I had a conversation today with a friend talking about the best way to deal with disappointment.

In my experience, there are three ways to deal with disappointment: prepare for it, examine it, and “macro” it.

Prepare for It: Spend time planning out and thinking about the possible disappointing scenarios.

Planning ahead is the best way that I handle and prepare for disappointment. I don’t mean that I plan on being disappointed at some future date because of an undesired outcome. I mean I prepare and think about all the outcomes prior to them happening. When I do this, I look for “wins” or “successes” even in the less desirable outcomes.

Examine It: Take a closer look at the disappointment

This method of dealing with disappointment I usually only find myself using if I neglected using the first method. In fact, I would say this step and the first step are very similar, this is just applying the same strategy when I am currently disappointmented as opposed to thinking about what might disappoint me in the future.

In this situation, I don’t have to examine multiple outcomes because I am already in the disappointing outcome. So, I examine why this is disappointing to me, and what I could possibly take-away from it.

“Macro” It: Compare the disappointment to the macro goal

This is an important thing that I try to reflect on frequently. Often times the disappointing scenarios that I find myself in almost evaporate when I think about the bigger picture. So often I get caught in the microcosm of whatever situation I’m in, and it seems like the world is ending. However, it is only when I take a moment to think about my overarching goal and/or look at how this situation fits into the macro that I realize this situation doesn’t matter at all.