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wundayatta's avatar

How do you come to grips with the idea that you won't achieve something you really wanted?

Asked by wundayatta (58591points) December 2nd, 2010

I’m sure we’ve all had these times in our lives. We finally realize it’s not going to happen. It could be a pretty big deal, such as realizing you’re not going to have the relationship you wanted. Or maybe realizing you are going to achieve a life long goal.

For example, there was a time when I thought I’d never have a child. I really wanted the opportunity to be a father, and when I found out I was infertile, the bottom kind of dropped out of my world. Fortunately, technology changed, and we never gave up, and we were able to achieve this goal.

How do you deal with your disappointment? How do you deal with the loss of self-esteem? How do you turn yourself around so you can enjoy what you do have?

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16 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

If dealing with something means continuing to live, sleep, wake up, eat, and such, it just happens. No everyone does deal, they commit suicide. The rest of us eventually get over it, for the most part. It gradually becomes part of the life that has built us, in favor of the life we have now or ahead of us.

ftp901's avatar

It’s a melancholy feeling when you let your dreams go. I guess I have dealt with it in the past by focusing on a new dream or a new goal – one opportunity closes which gives you the space and time to explore something else that you’ve always wanted to try.

john65pennington's avatar

I was passed over on three occasions for a promotion in my police department. the only reason i was not promoted had to do with politics. i was the treasurer of our police union and i can only assume our mayor was expressing his authority, when my name was red-lined off the promotion list. i qualified to be promoted. anyway, i finally came to the realization that i would never be promoted. so, i did the next best thing. i was promoted to a detective. this was a good thing, because with this promotion also comes a 5% raise in salary. if i had been promoted to a sergeant, this would have been the same salary as a detective. so, i accepted one situation, but turned it around into a better situation.

Not being promoted to sergeant was a low blow to me. i deserved the promotion.

CaptainHarley's avatar

There are any number of reasons why someone would be unable to achieve their goals: lack of ability in a certain field, politics, economic impediments… the list is long. If you’re stymied, pick another route.

janbb's avatar

Still coming to grips with an idea of something that went south. It’s a long. slow process that for me means trying to find meaning and fulfillment in the actual and staying away from rumination about what can’t be as much as possible.

partyparty's avatar

Well I still can’t swim, but I just accept that is how it is.
But I never say never. Perhaps one day who knows?

BoBo1946's avatar

Life is full of disappointments… the valleys make the mountains that much higher. My attitude about disappointments….makes me more determined. I know one thing, above all else, I will go down fighting. I don’t second guess myself for very long on disappointment….just dust off my britches and keep on going. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Another good one, “the sun does not shine on the same dog’s ass everyday!” Maybe, today is my day! Or your’s!

wenwen's avatar

This is something I am trying to deal with currently, and it’s hard, but I am a fighter, and it may be a bit of a cliche, but my son makes it all worth fighting for. Its the truth.

The disappointment of realising that someone or something or even yourself can let you down so very greatly , and only realising how much you relied on a certain belief of your life structure or dream , and what happens to you when it is no longer in your reach or reality can be devastating.

Humans are adaptable though, and for me , its about re assessing my priorities, and sometimes even my values and making them fit to the new way of life.
There is nothing I would like more than to keep holding onto the dream of what I really wanted for my life, but I can’t have it now. I had to make a decision to compromise.
Can I live with that? Well, I am , but it’s hard not to feel resentment sometimes (resentment is an ugly thing, and I get annoyed with myself for that) I’m not sure that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but there are a lot of people in a worse situation than I am.

thekoukoureport's avatar

At one point I believed that all of my dreams went unfulfilled, but in retrospect ALL of my dreams have come true. Maybe not to the level that I dreamed but they happened in some degree or other. I could explain in detail but I don’t want to bore everyone. When I came to that realization life change for me in a profound way.

Try it! Search your dreams like @Cruiser’s example. He wanted a particular job, but I bet his original dream was to be a police officer.

truecomedian's avatar

In the past I dealt with it by trying to end my own life, because I couldn’t except that I had lost something, someone, and since I thought it was impossible for me to lose this, I couldn’t except the loss. So, being the shortsighted weakling that I was, I tried to end myself. Eventually I realized that it was my fault, and that it was just because of some mistakes I made, that I was human, and mistakes were inevitable. I stopped blaming someone else, and took the blame on me, this helped me to realize that I had been behaving irrationally, and that nothing bad enough could happen, or had happened to me, to justify self harm. You see my point is, if we understand that loss is impossible to prevent all the time, then we will always handle loss the way we were meant to, well I hope, rationally I hope, the sooner we except the loss the sooner we can start trying to gain something else. Something possibly better, we just need to maintain perspective, and adapt to the new goal.

josie's avatar

Unless one is unjustly imprisoned or hopelessly disabled or some other unusual but awful circumstance, normal life is sort of like battle or an athletic contest.
As somebody once said “You win some, you lose some”
It’s true.
It is not a matter of dealing with anything.
It is simply accepting the twists and turns of existence. Anybody can say how things should be, but the only thing that merits consideration is how they are.
Do your best, celebrate success, learn from failure and live another day.
The following is not to be taken personally by anyone, but since we are mortal, and our time is finite, it is wrong to waste time wallowing around in anything that even smells like self pity.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Well, it’s actually more like, “Win some. Lose some. And some get rained out!” : D

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t give up, I’ve never had to face this. If something doesn’t go the way I wanted it to, I figure it’s not meant to be and move on.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not to say it won’t ever happen but I did spend a good decade calming myself down to accept it might not and to find other focuses of meaning to my life. In my 20’s then so many people gave me good advice, great examples, outstanding reason and support but it was like my skin was so thick I couldn’t feel the reality or absorb the comfort, so distressing.

Time is all that’s done it for me since I’m so stubborn. Time and again of having to start over or change direction/momentum. Now I finally have a kind of peace I never would have envisioned

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