I need to find a/an verb/idiom/expression to describe the situation that someone suddenly becomes too disappointed/cold in doing something they had planned to do.

Formerly, perhaps because of the word "cold", I used to utilize the idiom "get cold feet", but later, I found out that aside from the fact that most of the times, it is used for an important mater especially getting married, it alludes to an occasion in which someone is frightened to do something, (not only getting cold/disappointed).


Well, please assume "young" boy who feels really down after a failure in his university entrance exam for the second time and now he's severely suffering from the situation he's in.

  • Son: I failed the job entrance exam. I have to wait for another one whole year. I cannot even think about that for a second! That's a catastrophe.
  • Dad: Be hopeful Jerry! You're my Son! Not only now, but you should never get cold feet.

I apologize if my dialogue does not sound that idiomatic to you! It was just a made-up scenario to convey the message in my question.

I wonder if the idiom "get cold feet" works in the above self-made case? If not, what would you say instead?

I doubt if the verb "get cold in something" works!


2 Answers 2


"get/getting cold feet" is a rather specific saying, and you probably shouldn't try to extrapolate too much from it.

A more natural way to write that last sentence would be: "Don't ever let yourself get cold feet." but I don't think it fits the scenario very well: "cold feet" is more related to avoiding doing something specific. The classic use is prior to a wedding - "getting cold feet" would mean that the person didn't want to go ahead with it, whereas in your case I would expect something like "Don't ever get discouraged" which covers a much wider situation.

  • How does "Don't ever get disappointed" would work here in your view?
    – A-friend
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 10:29
  • @A-friend The normal usage there would be "don't ever be disappointed" and it would be suitable in this case, but far less common, as it is a bit more negative.
    – MikeB
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 8:47

"...you should never run out of steam (pursuing such an important goal)."

If you run out of steam, you suddenly lose the energy or interest to continue doing what you are doing:

David seems to be running out of steam.

I decided to paint the bathroom ceiling but ran out of steam halfway through.

How To Reach Your Goal When You Are Running Out Of Steam. Don’t get halfway there and give up (source).

  • Excellent; just @Enguroo, is this idiom more incluned to losing "motive" or losing "energy" or "interest"? Is there any separated and soecific idiom for losing "motivation", "energy" and "interest" or even "enthusiasm" in this sense?
    – A-friend
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 10:31
  • 1
    @A-friend energy and/or enthusiasm, I think. Imagine you are a steam locomotive. If you run out of steam, you have no more energy to keep going, even if you want to. As for motivation, I cannot come up with any specific idiom at the moment. If I can think of something, I'll let you know.
    – Enguroo
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 10:55

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