Doing the Right Thing Despite Disappointments

Doing the Right Thing Despite Disappointments
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

They say that doing the right thing means forgetting about yourself and sacrificing for others, but this isn’t always true. It’s possible to do the right thing, with integrity and with concern for the wellbeing of those around you, without abandoning yourself.

We can want the best for everyone, but must also act in accordance with our own inner voice and morals. If we don’t it would be against our essence. That would really be a blow to our self-concept, our identity.

There are some disappointments that make us open our eyes and close our hearts. It’s a type of pain that forces us to be more prudent, but it should never make us lose our ability to do the right thing. In a way, this idea reminds us a bit of a saying by Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince: “it would be crazy to hate all of the roses because one pinched you.”

I’ll never stop doing the right thing because I’ve been disappointed

We all have more than one personal story that’s marked by disappointment. Some hurt more than others, and some have even forced us to lose our initial innocence with which we enter the world.

They say that even the most loving heart gets tired of being hurt, but no matter how many wounds we endure we should never lose our ability to love the people that truly deserve it.

In life, we invest time, emotions, dreams and hopes into reaching certain goals. Sometimes, they are simply aspirations. Other times, it’s part of our lives that we invest in certain people that at some point may disappoint us.

When we want something very badly and we lose it, disappointment and emptiness appear. We don’t only lose that relationship, that dream, we also let part of ourselves go.

The greatest danger of disappointments is falling into hopelessness and helplessness. There is something that has not been adjusted to our expectations, that hasn’t come out as expected And that hurts, so much so that we can generate the feeling that whatever we do will have the same result.

Many times failures and disappointments generate negative emotions within us like rage, anger, rancor or frustration.  Any negative emotion that’s maintained chronically over time can change our view of life, people, and make us doubt that there are still good people in the world.

We should never let ourselves fall into those extremes, where our values are broken down completely. Because when we lose our values, we lose it all. And if you lose your ability to do the right thing, thinking that it’s not worth it, you’ll stop being yourself. You’ll stop recognizing yourself when you look in the mirror.

girl and elephant

Practice the habit of acceptance

Everything that happens in your life, be it good or bad, you should accept it, integrate it and keep moving forward in the lightest way possible. If you hold onto grudges, you’ll walk slower. If you hold onto anger, you’ll seek revenge. If you hide hate, you’ll remain quiet and you’ll completely have lost the ability to do the right thing. To generate happiness.

In life, we’re no more than brief passengers on a path where the ones who carry light loads, free of hate and grudges, will be able to enjoy the journey with more wisdom and integrity.

We know it’s not always easy to face disappointment, but we can’t allow other people’s bad behavior to become ingrained within you to the point that it changes you. To make you believe that there are no good people left, or that good people always end up getting hurt.

How to overcome disappointments and keep trusting yourself and those around you

Take note of how you can protect yourself daily from disappointments:

  • Try to live in the “here and now.” Focus on the present without generating excessive expectations about what should or what will happen. Go with the flow.
  • Accept that disappointments are a part of life and that we should learn from them. Don’t let them turn you into something you’re not.
  • Understand that you can’t control what others do, be it good or bad. You know who and what you are, and you know that doing the right thing is part of your essence, your core.
  • Believe in others until they prove you otherwise. Allow yourself to trust. You have experience and nobility in your heart, and you deserve to always find the best in people. If you try to get close to them while holding on to previous grudges, you’ll only find rejection.
  • Think of disappointments as a renewal:  it’s experience and a clear example of what you don’t want to repeat. Never lose your ability to do the right thing no matter how many times you’ve been disappointed. No matter how many times you fall.
girl with long dress and hair

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.