On Election Day, roughly half of the country will be disappointed in the outcome. And given the heated rhetoric, the anger, the insults, the general rampant ugliness that knows few boundaries by principle or party, the disappointment will be massive. Each side fears the other and will equate loss with failure that continues after the election. That's part of the byproduct of the marriage between certainty and desperation.
There will be massive disappointment. And then comes actual governance and more disappointment, because few things in life work out the way you want or expect.
People who have been wildly successful in business, the arts and entertainment, science, politics, or personal relationships almost always know strong disappointment. That's the nature of life. The difference between people who are successful and those who aren't is the decision to keep going. Here are some things you can do to make that possible:
Resign yourself to a bad feeling for a while
Disappointment and its emotional relatives aren't fun to experience. They can and do send people into funks, if not outright depression. And if you've got a serious problem with depression, seek help. But for most people, recognize that the feelings, while unpleasant, will go away. Don't let something transitory convince you that the world is ultimately different than it was the day before.
If you look at this presidential election, it has something in common with many others: People on both sides swear that the world will figuratively end should their candidate not be elected. And yet, it hasn't. Disappointment can be bitter, but it is always worse when you have pumped up the implications far beyond what will actually happen. In other words, don't con yourself.
Remember what you really want
We mistakenly assume that a specific goal is actually what we're after, but that is rarely the case. Someone breaks your heart? Maybe that person was the "one," but chances are that you're looking for a meaningful relationship and there are other people who could help you build one. That startup failed? Was it that one particular encapsulation of an idea that was so important, or building and running a successful company?
Consider your alternatives
When you remember that the specific goal may not be identical to the overarching one, then you can look more clearly at what happened and what you actually lost. Yes, it was an opportunity for something you really wanted, but it wasn't the only opportunity. That you didn't get a particular position or role or what have you doesn't mean there won't be or can't be others. Plot out some of the other options, even if you're telling yourself, "No other will ever be as good." Maybe not. Or maybe another might be even better.
Get to work
You fell down and feel bad. But, as actors know, action drives feeling. Start looking at your next step toward your overall goal. Consider what you need to do to get closer. In other words, get to work on achieving what you've said is so important to you. Moping will do no good, and is only an expression of contempt for the goal, saying your feelings of disappointment are more important to indulge. Your future is waiting for you, so get up and keep moving.