The Surprising Benefits of Disappointment + How to Embrace Disappointment & Use It to Your Advantage

In this podcast (episode #392) and blog, I talk about managing feelings of disappointment before they negatively affect our mental wellbeing.

Disappointment is the feeling we get when an expectation that we have isn’t met. It is an emotional signal, a messenger, telling us that something is out of balance in our lives—what we want doesn’t reflect our reality.   

If we take the time to analyze feelings of disappointment, we will notice they are attached to three other signals: behaviors, bodily sensations, and perspective. This means that we don’t just feel disappointment as an emotion; it can also impact how we feel physically, how we act, and our perception of ourselves and the world around us.

The key to managing feelings of disappointment is going beyond awareness and learning how to make our feelings work for us instead of against us. Disappointment can quickly become toxic if we immerse ourselves in it for too long, which is why it is so important to learn how to manage our minds. Disappointment tends to breed more and more disappointment, and before we know it, we may develop a “disappointing mindset” that becomes our outlook on life. Remember, whatever we think about the most grows

By seeing disappointment as a messenger, a way of gathering data about what is going on in our lives, we can actually make life easier and become more resilient. In fact, the decisions we make after we experience a major disappointment can transform the eventual outcome(s) and help us make better decisions. By putting our disappointment in perspective and learning from it, we can reconceptualize what happened (think about it in a different way), thereby gaining a new perspective that enhances our creativity and develops our intelligence as we learn over time to have a more diverse range of expectations. Disappointment provides an opportunity for growth

We can learn to manage disappointment in the moment by embracing, processing and reconceptualizing what has happened to us, which is known as mind management or self-regulation. To do this, I recommend using the mind management technique I have researched, developed and applied clinically over the past three decades, which is called the Neurocycle. (I discuss this in depth in my latest book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess and my app Neurocycle.) The kind of self-regulation that is achieved using the Neurocycle is a great way to deal with the root of the toxic generational cycles in your life, reconceptualizing them and how they impact your genetic expression. It is done in 5 steps: 

  1. Gather awareness of what you are feeling emotionally and physically as you work on a toxic cycle in your life.
  2. Reflect on why you feel the way you do—be as specific as possible.
  3. Write this down—this is way to help organize your thinking and gain clarity.
  4. Recheck what you have written. Look for patterns in your work life, your relationships, your responses, your attitudes and so on.
  5. Take action. I call this step an “active reach”. It is essentially an action you take to reinforce the new, reconceptualized pattern of thinking you want in your life (which is replacing the old, toxic cycle).

In terms of managing disappointment, the 5 steps could be: 

  • Gathering awareness of your disappointment. This means embracing the aforementioned signals, including how you feel emotionally and physically.
  • Processing how your disappointment is affecting you by describing what you are disappointed about in as much detail as possible, reflecting on the “why” and writing all this down to help organize and clarify your thinking.
  • Reconceptualizing how your disappointment is affecting you by looking at what you have written down and thinking deeply about it. This will help you gain perspective, allowing you to better to see things for what they really are instead of getting stuck in the highly emotional state of disappointment. This, in turn, will help you find ways to practice thinking about your feelings of disappointment in new ways, which will build a new mindset that will make you more resilient to depression in the future.

For more on managing disappointment, listen to my podcast (episode #392). If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).

You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts. These episodes will include more targeted, step-by-step guides for specific mental health issues AND some fun, more personal podcasts about topics like my favorite skincare products and favorite books, as well as live Q&As, fan polls and requests, and exclusive digital downloads!     

Join my Neurocycle Certified Facilitator program! This is an intensive training certification program designed and led by me, where eligible individuals have the opportunity to learn how to correctly facilitate the instruction of my methods, including the Neurocycle, within their practice or business with clients. The training is done in-person, and on successful completion of the training, the certified facilitator will have access to the CF portal where they can sign up and manage clients. 

How will I get a return on my investment?  

  • You will become one of the most in-demand coaches in your community by taking your business to the next level.
  • You will make client connections: we’ll help you create a profile in our exclusive directory, which is sent to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
  • You will learn the business & marketing strategies I have developed over many years to turn my passion for helping others find healing into a successful & sustainable business model
  • You will hear helpful insider tips from me on using this certification to improve & expand your business and reach.
  • You will access new & exciting opportunities to diversify & increase your revenue streams.
  • You will receive hands-on training with Dr. Leaf in the Neurocycle Method & an exclusive license to facilitate the Neurocycle™ method with your clients.
  • You will have the opportunity to make new friends, find a business partner or start a new career!
  • You will have access to extensive resources, including the Neurocycle App, Neurocycle Method materials & our exclusive Facebook group. 

If you are looking to deliver better results for your clients and build a coaching or mental health business that you love, the Neurocycle Facilitator certification could be a great fit! Use the coupon code INAUG25 to get 25% of the cost of the Neurocycle Intensive training here

This podcast is sponsored by:

NOOM. We are all in different places in our lives, and on our health journeys. Many of us are faced with difficult decisions every day—what to eat, when to work out and how to live our best lives. We want to make the best choices for our brain and body health, but it isn’t always easy. Indeed, what health looks like for you may be completely different to what it looks like for someone else—there is no one size fits all. This is why I love Noom’s different approach to health and eating. The program is driven by a singular mission: to help as many people as possible live healthier and happier lives through behavior change. They use the latest in proven behavioral science to empower people to take control of their health for good. And, through a combination of psychology, technology, and human coaching, Noom has helped millions of users meet their personal wellness goals. Start building better habits for healthier, long-term results. Sign up for your trial at

BetterHelp. BetterHelp online therapy wants to remind you that you matter just as much as everyone else does, and therapy is a great way to make sure you show up for yourself! BetterHelp is online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can be matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. Visit, and join the over 1,000,000 people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. In fact, so many people have been using BetterHELP that they are recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states! I am proud to say that this podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp, and Cleaning Up the Mental Mess listeners get 10% off their first month at  

Gladskin. If you get breakouts or have a lot of blemishes, you’ve probably tried many treatments that haven’t made a difference. It can be stressful and frustrating to find something that actually works! You may not want to take antibiotics, and you’re probably disappointed with harsh teenage products. But the good news is that there is Gladskin, a solution that supports healthy, balanced skin! Gladskin is a new category of skin blemish treatment that works differently than any plant-based or drug-based product you’ve tried before, because Gladskin is based on the nature of healthy skin. Right now, Gladskin is offering my listeners 15% off plus free shipping on your first order at 

Podcast Highlights

2:25 What disappointment is

3:00 Disappointment is not necessarily “bad” 

3:20 Disappointment is a signal that we can learn from 

3:50 Why we should not be afraid of disappointment 

6:10 Why we need to embrace, not suppress, how we feel 

6:50 The different ways disappointment affects us 

7:10, 14:00 How to use mind management to reconceptualize disappointment

13:00 What can happen if we don’t manage our disappointment 

18:15 How to turn disappointment into a learning experience 

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.

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