Managing Disappointment: Feel Into It

Managing Disappointment: Feel Into It

Managing Disappointment

Work passed you over for the promotion…again. Your kids won’t be home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Your spouse refuses to talk to someone about your relationship. Friends don’t extend the invitation to the birthday party. Work colleague grows distant and you overhear them talking about you in the lunchroom. All the weight you worked so hard to lose begins to pack back on.

Is anything sounding familiar? We all face disappointment. Disappointment comes in a variety of packages, but none of us can avoid feeling this way at some point. How do we move through disappointment and manage the lingering emotional impact? How do we avoid sitting too long in the muck and mire of disappointing circumstances?

Notice With Curiosity

Working with clients, they hear me often say…notice that…where is it in your body? Paying attention to how circumstances or thoughts show up at the moment helps us gain valuable insight. Our emotions begin in our bodies, so we need to be curious and pay attention to what happens on the inside. We need to notice what happens with curiosity, not judgment. This is the present moment experience or practice of mindful awareness.

For instance, as you notice the pit in your stomach when you think about your colleagues speaking ill about you, you may realize how hurt you feel. Feeling into this, the hurt is hot and brings the threat of tears. It may even want to express itself as anger or sadness. This is helpful to know. You feel hurt and if we stay with this for a moment, you may notice with the hurt is a sense of feeling exposed or embarrassed. So much more information about what is going on inside. With this information, you know how to better care for yourself. You may have to reach out for reassurance or talk to someone you trust.

Or, you may notice movement and tightness in the top of your chest and shallow breathing when you sit with the experience of being passed over for the promotion. As you notice this feeling in your body, you can see this feels like worry about your future. Your worry thoughts can then be observed, challenged or shared with someone you trust so you can feel supported and encouraged. What would this feeling say if you could give it words?

The Experiential Process

This is how we work together. We feel into it. We notice with curiosity and we do it together. Our primary goal is to undo the aloneness and trust the process of the experience. You should share in an experience. It should be new and it should be good. It takes courage to begin the journey and patience to trust the process. 

Take good care,



Tracey Dahl
Tracey Dahl
Registered clinical counsellor (RCC)