Why Does Failure Hurt So Much?
We’ve all been there. You had your mind set on something and it didn’t work out.
Your hope and optimism turn to disappointment and frustration.
The fact things didn’t work out is disappointing in itself.
But the real pain comes from the disappointment you feel in yourself.
“How could I have been so stupid?
“I’m a failure and a loser"
“I’m not good enough”
You might be disappointed in yourself because you made some dumb choices.
But you're not your choices.
You can learn from them to make better ones next time.
What Is the Feeling of Disappointment?
The feeling of disappointment is that you’ve fallen short and let yourself down.
You start questioning whether your goals and abilities are even real.
Were you just fooling yourself the whole time?
Your self-esteem takes a hit, and you become more hesitant to try things in the future.
Now you have the fear of another failure to deal with.
You know you have potential, but you’re not living up to it.
That’s one of the toughest things for a person to realize.
So how do you overcome feeling like you’re a disappointment?
How do you free yourself from the chains that are holding you back?
This article is about using your disappointment to be a better version of yourself.
Let's dive in...
How Do I Stop Being a Disappointment?
Feeling like you’re a disappointment is a hard thing to deal with.
I’ve had plenty of failures in life that caused me to feel that way.
It’s at this point you need to make a decision:
You can accept your disappointment, feel sorry for yourself and never try anything again.
Or accept it, learn from it, and use the experience to make you more successful.
Here are the most effective ways I’ve found to overcome disappointment and move towards success.
You need to accept who you are in all your glorious imperfection.
Ok, so you made a few mistakes.
The outcome you expected didn’t eventuate and now you feel like a failure.
What if instead, you separated your self worth as a person from the outcomes you produced?
What if you accepted that sometimes things go wrong?
Every failure, setback, and disappointment wouldn’t be so disastrous.
You wouldn't feel so bad because you know from the beginning there’s a chance it might not work out.
That doesn’t mean being pessimistic or nihilistic.
It means being realistic.
Expect success but be prepared for the chance of failure.
2. Self Love
Think about someone you love.
If they came to you and told you they feel like a disappointment because something didn’t work out for them, what would you say?
Would you agree and say “yes you’re a disappointment I don’t know why you even try, just give up now”.
Or would you tell them that's how it turns out sometimes, what matters now is how you respond to the experience?
You would tell them you love them and believe in them, and that if they keep trying over time there's nothing they can’t have?
So why would you treat yourself any differently?
To love yourself is to forgive yourself for your past mistakes, and to commit to being the best version of yourself you can be right now.
3. Keep a Balanced Perspective
A balanced perspective is a healthy mindset.
Having the right mindset means you rationally evaluate opportunities and actions before you make a decision.
You accept there’s uncertainty in the world that nothing is guaranteed.
Yes, you might fail and you will feel disappointed.
But if that happens you’re not going to throw a pity party.
You're going to get right back up, make a few changes to your approach, and get back to it.
The right mindset is being humble in victory and defeat.
Admit you don’t know everything and there’s always an opportunity to learn something new.
Accept there is an inherent risk in everything.
Every disappointment should feed your determination to try again and do it better next time.
How you talk to yourself is what makes you a winner or a loser.
Think about your self-talk.
Do you ridicule yourself for being a disappointment and a failure?
Or do you use your self talk to strengthen and encourage yourself?
Become conscious of your internal self-talk.
When you identify any limiting beliefs or self-talk, counteract them with more empowering messages.
After a while, your brain starts to remember what you're telling it, and your outlook begins to change.
You only feel like a disappointment because you’re telling yourself that's what you are.
Replace “I am a disappointment”, with “I feel disappointed but I won't give up”.
Like self-talk, the questions you habitually ask yourself affect every area of your life.
When things don’t work out do you ask yourself “why am I such a loser?” or do you ask “how can I use this to be better?”.
Your brain is programmed to find solutions.
If you ask a question it will give you an answer.
If you ask yourself why you’re such a disappointment your brain will answer you.
“Because you’re dumb, you don’t deserve success, you don't have the right education”, it will tell you.
If instead, you ask “how can I use this experience to become better and more successful?”
Your brain will come up with better answers.
6. Be Strict With Yourself, Don't Be Mean
It’s good to have high personal standards, goals, and expectations you want to live up to.
But when you fall short of your expectations don't beat yourself down and punish yourself.
Be strict, but don’t be mean. Hold yourself to high standards, by all means.
But don’t be cruel to yourself just because something didn’t work out.
Figure out where it went wrong and try again.
7. Be Highly Productive
Action is the ultimate cure for all of life's problems.
If something doesn’t turn out how you expected, don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself.
Take a moment to reflect, then take aggressive action towards making things right.
Don’t give yourself time for negative self-talk or self-pity.
Double down on your efforts, renew your resolve to succeed and keep taking the right action.
Successful people don’t wallow in their misfortune or waste time being hard themselves.
They acknowledge their position, think about how to improve, then take action to make things better.
As a productive human being you’re so committed to your purpose you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself.
How to Let Go of Disappointment and Hurt
1. Distance Yourself From the Problem
Give yourself some space from the problem.
Do something unrelated for a while until you gain insight or wisdom from the experience.
Once you have a new perspective you can handle your problems more effectively.
When you’re too emotionally involved in a problem it clouds your better judgment and your thinking process.
Stop and take some time out.
Go and do something else.
Then come back to the problem and work through it with a fresh mind.
2. Have an Overriding Purpose
When you have an overriding purpose any setbacks are taken in stride.
You see your problems in perspective because you know they won't stop you from achieving your ultimate aim.
Achieving anything worthwhile takes time and persistence.
e st in Yourself
Investing in yourself means living a lifestyle aligned with your goals and objectives.
Read good books and learn new things.
Take care of your body and get your health up to scratch.
Learn new skills to make yourself a more effective human being.
Invest in yourself to be more, do more and have more.
How can you feel like a disappointment when you’re achieving goals and improving your life?
Investing in yourself is the most valuable investment you'll ever make.
4. Be Around Positive People
The people you hang out with affect how you think and act.
When you spend time in a particular peer group you start taking on the same mindset and behaviors of that group.
If you’re around people who can’t handle defeat and personalize their failures, you'll become like them.
When you spend time with people who are committed to success, your own chance of success increases.
Make sure your environment empowers you to be better. If it doesn’t, find a better one.
4. Accept Responsibility for Your Life
If you’re not getting the results you want in your life, don’t blame anyone or anything other than yourself.
You are 100% responsible for how you choose to respond to anything that happens to you.
Own your failures and your successes.
Every experience is trying to teach you something.
Feel like a disappointment? It's your responsibility to make things better.
You're the only one who can make that decision, so what are you waiting for?
Quotes About Feeling Like a Disappointment
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation” – Eric Hoffer
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment” – Jim Rohn
“Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies but never destroys it” – Eliza Tabor“Disappointment, when it involves neither shame nor loss, is as good as success; for it supplies as many images to the mind, and as many topics to the tongue” – Samuel Johnson