How to Handle Setbacks

It is a fact of life that everyone will, at some stage, be forced to deal with setbacks.

They can be annoying, inconvenient and just plain disheartening!

Despite this, you may often hear people say that the setbacks they have encountered have helped mould them into who they are today.

Stephen King had his first novel rejected 30 times and now he has sold over 350 million copies of his books worldwide and Billionaire Bill Gates had his first business completely fail.

Setbacks are part of life but it is how we get up after we fall that determines our success

There are countless other stories of success that were born out of setbacks and failures, showing us that things may not always go the way we want them too but that doesn’t mean our goals and dreams have come to an end.

By changing the way we look at setbacks, we will begin to realise that from the depths of despair can arise wonderful things that are essential to our personal development.

Don’t think I’m romanticising setbacks: they are a challenge, but if we learn to face that challenge the payoff will be worth it.

The problem is, people don’t like to face their challenges.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • They see the challenge as something bad and fear the outcome of dealing with it will make things worse.
  • They become complacent and think things will magically sort themselves out.
  • They simply don’t want to confront it because they think its too hard or beyond their ability to handle.
  • They may feel that the problem is so big that they can’t even comprehend the setback let alone devise a way to handle it.

These are all valid reasons for shying away from setbacks, but as we know life is full of challenges we mustn’t let ourselves be tossed along with the current. If we are to bring success into our lives we need to stand up and work for it.

Here are three ways to look setbacks in the face and turn them into valuable strengths.

1: Face the setback.

Be brave. Sometimes setbacks can be scary but by admitting there is a problem and giving yourself the strength to accept it is the beginning of making great change. This may help you realise that the problem is not as scary as you once thought.

2: Educate yourself.

Part of the reason setbacks can be so scary is because we may not have educated ourselves on what we’ve actually been avoiding. Whether its your taxes, a niggling health problem or that weird noise your car keeps making, don’t waste another moment sitting in the dark fretting.

The more you learn, the better equipped you’ll be to handle your setbacks

Do what you need to do to educate yourself on the issue, whether that’s googling it, borrowing a book from the library or making an appointment to talk with a professional and asking questions, shining some light on the setbacks will help you see what it truly is and allow you to make steps going forward to be able to handle and deal with the issue.

Never be ashamed or embarrassed if you don’t know something. We are all learning at our own pace and there is always someone out there who can help you.


3: Act now to prevent a repeat.

If we ignore a problem not only can it get worse but it can also keep happening again and again.

Once we get educated with all the facts, we can act now and begin to address the issue at hand. By doing this, we are giving ourselves the power to stop it from becoming a bigger problem as well as preventing it from cropping up again later on.

Setbacks have a way of coming back to us because we did not deal with it effectively the first time around. Don’t give it a second chance to wreak havoc on your life.


Be brave and think positively. Things can, and do, get better

By following this process of facing the setback, educating yourself then acting to prevent a repeat, you are setting yourself up to make the best of any setback that comes your way.

It is also important to remember that setbacks can take a toll on you mentally and emotionally so it helps to try and factor in some self-care time while you work to overcome the challenge put before you.

Your goals and dreams are worth fighting for. Be brave and remember if things fail you now have some tips to dust yourself off and try again.





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