Why It’s Good to Let Yourself Be Disappointed

As adults, we naturally tend towards hedonism as a way of life. We tend to avoid what hurts us and seek out what feels good. Pain, whether psychological or physical, causes stress to our bodies and our minds, which, when we endure it for too long, can cause mental health problems, chronic health issues, and burnout.

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However, staying too safe isn’t good for us either. Even as adults, our brains are constantly growing, developing new neural networks. Or at least that’s how we are designed. We are meant to be constantly evolving in new ways, learning new things, and achieving new insights and success along the way.

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Part of that growth naturally involves disappointment. No one, male or female, is successful at everything we attempt for the first, second, or third time. As we try things, and as we fail, we learn what works and what doesn’t. We become more creative, stronger, and more resilient. When one path leads to a dead end, we find a wonderful new trail we didn’t know existed and end up in destinations unheard of. Trying to be competent, safe, and sure of everything ahead of time is simply trying to avoid shame and disappointment. You go down the path everyone else has already trod on a million times that leads to the same place that you already knew about ahead of time. Your mind, your body, and your life remain stagnant, not really going anywhere.

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Sometimes people have an idea that they should wait until the unpleasant feelings go away before they try something new, before going on an adventure, before charting unknown territory. What happens is that they never go anywhere as those negative feelings hold reign over their lives and become their own prison. Rather, it’s better to take risks, experience disappointment, and grow from it all first. In other words, become really good at being a beginner. Over time, the unpleasant feelings will give way to the more positive feelings that naturally come with mastery and overcoming challenges. A good struggle, whatever the outcome, can make life more interesting and a tool for growth.

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There is no better time than now to reach out and try something new, scary, and challenging. Test your limits, and see how far you can go, and what you can learn from your experience. If nothing else, you will have some great stories to tell later.