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5 Steps to Rebound From Disappointments in Your Life

Dr. Yvette Stupart is a clinical counselor and educator. She gives insights on how to experience emotional health and relational well-being.

There is hope!

There is hope!

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, disappointment is the unhappiness that comes from the lack of success of something hoped for or expected to happen. We all face disappointments when things don't turn out as expected. Dealing with disappointments is never easy. We can find the strength, however, to take steps to ease your disappointments and move forward with your life.

Doctors Karen Reivich and Andre Statte in their highly recommended book, The Resilience Factor, explain that we can boost our resilience by the way we think about adversity. The authors help readers to measure their resilience and assist them to see their resilience, strengths, and also areas that need improvement. They explore how building resilience helps to transform hardship, failure, and helplessness into challenge, success, and power.

This article describes five steps that will help you to become more self-aware, re-evaluate your expectations, and learn from your disappointing experience in order to successfully chart your course forward.

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions

As you grapple with dealing with your setback, don’t push away your feelings of disappointment. You need to keep in touch with your feelings as they form a part of who you are. You not only need to be aware of your emotions, but you must also be able to manage them at this time.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman developed five basic elements that define emotional intelligence. This can help you during your time of disappointment, and promote your well being. These elements include self-awareness, which is knowing your emotions, and self-regulation, which indicates your ability able to manage these emotions. In addition, empathy helps you to recognize and understand other people’s emotions.

As you move through the challenging situation, practice keeping touch with your emotions and managing them in your daily life. As you do, you will find that you are better able to deal with the important issues at hand, and handle your disappointments.

2. Be Open to New Perspectives

Another important step is to increase your awareness by acknowledging the role you play in the disappointing situation. By doing so, you are able to put things in a new perspective and learn from your experiences.

You might also need to forgive those who might have hurt you and even forgive yourself. This will make way for you to develop coping strategies and the necessary resilience to overcome the challenges you are experiencing.

Strive for a healthy balance in the way you assess your situation. You might ask yourself, “Were my expectations realistic?" If your answer is yes, you might need to consider what you could do differently as you move to find solutions.

Why not consider a life coach to help you to bridge the gap, and get to where you want to be? Similarly, in all of this, it is helpful to remind yourself that your disappointments will pass and that they won't last forever.

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.

— Earl of Beaconsfield

3. Rebuild Your Self-Image and Confidence

How you see yourself will determine the way you handle your disappointments. It is likely that because of what happened, you might feel badly about yourself, and this can this can prevent you from working towards personal goals. Begin by taking good care of yourself through eating healthy meals and regular exercise. Furthermore, despite your setback, maximize your talents and abilities by intentionally making the most of your strengths.

Do things to help you to feel better about yourself. For example, change your negative thought patterns to more positive ones. You might be repeating negative messages to yourself like, “I’m a loser.” As you pay attention to these negative thought patterns, develop positive statements to replace these and repeat them over and over to yourself.

Inspiration to Help You Move on From Your Disappointment

4. Keep Hope Alive in the Face of the Challenge

As things change and your situation becomes more challenging, you could become paralyzed with despair and hopelessness. Instead, use this as a cue to draw from your inner strength and keep hope alive.

According to, "hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best." Despite the uncertainties, believe again and keep your hope alive. This might mean that you exercise caution in your interactions with nay sayers who feel you won't make it. Be intentional and take practical steps to stir up hope; tough times won't last forever and you can rebound from your disappointments.

QUIZ - How Do You Deal with Your Disappointments?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Does everyone experience disappointment?
    • We all experience disappointments in life
    • Only some people face disappointments in life.
  2. When you face disappointment, how do you put things into perspectives?
    • See what I can learn from the situation.
    • I want things to go my way.
  3. How can getting involved help when you face disapointment?
    • Helping others give a sense of satisfaction.
    • I don't have to help anybody.
  4. Why is acknowledging your feelings necessary in face of disappointment?
    • It helps you honestly deal with the emotion in order to move on.
    • I want to vent my feelings and feel better.
  5. What kind of support system could be helpful?
    • Caring family and friend
    • Anybody that is available
  6. How do you re-frame your thinking during times of disappointment?
    • Replace self-defeating thoughts.
    • Stop thinking of the past
Scroll to Continue

Answer Key

  1. We all experience disappointments in life
  2. See what I can learn from the situation.
  3. Helping others give a sense of satisfaction.
  4. It helps you honestly deal with the emotion in order to move on.
  5. Caring family and friend
  6. Replace self-defeating thoughts.

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: You probably need to read the article again!

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Better luck next time.

If you got 4 correct answers: Good attempt.

If you got 5 correct answers: Good Score.

If you got 6 correct answers: Great Performance!

5. Build Relationships and Ask for Help

You will find that you are not able to handle the disappointment you experience all on your own. Why not ask God for help? He is ready and waiting to help you in your times of distress. He will help you to keep your hope alive.

You will also need to develop a caring network of people who will support you as you deal with your setback. Similarly, take time to build healthy relationships, and find time for conversations and activities you enjoy. Why not help someone in need? Involvement in various activities takes your mind off of your situation and also encourages you and gives you a sense of purpose.

Summary of Steps to Handle Disappointments

Specific Steps to Deal with Your Disappointments

Steps to deal with DisappointmentPoints to RememberWhy is this Helpful?

Acknowledge your feelings

Your emotions are a part of you.

Helps you to keep in touch with your feeling.

Be open to new perspectives

Your expectation may not been realistic

You can learn from your experience

Rebuild your self-image and confidence

Despite your setbacks you have abilities and gifts you can maximize

Building on your strengths prepares you to move forward

Draw on your inner reources to rebound

As you face feelings of inadequacy ask God for help

God's resources are available to you.

Keep hope alive

Don't give up despite how difficult things get

Your disappointment won't last forever

Get involved in various activities

Use these opportunities reach out and help others

You gain a sense of satisfaction that encourages you

Develop a caring network

Gain support and encouragement from family and friends

Inspire you to bounce back from your disappointment

Rebound and Move Ahead

Taking the steps suggested will help you to become more self-aware, that is, understanding your own feelings, thoughts, and motives. As you do, you develop the confidence, skills, and commitment to overcome your disappointment.

This confidence will serve as a springboard for you to move ahead to achieve the goals you set for your personal, family, and professional life. Moving on after disappointments is not a sprint but an endurance race.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Yvette Stupart PhD

Join in the conversation ...

Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on March 04, 2017:

Thanks, Mark. Yes, becoming more self-aware opens us to new perspectives and possibilities.

Mark Tulin from Long Beach, California on March 01, 2017:

I especially like the point of opening up to new perspectives. Indeed disappointments can open new doors. Thanks.

Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on October 02, 2013:

Thank you. I'm so happy you find my hubs useful.

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on October 02, 2013:

I'm glad you are sharing your knowledge here on Hubpages. It is really interesting to read your work!

Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 20, 2013:

Thank you PoeticPhilosophy, I will keep writing. We all face disappointment in life, we need to acknowledge our feelings, and take positive steps to deal with them.

PoeticPhilosophy from Canada on June 19, 2013:

Great read! and amazing point's. When you're aware of an emotion, anything it almost instantly stop's any feeling/sensation and also benefit's you in being aware of your present. Great, so happy to have people who to help more in the world. Keep on writing Purpose Embraced :).

Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on June 03, 2013:

Thanks Happinessteacher. I agree, we need to move forward after disappointments

Happinessteacher on June 03, 2013:

Useful hub, Thanks. Only one way to go after disappointment - upwards

Yvette Stupart PhD (author) from Jamaica on March 13, 2013:

Thanks very much, sholland10 for your welcome. I am happy you found my hub helpful.


Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on March 13, 2013:

Welcome to HubPages, Purpose Embraced!

What wonderful, realistic advice on dealing with disappointment. It matches what my mother used to tell me, "Pick yourself up, wipe yourself off, and keep going." She never allowed her kids to let the negative take over. A sense of God and self is what she instilled, and your advice goes right along with that. You have a great message with your hub!

Again, Welcome!! :-)

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