6 Things to Do When You Are Disappointed in Your Life

woman wrapped in blanket looking sad and grumpy and serious, what to do when disappointed in life

Tears streamed down my cheeks. My daughter walked up to me as I tried to dry my face. “Mom are you okay?” she asked. “Yes, sweetie. I just need a minute.” The past several months had been filled with personal disappointments. I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

Later that evening, my husband and I had a long talk. Yes, I had faced challenges, but I needed to make some changes. What my husband lovingly reminded me is that disappointments are part of life. It is how we handle those disappointments that build our character. From our conversation came a renewal within me. I began a journey of redefining myself as a mom, a wife, and a child of God. Here are some ways I started framing my mindset when I was disappointed with my life.

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  • sad woman looking out apartment window

    1. Discover the Source of Your Disappointment


    Throughout Scripture, many people of God vocalize disappointment. King David mourns his relationship with King Saul and later his relationship with his sons. Prophets grieved over the sins of Israel and Judah. Mary and Martha approached Jesus with their disappointment for his delay.

    In my own life, I allowed the source of my disappointment to fester. I let my emotions well up inside me, trying to convince myself that everything was “fine.” In reality, I was emotionally fragile.

    Evaluating the source of your disappointment is not an easy task. It takes vulnerability to God, yourself, and sometimes to others.

    Here are a few questions to help begin your search:

    • What are three words that describe my disappointment?
    • Why did I choose those three words?
    • How am I choosing to cope with (to deal with) my disappointment?
    • Is my coping strategy helping me grow in my relationship with God?

    In answering these questions, see if there is a sin that God reveals to you that has contributed to some of the disappointment in your life. Take some time to confess this sin to your Heavenly Father. He loves you and forgives you. He wants to restore you.

    In seeking what is causing your frustration, next examine the circumstances around you. Is there anything or anyone who is contributing to how you are feeling? Ask God if there are any changes you can make in these circumstances or relationships.

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  • praying hands

    2. Attend to Spiritual Needs


    When I dealt with my season of disappointment, I realized that I allowed my spiritual life to go by the wayside. My disappointment consumed my thoughts. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God. When we do this, all other priorities seem to fall into place.

    As I began to attend to my spiritual relationship, I found that my disappointments no longer seemed overwhelming. I realized my greater purposed in Christ. I remembered how loved I was by my Heavenly Father. I spent more time in prayer rather than complaining. I began thanking God for the blessings He freely gave.

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  • woman talking on phone

    3. Stay Connected


    Even in times of isolation, we can continue to be intentional about connecting with one another. Utilize technology in the best way possible. Reach out to those who will inspire and encourage you. Take a chance and tell someone your needs. Most people want to connect (Galatians 6:2).

    It is also helpful to make sure that you are maintaining a balance when it comes to how you connect with people via technology. While social media is useful, it can also make us feel further isolated. So, be careful in guarding that you are personally connecting with friends.

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  • happy woman writing on piece of paper

    4. Set Obtainable Goals


    Part of my disappointment stemmed from setting one large goal without setting smaller obtainable goals. The purpose of goal setting is to help us achieve and be successful. If I had never run before, yet I set the goal to run a marathon with no smaller goals in between, I would be setting myself up to fail.

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul describes the Christian life as a race. We are to run it as if to receive the prize. Therefore, we should realize that we must run with perseverance. This includes continuing on in times of disappointment. Setting obtainable goals helps us achieve small successes along the way. What do you want to accomplish? What steps are needed to get there? Begin to write them out and start making small achievable goals.

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  • fruit and vegetable spread

    5. Maintain Healthy Habits


    When our bodies do not feel good, we do not feel good. My husband pointed out that some of my physical habits had changed, including how I ate and exercised. If you feel disappointed in your life, evaluate how much water you are drinking. Try to go outside for some fresh air and take a short walk.

    Making small, gradual changes could help significantly. In developing healthy habits, try to think of a new hobby or a way to give back to the community. Oftentimes, when we start something new or give to others, we start to feel better ourselves.

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  • chain of people reaching out to help struggling person

    6. Seek Help from Others


    Sometimes disappointments and burdens are greater than we can bear alone. God gives us resources in others as help and guidance. Having the courage to trust someone with your pain is a big step in the healing process. If you realize you need someone to talk to, seek out a trusted friend, small group leader, or pastor. You may also need to talk to someone with more professional experience which may include a trained counselor, psychologist, or medical doctor. The path to overcoming disappointment is different for everyone, but the goal is the same: to find renewal in Christ. Knowing you are not alone in your journey brings a source of comfort and peace.

    As we strive to live in a broken world, we will encounter times of disappointment. The question is, how will we respond when these times arise? My prayer is that I will prepare my heart for days of disappointments by recognizing that no matter what happens in life, God loves me. But, the next time I become discouraged, I have some practical tools to help me.

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  • stressed or tired woman reading her bible

    8 Bible Verses to Help in Times of Disappointment:


    Proverbs 3:5-8

    1 Peter 5:6-8

    Psalm 119:116

    Psalm 40:1-3

    2 Corinthians 12:9-10

    Psalm 27:13-14

    Lamentation 3:22-23

    Galatians 6:9

    A Prayer for Those Who Are Disappointed

    Dear Lord,

    In this season, I feel disappointed and unsatisfied. It hurts to mention my unhappiness to You. Yet I know You desire to hear all my thoughts. You care to hear my hurt and pain. Search my heart and show me why I thirst. Help me long for You alone. Show me where my desires do not match Your will for my life. Lord, I trust in Your goodness and Your plan for me. You have given me so many gifts. Thank you for Your Presence. Show me the next right step I need to take. Give me the strength to walk towards You.

    In Jesus Name,

    Amen

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    Cortney Whiting is a wife and mom of two preteens. She received her Master of Theology Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. After serving in the church for nearly 15 years, Cortney currently teaches at a Christian school and writes for various Christian ministries. You can find her at her blog, https://recapturefaith.com.