Captain Ryan ten Doeschate admits Essex fell below expectations after they suffered a 67-run loss in their One-Day Cup quarter-final against Warwickshire.
Chasing 272, the Eagles collapsed to 58-4 and although Jesse Ryder made a skilful 90, Essex lost their last four wickets for 15 runs.
"We are very good at getting to this stage of this competition," Ten Doeschate told BBC Essex.
"It is an achievement in itself but this was the year to go a step better."
Essex limited-overs skipper Ten Doeschate added: "We have got guys in the changing room who have been playing together for six or seven years.
"We are as strong a side as we have ever been and it is very disappointing to miss out on both semi-finals."
The One-Day Cup loss came in the same month as their 19-run T20 Blast quarter-final defeat, also against the Bears, but Ten Doeschate believes the aggressive style of cricket the Eagles play is better suited for success.
The Division Two Championship side have reached the quarter-finals of the T20 domestic competition four times in the last five years, including this term.
"Warwickshire play the old style of cricket where they bat deep and then have a flurry at the end," said the Netherlands international.
"We do not want to be that sort of a team, we want to be more aggressive but obviously with that comes the responsibility of not giving soft wickets away."