How To Handle Disappointment at Work (Plus Tips for Moving Forward)

What is disappointment? Disappointment is the feeling of sadness we get when something we wanted or expected to happen doesn’t. At work, we can be disappointed when a project fails or a promising new hire quits abruptly or we don’t get a bonus, raise, or promotion.

Fun fact: I was rejected three times for promotions. The worst experience was when I was asked to train the person who received the promotion instead of me. Each time was just as disappointing as the time before. I can therefore understand what it’s like to be disappointed and even a little embarrassed about your career.

And you’ve probably already had your fair share of disappointments: perhaps you didn’t receive the promotion for which you were qualified. Or perhaps you’ve received so many rejections from potential employers that you can’t help but feel disappointed in yourself. Or perhaps you exerted a lot of effort on a project or to land a new client, but it didn’t work out, and you can’t help but feel deeply disappointed.

When you receive bad news, the worst thing you can do for yourself is to pretend it never happened. I once heard that putting your emotions in the basement to lift weights is like avoiding disappointment. Acting as though everything is fine and fine with the world doesn’t make your feelings go away; it only delays them. Of course, this isn’t about yelling and acting disrespectfully in public This is about being sincere with yourself and giving yourself permission to take a moment in solitude to admit failure. MORE FOR YOU.

Instead of avoiding your disappointment, give yourself time to process the unexpected result. You might find that all it took was 15 minutes to acknowledge and let go of your emotions. On the other hand, continuing without pausing to reflect on your actions may lead you to repeatedly make the same mistakes or even more mistakes until you finally decide to express your frustration.

After admitting your disappointment, you must be willing to adopt a new viewpoint. Sometimes events occur that are beyond our control, and sometimes they do so because we made a mistake. There is a distinction, and it’s crucial to identify what caused our dissatisfaction. You must relinquish control if it occurred as a result of an event that was beyond your control and stop blaming yourself for something that would have occurred regardless. If something didn’t have anything to do with you, you can’t berate yourself or take it personally.

You always have a choice between scarcity and abundance. Scarcity says, “This was my one shot. This was the one opportunity for me. And, now it’s over for me. Abundance understands that there are countless possibilities and opportunities available. Abundance considers other ways to move forward. Abundance is aware that while sometimes “no” means “no,” it can also mean “not yet.” Maybe I didn’t get that job, but there are other businesses out there looking for my skills and expertise, abundance muses. ” Abundance makes room for other choices. If you choose to embrace abundance rather than scarcity whenever you experience disappointment, you’ll find there is always another path or another choice.

Sometimes setbacks humble us and teach us lessons we might not have otherwise learned or paid attention to. Disappointment can sometimes be life’s way of waking us up and letting us know that it’s time to stop being so complacent and small-minded. We won’t have access to the keys we need to open new doors in our professional lives if we allow disappointment to make us bitter, unmoving, or resentful. We need to be prepared to step back, remove our emotions from the situation, and ask, “What can I learn from this?”

For instance, you might find yourself unsatisfied with your job search because the way you present yourself in your applications doesn’t show that you are the best candidate. You needed to realize that’s a skill you still need to learn if you didn’t get the promotion because you didn’t know how to promote yourself and demonstrate the results you’ve achieved for your company. Or perhaps life wanted to demonstrate to you that those things were too small for you and that you could be doing more by not giving you the promotion, the job, the client, or whatever it was that you wanted. You might discover that your moment of disappointment was intended to lead you to find a new strategy or course of action if you take some time to look for the lesson.

When you view failure through this lens, it will undoubtedly help advance your career because you’ll be more open to new opportunities rather than shutting yourself off and harboring your shame. Of course, acknowledging your emotions is a necessary step in moving forward, but if you want to advance your career, you must shift your mindset, welcome abundance, and identify the lesson.

How To Handle Disappointment | Pastor Steven Furtick

How to handle disappointment at work

You can take the following actions to help you deal with discouraging circumstances at work:

1. Admit what youre feeling

When dealing with disappointment at work, the first step you can take is to express how you feel. Think about analyzing what occurred and the possible causes of your current emotions. It might be beneficial to record your emotions in a journal or word processing file that you can access later. By defining and processing your emotions, you can eventually feel better about the situation.

2. Clear your mind

Finding a healthy outlet for your emotions is frequently important once you’ve identified how you’re feeling. Some people might do this by engaging in physical activity like running or yoga. Others might enjoy engaging in creative activities like singing or drawing. Engaging in constructive or creative activities that allow you to express your emotions can assist you in getting rid of negative feelings so that you can concentrate on your next steps.

3. Evaluate your goals

Setting realistic expectations using the SMART framework is another useful strategy for dealing with disappointment in an effective manner. Making sure that your professional goals are timely, relevant, specific, measurable, and attainable will increase your chances of success in the future. Think about whether you can change your goals in any of these five areas to make them more realistic as you reflect on your disappointment. Afterward, try to list the steps you can take to fulfill your objectives.

4. Be respectful

Even though depressing circumstances typically come with negative emotions, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism and respect, which can help you learn how to separate your emotions from the person who is depressing you. Respecting others at work can help you forge close connections with coworkers and promote more productive communication.

5. Ask for guidance

Talking to a friend or member of your family about your disappointment could also be beneficial. Getting outside opinions can help you make sense of a situation and help you distinguish your feelings from the circumstances that led to them. For instance, you might think it’s unfair that your colleague received a raise rather than you at first, but a friend might point out that your colleague was responsible for several projects that required overtime to finish.

Consider meeting with your manager to discuss how you can move forward from a challenging situation or make improvements. For instance, if you weren’t promoted, try to speak with your manager about how you can strengthen certain areas to improve your chances of getting the next promotion. This can assist you in creating a strategy with concrete steps to follow as you try to move past your disappointment.

6. Express self-compassion

Keeping a compassionate attitude toward yourself can be helpful when dealing with disappointment at work. To inspire yourself in the future by remembering past accomplishments, consider writing or speaking aloud words of encouragement. Consider how you could assist a close friend, family member, or coworker who is going through something similar.

7. Progress forward

It’s crucial to move on and concentrate on other tasks after taking some time to process a discouraging circumstance. This enables you to let go of unfavorable emotions like bitterness and resentment. Then you can use this newfound emotional space to concentrate on finishing tasks to achieve set goals.

Why is it important to professionally handle disappointment at work?

It’s important to manage disappointment at work because it can help you gain valuable experience and learn lessons you can apply in the future. Critically assessing your professional experiences enables you to pinpoint areas for growth and improvement. For instance, if your manager decides to promote a colleague rather than you, think about the reasons why you weren’t given the promotion. If your peer had more experience in a leadership position, it might be beneficial to look for leadership opportunities in the future so your manager will think of you the next time a promotion is available.

Although being disappointed at first isn’t fun, learning how to deal with it well can help you later on make better decisions that will help you achieve your goals.

Tips for handling disappointment at work

Here are some suggestions to help you deal with disappointment at work:


What are some examples of disappointment?

5 Ways to Bounce Back from Disappointment at Work
  1. Vent to someone. Venting about the problem aids in the processing of your feelings regarding the circumstance.
  2. Reflect on what happened. Spend time reflecting on how you ended up disappointed.
  3. Manage your expectations. …
  4. Talk about it with your boss. …
  5. Let it go.

What is professional disappointment?

When something doesn’t go as planned, you may experience disappointment as a sense of sadness, dissatisfaction, or annoyance. When your builder makes numerous mistakes and your dream home turns out horribly, this is an instance of when you might feel disappointed.

How do you say you’re disappointed professionally?

Recovering from setbacks can be difficult. There’s no sugarcoating it; a professional disappointment is painful. Some react by getting mad, becoming defensive and pointing fingers. Others internalize failure and become deflated. Depending on the circumstance, you might even be concerned about your future employment.

What were your major disappointments in your job?

Formal and informal ways to express disappointment!
  1. That’s too bad!
  2. That’s really disappointing!
  3. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.
  4. It didn’t live up to my expectations.
  5. We had high hopes for …
  6. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life.

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