We think small, dream big, get excited and then KABOOM! the world seems to explode in our face, or not explode, and disappointment sets in like a popped balloon.
Disappointment is different from rejection, I think. I submit a lot of stuff and most of it is rejected, but I'm not disappointed. I'm only disappointed when I entertained hope, when I thought-- maybe, just maybe-- I might win this one. Then I lose that one. Unlike being attacked, which motivates me to fight back (and attack harder!), losing gives you a sense of... loss. Something that could have been there, wasn't.
I frequently feel like this after contests. I'm writing this after finding out I'd lost in a contest I'd hoped to win.
However, I believe in what I'm writing and I know it will find its home-- I'll have to work harder, write harder, darn it. The best way for me to handle disappointment is to treat it like an attack. Am I doing something wrong? Let me check. Do I need to keep pedalling, and pedal harder? You betcha. Am I going to win the next one?
Wait and see. Or rather, you wait and see while I work my butt off and win it.