As we get older, many of us begin to wonder, “Is this it?” We have put so much effort into being happy and getting what we want, yet all that we desired has not come to fruition, and we become disillusioned.
We might feel disappointed by many aspects of our life: why does my partner/spouse not make me happy anymore? Why doesn’t my job make me happy anymore? Why didn’t I reach the heights I had planned? Why do I still feel insecure, even though I have a home and a car, a decent income, and insurance?
Many people in their 40s and 50s feel a sense of uneasiness. They have exerted a great deal of effort just getting to this stage of life. They have also been subject to considerable pressure from society to have achieved the traditional measures of “success” by this time.
Disappointment is a common response. Most of us are impatient. We want everything right now, and we want it to be as good as possible. We want to try new things, but we don’t want to make mistakes, We want to feel comfortable and in control of every situation, even if we don’t always know know what we’re doing. These are unrealistic and self-defeating expectations.
To be successful by any measure, we will need to leave our comfort zones. Sometimes even our best efforts will come up short, and we will be disappointed by the outcomes. If we can learn to manage this disappointment, we will feel happier and more balanced, and we will find the inspiration to move forward.
How to Overcome Feelings of Disappointment
There are proven strategies that can help you cope with frustration competently. When you feel anxious and frustrated while embarking on something new, such as a project at work that requires you to develop new skills, the expert from the job aggregator Jooble offers several practical tips for managing the situation.
(1) Don’t ignore your feelings or try to push them away.
Any time you are frustrated by work or a life change, start by admitting it to yourself. When you recognize and acknowledge your feelings, their intensity will eventually diminish. On the other hand, if you continually ignore and hide your feelings, they will become more intrusive.
Your body is the best and most trustworthy indicator of precisely what emotional state you are in. For example, it’s a sure sign of anxiety if you have insomnia or often wake up at night. If you feel constant tension in your shoulders and neck, it’s a symptom that your brain is forcing you to do things that your heart absolutely does not want to do.
Here’s an excellent example of paying attention to your feelings. You’re on vacation, but you have a few work tasks that must be taken care of. But just the thought of opening your laptop or looking at you email makes you feel an incredible back strain. Given this kind of reaction, it would be in your best interest to give up the tasks and devote all your time to relaxing. Of course, when you return to work, you’ll be slammed, but at the same time, you’ll have had a wonderful, stress-free vacation, and you’ll be refreshed and ready to be productive again.
(2) Give yourself time to adjust to new tasks and situations.
When we react quickly to new things, many of us tend to make decisions based on fear or old patterns of behavior. These are not always the best decisions. Experts have proven that if you slow down and wait 24 hours to respond to something, you will make better choices.
For example, if you receive a difficult email or work assignment, the best response is to first read the email or assignment to familiarize yourself with the task and then give yourself time to think about it. Slow things down and complete the task in several steps, reducing your resistance to writing the response or completing the assignment. Inevitably, you will experience less frustration and do a better job.
(3) Don’t run away from reality.
We all must face the facts at some point in our lives. This can come in many forms, such as accepting that we have limitations and understanding that we are bound to make mistakes, especially when we take risks.
When we try something new, at first we may feel euphoric. But in time, we can be overtaken by obstacles and shortcomings and become disillusioned. It is best to accept the situation. If you try to escape the reality, it will only increase your disappointment. After all, it is impossible to live in an ideal world all the time.
(4) Let things follow their own course, and don’t try to control everything.
This advice may seem illogical, but if you can accept some things as they are, you will be able to find peace and, oddly enough, feel more in control. Constant tension slows you down and causes feelings of frustration to grow. It is best to prepare yourself for a period of uneasiness: when you are trying new things, observe the learning process and your reactions and make adjustments as necessary to your attitude and way of doing things.
As one example, letting go of control is especially helpful when starting a new business. You will continuously feel anxious if you constantly worry about when something will or won’t happen (signing a contract, etc.). Suppose you notice that you’re constantly checking your email inbox for messages about an important project. In that case, it’s time to step back, let go of what you can’t control, and devote your attention to the things you can control.
(5) Believe in the Best for Yourself
Most of us want to feel happy and full of hope for the future, and it is perfectly natural to strive for something more. But sometimes uncertainty causes us to lose the incentive to keep going. It is worth remembering that you need to give yourself time to learn throughout the process, while also keeping faith in yourself. Just because you aren’t applying exhaustive efforts and forcing things to happen doesn’t mean that you aren’t making good progress.
By applying these strategies, you can overcome your frustration, achieve the success you want, and find mental peace in every area of your life.
Written by: Charlie Smith
About the Author: Charlie Smith is an experienced psychologist and HR specialist. He provides private counseling to workers who are feeling work and life burnout, wanting to find themselves again and be motivated to continue working.