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Dealing with disappointment


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Nobody feels great when things don’t go the way they planned. And it is sometimes difficult to come to terms with that situation.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity

(Albert Einstein)

I hope that this academic year goes plain sailing for all students. However, it won’t be long before we start getting our first marks and it won’t be long before our expectation are challenged.

Nobody feels great when things don’t go the way they planned. And it is sometimes difficult to come to terms with that situation. We start asking questions: “Who, how, what went wrong?” “Am I to blame or is it someone else’s fault?” “How do I get back on track?”

I must admit, it always annoyed me when something didn’t work out and when I was told that nothing happened and advised to carry on. “Something didn’t go my way and it disturbed my plans, so it is not like I could just carry on as if nothing happened,” I thought, frustrated!

According to Online Etymology Dictionary, English word ‘disappointment’ has its roots in French word ‘appointer’ which means to “make ready, arrange, settle.” To dis-appoint means to undo that arranging, settling and making ready.

Just think about it, it actually works that way – we plan something, we do our best and we hope for a positive outcome.

But when the results are below expectations, the feeling of disappointment sets in. And it’s no wonder.

So how best deal with it?

Different people approach failure in different ways, so it is very personal for each and every one of us. One way to go about it is to use that feeling of disappointment to fuel our ambition to do better in the future.

See what went wrong, be realistic about the effort made the first time around and improve things going forward.

Sportspeople look back at their game to learn from their own mistakes. If that works for them, it can for work for us too. Sometimes, all it takes is to allow ourselves more time for study or to read more about the subject, sometimes it is worthwhile to go and discuss the topic with colleagues but, on occasion, we just need to mull it over for ourselves. So, look back to learn and avoid falling into the same pitfalls twice.

It didn’t work this time. But hey! At least there is something we are passionate about, so we keep pursuing our goal! Success is as much about getting what we want as it is about believing in ourselves and staying resilient when things go wrong.

We shouldn’t be afraid to go and talk to somebody about how we feel. In college or at work there will be people happy to listen and to share their advice. We have nothing to lose by learning more about how to succeed, so why not to take as much advice as is available.

Let’s believe in ourselves, pursue our goals relentlessly and have an open and yet critical mind to discern the best way to go forward each time things tumble down a bit.

Best of luck to us all!

Urszula studies Professional Accountancy in Poland.