Dealing with Setbacks

It is our natural instinct to shrink back at the first sign of challenge or confrontation but putting off the inevitable can cause you stress and also allow the situation to fester and become more difficult to deal with in the long run. Facing up to setbacks as they arise generally minimizes the blowout and demonstrates to others involved that you are committed to working to resolve things.

One positive aspect to consider is that each setback that you successfully overcome serves to fuel your growth and your confidence. We all learn from the experiences that challenge us the most and when they have a major impact, we tend to work toward avoiding getting ourselves into similar situations in the future. Even when that can’t be avoided, we retain the knowledge and the necessary tools to deal with them if they do reoccur. Every time we overcome an obstacle, we gain more skills, greater perspective and develop our talents.
Challenges give us a particular insight into who we are and how we manage under pressure. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that if you want to see the true character of an individual, watch how they handle difficult circumstances. We rarely grow through the easy points in our life and it is only through the times in which we struggle that we find out how strong and creative we truly are. That may seem like small consequence when you are in the middle of adversity and trusting that you will be better on the other side of a trial.

It is wise for one to sometimes even raise the bar for themselves and create their own challenges, those of a more positive nature, of course. If you find that you have plateaued at a certain level in your career or your personal life, ask yourself what the next level is and determine what might be required for you to achieve it. Set goals that are reasonable and will motivate you to move forward. Keep them at an achievable level but don’t be too easy on yourself. While you may have a big dream, create sub-goals within your plan so that you can celebrate the milestones and measure your progress along the way.
When you do run into a roadblock, slow down and consider your options before proceeding. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what is confronting you at a given time so that you might analyze your options accurately. Do not panic. Do not imagine the worst case scenario. Take a breath and take the time to figure it out.

challenges ahead

When considering your options, be realistic about your personal resources. What are your strengths and what do you already have in place to assist you in overcoming a setback? What don’t you have and where and whom can provide that to you? Do a bit of research if necessary, online, in books or by talking to expert with whom you are connected. If you need to consider financial resources, create a budget or spreadsheet that gives you a clear picture on what is required monetarily and assess your ability to work with that and adjust as required. Get professional advice if you can.

Formulate a strategy step by step and surround yourself with the right people – people that cheer you on and motivate you not people that are continually finding the negative aspects of your plan and bring you down. Once you’ve begun to implement each step, remain flexible in case you need to adjust your plan to accommodate aspects you did not foresee. Don’t consider this a failure but simply new information.

While we don’t tend to enjoy setbacks or challenges, they do benefit us in end and the more you face up to them, the more confident and capable you will become next time something arises.

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