CHALLENGES: you didn’t get that promotion, your salary increase was too low, your bonus was less than expected, you didn’t get job offer, the big deal didn’t close
REACTIONS: anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness, loss of confidence
GOALS: resilience, grit, gratitude, confidence, motivation
TIP: Okay, so harsh reality didn’t meet your expectations and now you’re experiencing all the negative emotions that come with disappointment. First, be honest about your unmet expectation. Was it realistic? If it wasn’t, then in retrospect lower that expectation. Maybe that 30% pay increase was a little ambitious? All of a sudden that disappointment fades a little. Now if you think your expectation was realistic, then the key is to move on. Set a new expectation and a plan to get there. Let optimism in a realistic expectation (and a good plan to get there!) replace your disappointment.
RESEARCH: Disappointment is a form of sadness that comes about when reality doesn’t meet our expectations (Well, 2017). The difference between “regret” and “disappointment” is in how we assign blame. We feel regret when we blame ourselves for the negative outcome and disappointment when we assign blame elsewhere (Zeelenberg et al, 2000).