How Do We Recover from Disappointment?

Shannon Carlton

We’ve all been there. Maybe it was that we were super excited about this thing we have been working on, only to have it fall flat. Or maybe we have worked on a project only to have it turn out less than our grandiose expectations (Pinterest fail, anyone?)

​Sometimes our disappointment comes on a much larger scale. Perhaps it was a dream that crumbled right in front of our eyes. Perhaps it was that someone we trusted ended up letting us down.

​How can we recover from that? I know a couple of weeks ago we discussed giving yourself grace when you are feeling low and uninspired, and that works here too, but there are some things we can do when faced with disappointment that can help us recover more quickly.​

  • Look at the situation without judgement. In other words, do not take it personally. Take some time to analyze what happened and why it may have worked out the way that it did.
  • Take some time to grieve the loss/disappointment.
  • Do some lessons learned. What would you do differently next time? Did you learn anything about yourself in the process? Or learn anything that you can take into the next iteration of a creation?
  • Discover how you can better manage expectations of yourself and others involved in the project or relationship.


​Disappointment is part of life. Not one that we look forward to or even want, but a part of our lives nonetheless. When we experience disappointment it allows us to learn something new and do something different. I know with this whole COVID-19 thing my senior in high school has experienced a lot of disappointment. Things have been cancelled, she has had to start wearing masks to school, she and her friends have not been able to congregate, etc. So it has given me an opportunity to come up with some unique and fun things for us to do. It doesn’t diminish her disappointment and it allows us to find creative ways to celebrate her senior year. What disappointment have you experienced recently that you found a creative way to deal with?