As humans, something we all have in common is the shared feeling of disappointment in ourselves. We may feel like we can’t live up to the standards we or others have set for ourselves. Some of the disappointing thoughts we may have are:
- We aren’t as disciplined as we want to be.
- We aren’t as productive as we should be.
- We have trouble sticking with the habits we create for ourselves.
- We leave tasks undone, no matter how big or small.
- We don’t exercise like we should or eat as healthy as we should be eating.
- We don’t think that we’re the best parent, sibling, or friend that we could be.
These feelings often lead us to feel frustrated and disappointed. And what’s worst is that some of us experience these feelings daily.
So what can we do about this frustration and disappointment? In this article, I’ll share some of the strategies I’ve used to deal with these feelings. I hope this article can help serve as a guide to all of us dealing with these stressful thoughts.
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Dealing with Disappointment in Yourself
1. Notice the Signals
The first thing you want to do is notice when those feelings come up. Ask yourself if you are feeling frustrated or disappointed with anything.
Are there any habits you haven’t stuck with, or any goals you haven’t accomplished? Maybe there’s a project you’ve been procrastinating on, or perhaps you haven’t been eating as healthy as you should.
What feelings come up for you when you have these thoughts? These feelings are signals that you haven’t been meeting your desired expectations. If you have these feelings, don’t feel too down on yourself. You’re human. We all have had feelings like this from time to time. Noticing the signals is the first step in coping with these thoughts.
2. Give Yourself Space
Once you’ve noticed the signals, it’s important to give these feelings a little space. Allow them to sit with you without trying to push them away. Just let them be.
Take notice of how these feelings feel in your body. Understand that if you’re feeling bad, it’s normal and perfectly okay.
3. Be Compassionate with Yourself
If your friend or a family member were hurting like this, how would you comfort them? You’d probably give them a hug or some words of encouragement.
I encourage you to treat yourself the same way you would treat someone you loved. You are no less worthy of kind words of encouragement or a gentle hug. Be gentle with yourself. You deserve this compassion.
Strong Sensitive Souls has a helpful list of 35 simple things you can do to practice self-care.
4. See the Greatness of the Present
Now that we’ve been gentle with ourselves, it’s time to change the story we’re telling ourselves.
So far, the story has been that you’re not good enough and you feel bad about not being good enough.
Let’s turn the story around from the person we haven’t been, to the person we have been. You may have failed at this thing, but you’ve succeeded in a lot of other things. You’ve tried, and you’ve gotten a lot done.
Things haven’t always gone the way you wanted them to, but you had good intentions. You have been the best person that you can be, even if it means you have been imperfect. You have strived for better, and you made efforts. This person deserves recognition for being the best that they could be.
Now turn to the present moment. In this moment, what can you be grateful for? What is it that is great about being you at this moment, right now?
Book Recommendation: Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
5. Work with Curiosity
Lastly, going forward, let’s practice getting rid of our expectations of how we’re going to do today, or in life in general, and instead adopt an attitude of curiosity. We don’t know what the future holds when it comes to how we’re going to do with our personal habits, or how we’ll perform at work. We just can’t know the future. So instead, let’s find out what today will be like.
Be curious and enjoy the not-knowingness.
It’s fun to live in the moment!
Yes, we’ll create expectations for ourselves, and fail at reaching those expectations, which will cause us to feel frustrated and disappointed in ourselves again. This will happen because it is natural. I think that as people, we want to be perfect at everything. You may even find yourself wanting to be perfect at being curious and present.
When this happens, repeat the process that I’ve listed in this article. The more you practice living in the moment, the better you get at doing it.
As you get better at this, you’ll learn to see things with a new curiosity, and with a more loving and kind view of failing but constantly striving. You are wonderful, and that realization is worth the journey.