We all encounter setbacks at some point in our life. If you’re like most people, then you’ll probably have encountered and I expect in one way or another, (whether you’ve realised it or not) overcome a few so far. Naturally, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be expecting some more hurdles too, because that’s the way of life right?
I guess in a perfect world, what I’d like to say is that we can all avoid setbacks, hiccups and problems by making slight adjustments to the way we perceive the world around us. Except, we can’t. We can’t just avoid or ignore problems, setbacks and the like, that is just a part of the journey. If we want purpose or to meet our goals from doing anything in our lives, whether it’s with family, education or the ideal business/career; if there’s anything solid you’re trying to create or want to be, then the small print will have an asterisk saying *sh*t just happens* along with it. It will happen and continue to happen – usually when we least expect it – just to test us.
We have to actively break away from the closed mind-set. A mind-set that can and often does make us feel like we should stop doing the things we love because of a few bumps in the road. I think at some point we just have to pull ourselves out of our pity party and say:
“Okay, so everything just broke. Now, what have I learned? How can I put this back together again? How can I put myself back together again? What’s my next step to move forward and get back on the map?”
Resilience to things breaking isn’t natural for many of us. Initially, we want to break down or maybe they’ll be some tears. That’s okay – you might even need a week focusing on something completely different to get your mind and motivation to refocus on the real goals you have already set for yourself. Remind yourself that you have already achieved something since you started on the journey and a small problem or setback doesn’t take that goal away from you.
If you’ve been following our blogs, you’ll hopefully remember the goal setting post we wrote a while ago…. yeah, this one! Pull out that scrap of paper with your goal written on it and remind yourself why you’re doing what it is that you’re so passionate about and so hungry to achieve. Ask yourself, “what’s the very next thing I need to do to get to the next step to help me achieve my goal?” and then do it. What did you do as a child when you fell off your bike? You had a little cry, remembered that riding a bike was actually quite fun and got back on to try again. You were absolutely fearless! The method is the same now as when you were a child. Nothing’s changed, so it’s not that scary, is it?
As soon as we realise that we are central to our own destiny, not our partners, our parents nor our children, we can create opportunities to achieve those goals. We need to remind ourselves how great we are, how creative and passionate we are and remember that any setback or “failure” is all the more reason to carry on. It means there was a problem and now you’re past it, you’ve changed your direction and you’re beginning to make progress again, however fast or slow. How much stronger are you, your venture and your future, knowing that you have overcome the avalanche on the mountain. Don’t be afraid to search for a new route and look for that route in new places. There’s no wrong answer to your own unique journey in life.
For me, the importance of setbacks is what they remind me of. Yes, I might have a little cry or wallow for a day or two, but I’ll consider my options and start brainstorming my next step. I might want to just avoid the whole thing altogether and concentrate on that really important Netflix series that just came out – but instead I get up one morning, have a shower and make my next move.
Setbacks remind me that to have lost or feel a loss, I must have had something in the first place. I must have already been somewhere on my journey. My journey wasn’t make believe, it was real and I’m the only person who can control the next chapter of it.
At the end of the day, if you don’t carry on for you and I don’t carry on for me, we are only cheating ourselves. Ruining our own opportunities and no one else’s. I’ve made the decision to not let that happen and I urge that when you have a setback, you do the same.