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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Dealing With Disappointment

When one has certain expectations of events, having those dashed is a hard pill to swallow. This is where I found myself recently, confronting the fact that I would likely not be spending the summer in New York as I had previously hoped. I was pretty upset, having dreamt of afternoons in Central Park and the ability to experience again a city that I love, but one in which I had been so unhappy for two months last year. This was going to be my opportunity to claim the experience back for myself, embracing the Big Apple on my own terms.

Except it wasn’t.

So what happens when something disappoints you? Well the way I see it is you have two options. You can spend your time bemoaning your bad luck, obsessing over something that will never come to be, which will just leave you feeling worse. Or you can take control, and here’s how:

Allow yourself to be upset: Take a deep breath, and a small moment to acknowledge the loss of a dream. Not giving yourself a moment will mean that the disappointment will resurface later, and you deserve to recognise that within yourself. Doing so will allow you to progress to the next step.

Accept it: It’s happened, and no amount of wishing that it hadn’t will change the reality. Your best bet at this point is to accept it, and try to be okay about it. You’ll be happier in the long run, I promise you. 

Create an exciting Plan B: Plan A didn’t work out, so now it’s time to turn your attention elsewhere. For me this meant thinking hard about what a summer not in New York would mean. Faced with three months in England, the most free time I have had in, well, forever, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do. I suddenly realised I had the freedom to undertake something I’d dreamed of a good long time: a Spanish language immersion program. Now, when I officially find out that New York is a no go, I will be booking four weeks in Guatemala. I’m now so excited about Plan B that I’m almost hoping that Plan A doesn’t work out. I appreciate that I have a certain economic freedom here that many may not have, but the point still stands: think about what you can do instead that will excite you, and go for it. 

With this easy three step method, I promise that you will deal with your disappointment. There may be times in the future when you feel a brief flare of regret for what could have been, but just repeat steps one through three. In my head this always goes something like:

“Wow, that’s rubbish. Okay, it’s not going to work out like I though. What happens next?” 

I hope this helps you. Disappointments are just that, disappointing, but many times in my life I have looked back and realised that my original dream just wasn’t meant to be; sometimes Plan B can indeed be the better option. 


  1. I did a Spanish language immersion program in Costa Rica a few years ago and loved it! I'm sure it will be a great experience for you. Central America is so beautiful.

    - Courtney

    1. That's so cool! I went to Costa Rica last year to visit my boyfriend at the time, it certainly is beautiful :) xx

  2. I'm sorry your New York plans didn't work out but the Spanish language immersion programme sounds like it'll be wonderful! I think your method makes a lot of sense and it's definitely something I'll be keeping in mind xx


    1. Thank you Beth! I hope it helps you with any future disappointments - although I of course hope you aren't disappointed either! xxx

  3. I actually got a tip from a book I was reading recently. When something disappoints you, you get to be really disappointed and can moan as much as you like for ten minutes and then its over and try to make time to feel better. It's kind of like what you wrote her and I think it's a great way to approach hardships and disappointments that life throws at you. Obviously when something really terrible happens, you should be allowed to dwell on it a bit longer, but the most important thing is that you move on I guess. Loved this post. Xx Eline

    1. That sounds like excellent advice, and I can see a lot of similarities :) I completely agree that you should be allowed to process it, but I think it's easy to fall into a trap of making ourselves more miserable :) Thanks for your comment Eline! xxx


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