Strategies to Drown Out Disappointment and Gear Up for Action!

5 min read

Education & Career Trends: July 4, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

We can learn to respond healthily to disappointment by adopting a coping style that helps us seek positive solutions.

Content Credit:

Disappointments are inevitable and how we cope with them is often a defining moment in our lives. To reach your goals, you have to take risks, develop constructive routines and make time to listen, learn and reflect. The prospect of making any of the above adjustments to your life is empowering until your mind starts to wander toward negative thoughts. A cascade of negative thoughts can produce negative outcomes.

By thinking negatively about what you have set out to accomplish, you will formulate a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Regardless of which way we lean, we can learn to respond healthily to disappointment by adopting a coping style that seeks to understand what happened, checks whether our expectations were reasonable, reevaluates our perceptions and behaviours, and seeks positive solutions instead of dwelling on the past. Introspection can be helpful, but rumination is often not.

Although disappointment is inevitable, being discouraged is always a choice.

Here are some strategies to turn self-defeating thoughts into empowering, positive ones:

1. “I don’t know when or how I’m going to do this.”

Replace this with a schedule that takes you closer to your goals.

  • Set aside time each day or week to work toward your goal and then stick to your plan.
  • Create a calendar slot for it, and treat it as nonoptional, like a job.
  • Eventually, you’ll form a new, positive habit.

2. “I’m not in the mood.”

Learn to use your ‘procrastination time’ in a productive way.

  • Make “Put it off” time work for you.
  • Find other ways to be productive that not only knock items off your to-do list, but also recharge your personal and professional batteries.
  • Fill your time with productive tasks that will indirectly lead you toward your goal.

3. “I’ll never achieve my goal.”

Having a clear goal, in itself, is the first step to success.

  • Facing setbacks in your quest to achieve your goal may push your thoughts to become more and more negative.
  • Your failure to execute on your goals up to this point is not a reflection of your character.
  • Rather, the fact that you’ve formed a goal in the first place indicates that you have an idea of how to better yourself or add something positive to the world.

4. “I’m a total mess.”

Organise the little details of your life to prime yourself for your big goal.

  • It’s easy to get bogged down by the small things, such as how you look, how clogged your inbox is, or how many errands you’ve been putting off.
  • Disorganisation in minor aspects of your personal life could deter you from thinking you’re ready to take on something big.
  • Prepare as much as you can. That way, you can focus on bigger hurdles.

5. “That other person already achieved my goal and made it look so easy. I’ll never be as good as them.”

Don’t devalue yourself. Learn from successful people and adopt what works for you.

  • You can put other people’s success on a pedestal and think they’re superhuman or free of doubt.
  • Ultimately, you may become weary of this to the point that you devalue yourself and your potential.
  • You shouldn’t feel shy about reaching out to someone you feel ‘inferior’ to. The other person probably has similar thoughts, and you have plenty to teach them, too.

6. “It doesn’t seem like I’m making any progress toward my goal.”

Focus on taking one step at a time and find someone to hold you accountable.

  • When you’re working so hard and yet you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, you begin to wonder if all your effort is worth it.
  • To ensure you don’t give up on your goal, establish a support system: one person or a group who’ll hold you accountable. It could be a family member, Facebook friends, or a life coach.
  • You’ll feel less alone in your journey, and you’ll have someone to report to who’ll make sure you follow through. Best of all, you’ll have someone to remind you of how far you’ve come.

7. “I’m so overwhelmed.”

Journaling is a proven strategy to give structure to the thoughts swirling in our heads.

  • Goal-setting requires focus. You have to stay organised about what you need to do to achieve your goal.
  • When there are a lot of thoughts swirling around in your head (including negative ones), writing them down can help clear your mind.
  • Write just one or two things each day, whether it’s something you want to work toward or something that’s been on your mind. It will also give you the chance to reflect.

8. “I’m scared to face the changes that achieving my goal will bring.”

If you look back at your past, you’ll find you’ve already conquered many such challenges.

  • Think of the most intimidating thing you’ve had to face, now recognise that you made it.
  • Now think of your goal, and think of which aspect of reaching it is so scary to you.
  • Compare that with what you’ve already overcome in your life.
  • Finally, know that it’s natural to fear new things.
  • You’ll continue to feel that if you don’t take the plunge toward what you’re trying to achieve.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Stepping into Tech Management? Here are the key skills you will need.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

Like this post? For more such helpful articles, click on the button below and subscribe FREE to our blog.

Download our mobile app, ICS Career GPS, a one-stop career guidance platform.

One Reply to “Strategies to Drown Out Disappointment and Gear Up for Action!”

Leave a Reply