Tips for Overcoming Frustration and Disappointment

Are there times when you have been working hard to make progress on something or just get it completed, yet despite your best efforts, it just isn’t going well, and you feel frustrated and disappointed about that?

It can be like you are running through mud, using up all your energy, but you are not getting very far at all!

Experiencing these kinds of disappointments can be really stressful, especially if you are up against a time constraint. You can very easily become totally despondent, and then despair creeps in. The good news is, however, that you can get past this. You will get past it, as others have done before you.

The project that you have been working on likely isn’t the issue. Maybe you were in line for a promotion. You thought you would get it but didn’t. Maybe you are trying to explore the possibilities of a completely new career, but after all the effort expended, you still have no idea what kind of new career might be best for you.

This is just part of life, and pretty much everyone has been in this place before. Some of us have been there many times. When we get in these situations, it is important to find different ways to move us over, under, around, or through them and not spend too much time dwelling on them.

To overcome your frustration and disappointment, you only need to spend enough time thinking about your circumstances to get a good handle on the situation. Then, take action and create a change in the way you are seeing it.  The fastest and most effective way of changing anything is to make a decision and take action.

Consider these actions that others have done to make a positive difference:

  1. Reframe it. Reframe the situation and it takes on a whole new perspective. View the frustration that you are experiencing as a good thing because frustration means that you are just about to learn something.
    • Look for the lesson. Once you have found it, you will never need to go back there again.
  2. Change your routine. Your daily routine has a bigger impact on the way you show up in life than you think. If you find yourself in a mindset that is not supporting you, change your routine.
    • Go for a run, ride your bike, or go for a walk. Go somewhere different, go in the rain. Get close to nature. Do something exhilarating.
    • Your whole demeanor will change for the better in 60 minutes or less and so will the challenge that you are wrestling with.
  3. Seek encouragement and Inspiration. Who do you know who can inspire you? Encourage you? Share some life wisdom with you? We all have someone we respect, trust, and enjoy talking over difficult situations with.
    • Oftentimes, just explaining the situation can shine a light on a solution or a strategy that can resolve a difficult issue.
  4. Adjust your attitude. It is not what happens to you, it is what you do about it that matters. Acknowledge that you are in a place of frustration and disappointment, but also acknowledge that you can and will get past it. Other people have, and so will you.
    • There is nothing that is going to be insurmountable. Start from the viewpoint that there is a solution here, and you will find it.
  5. Be open to new ideas. Getting good at anything is easiest done by learning from other people’s experiences. Always be open to new ideas, different ways of seeing things, additional strategies, and especially new attitudes.
    • More often than not, it is not the situation or circumstance that is the root of the issue. It is either the way we are approaching it or the way we are perceiving it.
    • If someone else has a methodology for resolving these issues, don’t reinvent the wheel, but follow in their footsteps.
  6. Expect a positive outcome. If you adopt a perspective of positive expectancy, whereby you know that it doesn’t matter what happens, and you are absolutely certain that everything will work out perfectly, more often than not, it really does.
    • If you can get this one into your daily affirmations, everything will change for the better.

Don’t let frustration and disappointment rule over you. Use these tips to get past them and move forward toward the future you want!


Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

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  1. As always a lesson to refer to in many circumstances of life.
    I have read an interesting book on disappointments and I agree with your suggestions, above all I share those in points 4 (Adjust your attitude) and 5 (Be open to new ideas) because perhaps they are, by my nature, the easiest to achieve.
    It is obvious that disappointments are part of our life. They cannot be avoided, they displace and put our balance at risk, but we can defend ourselves. And they can even be turned into a springboard to new challenges and opportunities. A good path is to know yourself well, in not cultivating disproportionate expectations and in never ceasing to safeguard your self-esteem. But also in “not closing oneself to desire” while maintaining the desire to do and move forward. I think this is very important because it keeps you alive, it doesn’t make you mull over what has been, but it makes you focus on the future, on the new.
    Thanks Sandy for bringing this extremely important topic to our attention.