How Successful People Deal with Disappointment

They say that there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. While it might sound depressing, I would add disappointment to the list. We will inevitably face disappointment throughout our lives. It could be disappointment over a business failing, a plan not going as expected, or the behavior of the people in our lives.

Disappointment comes from all angles. While we all face it, not all of us deal with it in the best ways. However, we need to recognize is that disappointment doesn’t have to rule your thoughts or drag you down. 

We can dissolve into depression when faced with bitter disappointment, or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. But I’m not here to tell you about how bad disappointment can be. Instead, I’m giving you the tools to deal with disappointment in a way that will help you personally and professionally.

Successful people just don’t view disappointments the same way the rest of us do. Here’s what you need to know.


4 Healthy Ways Successful People Deal with Disappointment

1) They Recognize Their Role

Few of us are guiltless when it comes to failures and disappointments in our lives. We can even play a role in relational disappointments. The key here is that successful people recognize that things don’t just happen to them without input. They understand that in all situations, they play a role. That role might be being passive when they shouldn’t have been, making the wrong decisions, or trusting the wrong people.

Ultimately, successful people know that they play a role in the events that shape their lives and careers. They identify their contributing factors to any given situation and make adjustments accordingly to avoid the same thing from happening again. 

Responsibility is among the key qualities of successful professionals and owners. Be willing to take your share of the blame in order to rectify a situation. You may not feel as though you deserve it, but it sets the stages for ownership and productive problem-solving.

2) They Don’t Fixate on the Present

When facing disappointment or failure, we have a tendency to lock ourselves in that moment, that feeling. It feels as though it will last forever—that’s you’ll always be dealing with repercussions and fallout. Successful people don’t box themselves into the present. They stay future-minded. 

This isn’t to escape from the problems in the present, but it is to recognize that no circumstance lasts forever. With eyes focused on the big picture and a hopeful future, successful people refuse to get bogged down by disappointment. Instead, they push forward to bigger and better things.

3) They Change What They Can

Let’s be honest: we like to control things. Every one of us, if we could, would dictate any and all outcomes in business, relationships, and personal lives. Successful people don’t wish that they could micromanage every outcome. Instead, they are realistic about how they can affect and change their circumstances.

By focusing not on the immovable but the movable, successful individuals can see and feel progress rather than banging their heads on the proverbial wall. This also helps grow patience. When we can’t change something, we have to wait. We have to persevere. 

Successful people know that impulsive behaviors can be disastrous when trying to correct a situation. There are emotions at play, lots of people to please, and what seems like a disaster to deal with.

In the moment, looks for what you can change. Focus on these things, not the frustrations of disappointment.

4) They Know When to Change Course

We don’t always recover from our disappointments, mistakes, and missteps. No, truthfully, some things are too big to be fixed. As successful professionals, we recognize the need to step away and lay things to rest.

We recognize when we don’t have enough control or power to salvage every situation. In these cases, successful people know how to let go and change their course. 

Don’t hold on to things that just don’t work anymore. Take your losses and start something new. Remember, think about the future: not your present entanglements. This type of loss can be a challenge to cope with. Just remember: sometimes there are problems we can’t solve and codes we can’t crack. Learn to step away. You’ll be healthier, happier, and more successful for it.

How do you overcome disappointments? Share your strategy in the comments.