It’s almost two months into the New Year, but many of us have already been disappointed. Maybe we dropped the ball on the New Years Resolutions we set it just eight weeks ago. We were all hoping 2021 would be better, a fresh start after a tough 2020, but so far this year has given us a lot of new things that are difficult to deal with. Maybe we’re frustrated that we haven’t changed much in the past two months either. So what do you do when the person who disappoints you is you?
3 unhealthy answers to make you feel disappointed in yourself
# 1 punish yourself
When you feel frustrated with your choices or decisions, you can punish you. Self-punishment takes many forms, such as preventing oneself from enjoying good things, rejecting the praise of others, or engaging in negative speech. Sometimes people even engage in self-harm to punish themselves. This type of failure response often occurs when you are overcome with guilt or even self-hatred. It is not a useful or constructive coping mechanism, but it is not uncommon.
If you’re stuck in a cycle of self-punishment, there’s no shame in asking for help. To find a therapist in your area, Click here.
# 2 denial
Sometimes when you are disappointed within yourself, you choose denial as a response. It’s basically the decision not to talk about your failure, to pretend it never happened. Denying that you set the goal in the first place or that you strayed from it won’t help you improve or achieve. You have to be honest with yourself (and with others, if applicable) if you want to grow.
# 3 give up
Giving up is a very common response to self-disappointment. When you set goals, you expect to achieve them; when faced with your own failures, it may seem logical to give up. We are often tough and judgment with ourselves. It’s like we’ve decided that only complete perfection is worth striving for. One mistake or one failure is enough to disqualify the value of all our efforts. And that is simply not true. We do not always meet our own standards, even when we have set realistic goals, but an all-or-nothing approach to our goals is not conducive to progress.
5 healthy alternatives
# 1 break
If you find yourself slipping into a disappointed state of mind, you should take a break. Often our own failures trigger our fight, flee or freeze reply. Take deep breaths, give yourself room to think, and calm down. Think about the situation in front of you rationally and thoughtfully so that you remain objective.
# 2 use it
If you are disappointed with your actions, use that disappointment as an impetus to find a solution or try again. It is an opportunity for you to shift to self-compassion and love of self. You are a human who makes mistakes, as we all are. What matters right now is how you choose to move forward. Use your disappointment as a catalyst to make good choices.
To make positive changes, you may need to devote some time to soul-searching. Ask yourself questions about why and how you were disappointed. How did the circumstances influence your choices? Do your goals or their implementation need to be reconsidered? Take this opportunity to learn more about yourself, your trends and who you want to be.
Once you understand how you ended up in this situation, you can make a plan to get back on track and avoid disappointment in the future. Your plan should be realistic to the demands of your life and include small, achievable steps to get you there. Think about the potential challenges that could derail your goals and how you will approach them. Prepare for future success.
# 3 Name your feelings
Your feelings matter and are valid. Being disappointed in yourself when things aren’t going well is normal. Name your feelings, accept them, and then make positive decisions about how to move forward. As we noted earlier, denial is unnecessary. By identifying and feeling your emotions associated with failure and disappointment, you are equipping yourself to move forward with those feelings resolved, rather than just sunk in a corner of your heart and ignored for as long as possible.
# 4 practice self-compassion
There is a good chance that you will make more mistakes, fail again, disappoint yourself because you are human. The best thing you can offer yourself in these times is self-compassion. Self-compassion helps us accept our mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth that will help us in the future. Start to make a habit of self-compassion now.
# 5 get help
If you have trouble overtaking, be disappointed in yourself or self-destructive behaviors, a therapist can be a great resource and support. Together, you can work on breaking down unnecessary thoughts and habits and adopting new, positive replacements.
A therapist can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms when dealing with personal disappointment. To find a therapist in your area, Click here.
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