Written By

Barry Ferguson

Turning Disappointments Into Massive Opportunities

“Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He's sufficient for all of our needs.”

Charles Stanley

Each of us has had huge disappointments in life. From losing your best friend to not getting the job you wanted so badly but disappointments are what motivates us to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

I remember when I was just starting out as a writer. I was all excited to put pen to paper and change the world. So, when I released my first book in 2012 entitled “Warning: Your Healthy Diet May Be Killing You” and it failed to become a best seller, I was very upset. It took me two long years to research and write and the information was going to change the lives of millions of people… or so I thought.

It was such a high to finish my book that I didn’t bother to market it until I actually completed it. Big mistake! But I definitely learned my lesson and carried it on to each and every book I wrote. The lesson learned gave me an opportunity to figure out what to do next.

That’s when I found out about a three day seminar called Author 101 University happening in Los Angeles in April of 2015, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to attend. It was a chance to not only learn about the writing part but how to market my book as well.

The idea was to be around talented people who knew more than I did and be able to pick their brains. I learned so much but the opportunity came about when I pitched my idea to faith division of Morgan James Publishing Company. They loved my idea and offered me a contract right then and there. Talk about making full use of your opportunities.

Disappointments have a way of opening up doorways to opportunities you never thought were possible. The world is filled with stories of people turning lemons into lemonade yet too often we complain about our disappointments without doing something about it. We lose ourselves in bitterness and let the real opportunities slip through our fingers.

Disappointments come and go, especially when you are going through major problems, but you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and deal with them before you are overcome with anger and grief.

How To Overcome Disappointments In Life

The first step in the process of overcoming disappointments in life is to learn what you (or others) did that made you so disappointed. By understanding the real source of your disappointments, you can evaluate not only the reason behind why they happened but learn how to prevent them from ever happening again.

This is your time to be honest with yourself as you assess the situation. Don’t try to cover up the truth. Learn to be objective with your problems so you can separate fact from fiction. You won’t be able to learn any lesson unless you are brutally honesty with yourself.

If the disappointment lies within the realm of others, you may not want to confront them out of fear of hurting their feelings. You need to squash this feeling right away. You don’t want them repeating the same mistakes and ultimately disappoint you every time. You be as tactful as you possibly can without hurting their feelings can. They need to realize they didn’t do what was expected you need to clarify the situation before it gets worse..

Once you have confronted all the reason for the disappointments, the next thing is to do is figure out what steps you need to take to avoid them in the future.

Here are 5 steps you must take...

1- Don’t take on more than you can handle – Most people want to accomplish everything yesterday! But that’s not going to happen. Disappointments come when we put too way much on our plate and expect to handle them without any problems. There will always stumbling blocks you’ve never thought of which will prevent you from getting things done. When you plan your time, try to anticipate these as much as you can.

2- Be flexible with your plans - Life seems to always throws curve balls at us, and without the proper flexibility, disappointment will happen on a regular basis. People tend to learn more when they are flexible. You must be willing to explore more options and step out you’re the box which you have wrapped around yourself. Sometimes, we can’t see the trees for the forest because we’ve become too closed-minded in our attitudes.

3- Learn from other’s disappointments – The more disappointments happen in a short period of time, the more overwhelmed you can get. One idea is to search out others in your circle of influence and pick their brains. Ask them what they have learned from their own experiences and if they found opportunities because of them. The calming voice of someone who has overcome their own bitter disappointments in life can be very inspirational. A great example of this happened to me when my parents divorced. I had no frame of reference of what I was about to experience so I decided to talk to friends whose parents had already divorced  and pick their brains. Even though the future seemed scary, at least I had some information to go on and someone who could understand my plight. People like this can make you feel comfortable because they won’t judge you for your situation.

4- Accept each new day as a fresh opportunity to enjoy life – It’s hard enough trying to get through each day when things are not going your way but that’s life. Each day offers a new chance for better opportunities to come your way. You must believe that. The Law of Attraction states that “We attract attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on.” So, if you focus on the negative, chances are disappointments will come. Focus on the positive side of life and a whole new world of opportunity opens up if you are willing to take the plunge. The more you carry your setbacks with you the more they will weigh you down.

5- Transform Your Perspective – Each person has a different point of view when it comes to life. We all see things a little bit differently so shift your perspective on the situation at hand and what your expectations were regarding the situation. You’ll find a bit more clarity in judgment as well as being more objective in the future.

Trusting God Through Life’s Disappointments

The most important thing, we as humans can do, is trust God no matter what the circumstances are. When life’s disappointment come, and they will when we can least afford them, we need someone we can lean on when they get to be too much for us to handle.

So what do you do when your life seems to fail you and you are left to pick up the pieces all alone?

Give up your disappointments to God. Let Him shoulder the burden and lean on Him for strength and guidance. It’s so easy for us to blame God when things go wrong but it’s in the darkest moments that He is carrying us when we most need it.

Bad things happen to good people. It’s all part of life but that doesn’t mean we run out on Him.

He speaks of trusting Him in Joshua 1:9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He speaks to us with empathy in Hebrews 4:16 - “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin

He tells us we’d never be alone in Psalms 139: 2,3,5,7,8 –  “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways…You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me…Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

It is at this very time when we must give thanks in the midst of disappointment. God tells us 1 Thessalonians 5:18. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  

According to Kay Arthur, “When we walk in obedience to this command and, no matter the situation, we give thanks in everything, and then we are walking in obedience of faith.”

It’s all about faith. Faith in God, faith in ourselves, and faith in His resurrection. If we allow our spirits to be troubled, we allow disappointments to creep in and then we make the choice to walk in the flesh rather than walk with the Holy Spirit.

It’s tough. No one can deny that but if we are able to hand over the reins of our lives to God then we allow Him to guide us along the pathway of obedience. He never said it would be easy but take heart in 1 Peter 5:10 – “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Disappointments happen for a reason. We don’t know why but we have to deal with them as they come. This is how we learn and get strengthened.

How To Take Advantage Of Opportunities While They Are Available

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas Edison

According to blogger Terrence Brown, “Real opportunities are the ones that we don’t immediately see. They come by at the most unexpected, mostly inopportune, times. We are so obsessed with other distractions or our own opinions that we normally miss the majority of opportunity that falls across our path.”

To take advantage of opportunities you need to be an opportunist. That means, taking advantage of the opportunities when they come. If you put them off till another time, they most certainly will pass you by.

Barbara Seifert, Ph. D., CPC states “If you have a desire and the opportunity to achieve it, why is that you don’t take advantage of them? Why do these desires that seem hard to get become ignored?  You may justify that it’s not the ‘right time’ or you don’t have ‘the money.  There may be a ‘little voice” that says ‘you might not get the desired results anyway’ or that ‘you aren’t deserving’ of what you truly want.   So you might put it off, procrastinate on or stop working to attain the thing you truly want inside.”

We often wallow in disappointment to the extent we shut out opportunities that come with setbacks. Awareness is the key to overcoming those roadblocks and seeing opportunities for what they are… challenges that lead us to bigger and better places in our lives.

To take that idea a step further, Adam Sicinski writes, “Life’s opportunities are often disguised as problems that require hard work and major emotional discomfort. And it is for this very reason why most people fail to recognize opportunities.”

Can you see the opportunities in your own disappointments?

Are you looking for those opportunities or have you allowed your disappoints to crowd your mind and close your heart?

Remember, hope is what opportunity thrives on. Always remain hopeful of what comes next. Look ahead not behind you. I know what bitter disappointment feels like. Having lost the first girl I ever loved at eighteen years old at the same time my parents got divorced and my best friend left for the Air Force were blows I had a hard time recovering from but the closer I remained to God, the easier it was to overcome disappointment and take advantage of the opportunities God was opening up for me.

Life is tough but you are tougher. Go out and make the most of your life. Leave your regrets behind and walk in faith with Jesus. He will never let you down.