Setbacks are inevitable in life. We should be prepared to set them aside and use them to our advantage. Highly successful people, who, in fact, experience the most setbacks, have acquired this knack of setting aside setbacks to achieve their success. Unfortunately, nobody talks much about their setbacks and struggles. We usually tend to admire successful for their successes, and we are left to compare ourselves with their achievements. This, in turn, makes it hard for us to validate our mistakes and problems, and we start questioning our abilities. Hence setbacks are a topic of discussion which one cannot avoid.
It lies in our thinking!
Our thinking affects how setbacks are viewed. The pattern of our thinking makes us afraid of setbacks. The roots of this lies way back. Even from a young age, people teach us that being wrong and making mistakes are bad. Our minds condition us to use these memories that provoke negative emotions like fear and anxiety. And these, might make us repeat the same errors today.
Award-winning author J.K. Rowling advocates that we should learn to embrace setbacks and failures. She states that “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.” Suppose we live so carefully to avoid failure. In that case, we’re also never teaching ourselves how to manage it effectively when we experience it.
The question is, “Can we train ourselves to set aside the setbacks and use them to our advantage? Yes. These are the things anybody can try to turn negative experiences into positive outcomes.
RECOGNIZE THAT SETBACKS ARE NOT FAILURES
A setback is what happens when something doesn’t go as planned. Setbacks are often unexpected and beyond our control. Failure is a decision you make in response to a setback. If things don’t go as planned, you should develop a new strategy to accomplish your goal because failure is usually not an option for anybody. So, practice making the distinction between a setback and failure and make a choice to quickly bounce back from both.
FAILURE IS a PART OF THE PROCESS of success
One of the most frustrating things we hear from somebody when experiencing a setback is, “stay positive”. People started to misuse, misconstrue, and abuse the concept of positive thinking. Staying positive does not mean smiling and being happy with everything that happens to you. Positive thinking means learning, growing and evolving from our experiences in life. Positive thinking implies an understanding that setback or failure is not anybody’s final destination. It is a stepping-stone in your journey to get you where you need to be. When we experience difficulties in life, it is okay to get down on ourselves. It is okay to get upset and disappointed. Our goal, however, is to not stay down.
Vent out YOUR FRUSTRATION
If you have experienced a setback or failure, take time to walk it off and clear your mind. The initial emotional rush resulting from a setback will eventually dissipate, and you can then slowly return your focus to the issue at hand.
BE severely HONEST
This is the most critical part of the process. Nearly 90% of people do not reflect on what happened. They would respond by turning to distractions (usually substance abuse) or developing deviant responses (blaming others, indulging in self-harm activities). We need to be honest with ourselves about why it happened. We must learn from our setbacks or risk more of the same. Albert Einstein famously said it was insane to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and failures in life, we keep repeating them, whether we realize it or not.
Failing forward means learning from setbacks and making the necessary adjustments to succeed. Every change we make, every person we meet, and every bit of information we absorb is coming together so we can create a different outcome.
In conclusion, we must accept that we cannot stop obstacles from appearing, but we can choose how to handle them. Setbacks may block our vision temporarily, but if we persevere, we can discover opportunities that have always been waiting for us on the other side. As we get more efficient with this process, we enable ourselves to see the positive side in even the toughest situations.