Is it possible to avoid disappointment?


Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations or hopes to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself. It is a source of psychological stress. The study of disappointment—its causes, impact, and the degree to which individual decisions are motivated by a desire to avoid it—is a focus in the field of decision analysis, as disappointment is one of two primary emotions involved in decision-making. (Wikipedia)

Oh how true – the power of expectations! They can bring joy when our ‘expectations’ are met but oh dear – the power to devastate when they aren’t!

Disappointment quote 1

I recall as a child that horrible feeling of being on the end of my mum’s ‘disappointment’ when I had failed to meet her expectations and I think that sense of always having to ‘please others’ and having to be ‘perfect’ has remained with me throughout my life with sometimes detrimental consequences….

Disappointment quote 5

Images in this post courtesy of ‘bing search’ & my 2 granddaughters of course!

When you have expectations of yourself and/or others, be aware that failure to meet them will lead to …yep…. DISAPPOINTMENT………. ughhhhhhhh ….. that sinking feeling!

Have you ever built things up in your mind only to be greatly disappointed when in reality  ‘it/they/you ‘ failed to meet your expectation?

  • How many nights out have you SO looked forward to –  building them up… “It’s going to be an amazing night”… “I can’t wait…”. Then it arrives and reality hits – it turned out to be not so great? Remember that feeling of massive disappointment as you crash back down to Earth – to make it even worse…possibly with an ALMIGHTY hangover as well the next morning! (not that I’m speaking from personal experience….)
  • What about people – maybe you put somebody ‘up there’ on that pedestal, only to be devastated when they fall off, as they could never really live up to your ‘high’ expectations?
  • Maybe you were ‘up on that pedestal’ only to feel the ‘disappointment’ of others when you fell off!..
  • Or – have you ever got a new job and thought – “This is going to be the BEST job”… only to be disappointed as it turned out to be the WORST JOB EVER!!
  • Then there’s the BIG build up to ‘THE BEST’ holiday – oh yes – we build up to those holidays for a long time – we expect a lot!! We certainly didn’t expect to spend time in the company of COCKROACHES – Yikes!!!

By comparison…..

  • Have there been nights out that you really weren’t looking forward to and yet they turned out to be BRILLIANT?
  • Have you had a ‘low expectation’ of someone in your life – a friend, relative or colleague … who when the ‘chips were down’ suddenly raised their game and supported or helped you way beyond what you ever expected of them? They were ‘Amazing’
  • Have you started a job that you thought ‘would do for the time being’ and it’s developed into a fabulous job that you really enjoyed and excelled at?
  • Or – gone on that ‘cheap last minute’ holiday that exceeded every expectation and was ‘Delightful’?
  • Or you’ve tried something new which you thought you’d be ‘rubbish at’ and you shocked yourself at what you achieved?

Someone close to me is going through a tough time at the moment and has suffered some pretty hard ‘knocks’ over the last couple of years where her expectations of those around her have not always been met. She put her all into ‘things’ and yet has been left feeling so ‘disappointed’ with life and people….. The words ‘disheartened’ ‘disillusioned’ and definitely ‘DISAPPOINTED’ spring to mind!

That feeling of gloom and depression and having to ‘Pick herself up’ off the floor…. Again!

Could this have been different if her expectations of the ‘outcomes’ had been different…. clearer…..achievable…… met….????

Disappointment quote 4


So for me there are 2 things to be aware of:

  1. Having expectations of others
  2. Having expectations of yourself

If you or they ‘fail to achieve’ you will be left feeling ‘disappointed’!


If you watched the video I posted Video: How To Put Your Tent Up – or not! you may have noticed my granddaughter’s comment:

“Don’t worry everything will be…….


She was only joking when she spoke, but when I listened back to the video, it got me thinking about how wise these words really are and how much we can learn from the workings of a child’s mind….

I’ve been a great believer in ‘dreaming big’ and whilst I don’t want to let this belief go, I can see that at times it is possible to create such a ‘high expectation’ of myself, someone else or something else in our minds, that we are setting ourselves up to ‘fail’ where the only outcome is going to be that feeling of ‘disappointment’.

By comparison, my granddaughter’s wise little joke: “Don’t worry – it’s all going to be RUBBISH”, may be a very CLEVER philosophy.

Is the answer that we should lower our expectations of ourselves and others and if we did would we reduce that risk of feeling disappointed? Whilst I wouldn’t go as far as saying that we should “expect everything to be rubbish”, I do wonder….

  • What if we stopped expecting ourselves to be ‘perfect’ at everything and just surprise ourselves when we find ourselves doing brilliantly at something?
  • What if we lowered our expectations of others and allowed them that ‘space to exceed’ our expectations and delight us, rather than raising the bar so high that they can’t possibly jump over it?
  • Or how about if we put excessive planning to one side sometimes and just ‘go with the flow’ to let life unfold for us and provide that element of ‘surprise’…

Can you remember that wonderful feeling and sense of achievement when you have ‘exceeded’ someone’s or your own expectations. How good does it feel?


Are you depriving yourself and others of this great feeling by raising the bar impossibly high?

Are you de-motivating yourself and those around you by setting impossible targets. “It’s just too hard – I may as well not even bother..” or “I’ll never be good enough anyway..”

What do you think?

Is there a case for:”No expectation, no worry!”

Does this mean that the only way is UP where life and people have the opportunity to EXCEED our expectations and therefore we are  rarely  disappointed and we have the chance of feeling the sense of pleasure and achievement when we do better than we thought we would?

Food for thought…… Maybe we should listen more closely to the children in our lives – they have lots of lessons to teach us!

Disappointment quote 2(Couldn’t resist this one when I saw it on Bing…) haha – sorry guys!!…

21 thoughts on “Is it possible to avoid disappointment?

Add yours

    1. She certainly is! Infact I learn a lot from listening to both of my granddaughters – and the youngest is only 4 – yikes it doesn’t say a lot for what I’ve learned in 55 years does it!! haha – So glad you enjoyed this post! x

      Liked by 1 person

        1. haha – Not sure they’ll appreciate the implication!! Mother’s know all there is to know – haha.. and you’re right – kids keep us in check and remind us what’s really important in life – I realise this more with each passing year! x

          Liked by 1 person

  1. There’s a lot of truth and wise words in this post Wendy. I think I gave up a long time ago setting high expectations. For me it’s more about acceptance of a situation and going with the flow a bit in life. Not expecting too much but just letting things happen. There are far less disappointments that way. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post, I truly enjoyed reading 🙂 I’ve just finished a piece on handling disappointment and I hope it’s as inspiring as yours! Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fabulous – thanks so much for your lovely comment which I really appreciate and I’m delighted you enjoyed the post.. I’m definitely popping across to read yours and I’m sure it will be brilliant! x

      Liked by 1 person

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