportunity, you may view that as a situation beyond your control. However, if you properly identify the reason for that setback, you would find that it is linked to you waking up late or you having unrealistic expectations about the availability of cabs.
Select important learning points from the experience
What kind of experience would it be if you don't learn from it? You must pick out important learning points from the entire experience that will not only make it all the more bearable but will also make you a stronger, wiser, and more positive person.
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