6 Lasting Ways To Find Hope After Being Majorly Disappointed

Determine what is within your control, and what you should lean away from.

Woman finding a way to have hope after disappointment D-Keine, pixelshot, 89Stocker | Canva

Finding hope and having a positive attitude after disappointment isn’t always easy.

Disappointment comes when you expect something to happen or be true, and your expectation is unfulfilled. You’re let down by the circumstance or the person, causing you to feel deeply sad or betrayed.

You may have a sense of loss or regret. There may be a period of mourning. Mourning is all normal, and you can learn how to move on.


On the other end of disappointment, there is hope. This is where you can find new perspectives and possibilities. You can learn from the experience and explore how you might behave differently next time. Staying positive and hopeful is a chance for a new beginning.

There are all kinds of disappointments — from not winning the lottery this week to hearing your child did something she promised never to do. From learning your boss chose someone else to get the promotion that you wanted to find out that your husband cheated on you.

A lot of major and minor events can cause disappointment.

When something important to you doesn’t work, you are naturally disappointed. Now, you get to decide what to do with it.


Things are as they are. We suffer because we imagine things would be different.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Have A More Positive Attitude (When You Feel Like You're Losing Hope)

How do you find hope and keep a positive attitude after being disappointed?

Recently, I was very disappointed to learn my niece and nephew and their baby girl are moving clearly across the country. My niece is like a daughter to me, and my nephew is the son I never had. And then, there’s their little girl, upon whose head the sun rises and sets for all of us.


When I first heard the news, I could feel my heart breaking. I imagined I would read to my little one all the books I lovingly picked out, and I thought we would play with the same toddler puzzles until she grew out of them. I was sure our impromptu get-togethers for pizza on a Friday night would be forever — a huge disappointment.

Now that the day of their departure is drawing very near, I’m thinking more about how to stay connected with them. I’m focusing on how I can help relieve their stress around the move by packing boxes for them.

As I search for the silver lining, I find hope after that disappointing event.

Rather than wallowing in the loss, which is something I have to acknowledge, I’m choosing to make plans for regular video talks with this dear part of my family. I’ve ordered a recordable book so my husband and I can record our voices reading the story so our precious little one won’t forget us.


We’re also making plans for our first visit.

This was how I found hope.

Disappointments are saying, "I’ve got something better for you." So be patient. Live your life. Have faith. And you'll eventually find yourself moving on from it.

RELATED: Why Living For Others Only Leads To Disappointing Yourself

If you've been majorly disappointed, here are six ways to stay positive & move on.

1. Acknowledge the disappointment

Accepting the situation is the first step to moving beyond it. It is what it is, and we can’t change what is in the past. This acceptance may take some time, and you may want to wallow in it, but staying in the grips of that will only hold you back.


I love this analogy and choice: Do you want to keep looking in the rearview mirror (wallowing), or will you look through the windshield and consider the possibilities after the disappointment?

2. Feel the emotions that come up

Don’t avoid them. The emotions will be there, no doubt. Sadness, regret, grief, anger, betrayal, and heartbreak are all tangled up in disappointment. Trying to hurdle over those emotions or maneuver around them will not help you in the long run because you’re avoiding the inevitable.

Working through them will help you understand better how you react to disappointment. With that wisdom, you can choose how you will behave the next time your expectations are not met.

3. Be gentle with yourself as you move through the emotional stuff

Give yourself a break, literally and figuratively. Put some distance between you and the situation that disappointed you so you can see more clearly the options ahead. Then, breathe.


Take care of yourself while you are working through how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.

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4. Determine what is within your control to change and what is not

Finding hope after disappointment requires recognizing what is within your control to change. Making choices from that perspective gives you the power to move forward so you heal the wounds and find the good in the new situation.

Disappointments are not meant to destroy you. They are meant to strengthen you.

5. Adjust your expectations

Think about what you were expecting to be different in the situation. Were your expectations unrealistic? Was there anything about that situation that you could have changed? Did you set yourself up for disappointment because of your expectations?


Adjusting your expectations moving forward can help to mitigate the feelings that come with disappointment. When you have no expectations, you will not be disappointed. Can you adjust your expectations?

6. Look for the hope

This is a choice. Look through the windshield for new possibilities. Find the silver lining. Change your perspective.

Ask yourself this question: What if it was my idea? Would you feel differently? What actions would you take if it was in your control — if it was your idea? Allow new situations to unfold that may not have happened otherwise.

Finding hope after disappointment is a choice. Make the choice that feels better, rather than wallowing in the sadness. Moving forward from that place of choice, one step at a time is the best way to move through disappointment.


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María Tomás-Keegan is a certified career and life coach for women, and the founder of Transition & Thrive with María.