How you deal with setbacks can be the deciding factor between moving forward and getting the results you want or staying stuck in the problem. I don’t mind sharing with you that I have experienced some real whoppers. And boy have I learnt some important lessons from them. One of the most powerful lessons I have ever learnt is this:

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How to deal with Setbacks – 3 easy steps

Dealing with Setbacks - 3 easy stepsHow you deal with setbacks can be the difference between moving forward and getting the results you want or staying stuck.

I don’t mind sharing with you that I have experienced some real whoppers.

And boy have I learnt some important lessons from them. One of the most powerful lessons I have learnt is this:

We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can always choose how we respond

So, with that in mind, here are three easy steps that work a treat when dealing with setbacks:

Step 1 – Learn the Lesson

When a setback happens look for the lesson.

There is ALWAYS a lesson.

Focus on the lesson instead of dwelling on the problem. Don’t fall into the trap of victim mentality. That serves no purpose at all. It will rob you of taking 100% responsibility of what has gone wrong.

Yes, I am suggesting you take 100% responsibility for the setback. Because it is only when we take 100% responsibility for everything going on in our work life and personal life that we can create effective change.

Step 2 – Apply the learning

So, you have learnt what the lesson is. Next you have to apply the learning.

Look at the lesson you have learnt and ask yourself:

What do I need to do to stop this sort of setback happening again?

APPLY IT.

Unless you apply the learning you are pretty much inviting that particular setback to happen again.

This means taking action to reduce the risk of that particular setback rearing its ugly head again.

Step 3 – Move on

Once you have learnt the lesson the setback has taught you and you have taken action to apply what you learnt then it is time to let it go and move on.

Dwelling on it, beating yourself up about it, blaming and assigning fault serves no useful purpose. It is a waste of time and energy. It doesn’t achieve anything and it certainly doesn’t move anything forward.

Holding on to a setback keeps you stuck. Let it go. Move on.

The next time you hit a setback in your life or work, keep in mind these three steps:

Learn the lesson. Apply the learning. Move on.


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  • I believe the third step is the most important of them all.

  • Yes, letting go and moving on is vital as it becomes very toxic otherwise.

  • I think number 1 is the most important. Learning from our mistakes is the only sure way we have of not repeating them!

  • Memorize these steps because life is full of set-backs! The quicker you learn the lesson and get past them, the better. Then your open to the good stuff!
    Kimberly
    http://FiftyJewels.com

  • Well said Rena. Mistakes only stay mistakes if we don’t learn from them.

  • That is such an important truth – setbacks are part of life. Accepting that the path of life isn’t linear is a healthy thing to do.

  • It’s the moving on that always gets me. I have such a hard time moving on. I tend to dwell, and ruminate, and dwell some more. I do that even though I’m pretty good at applying the learning. Any suggestions for the move on part? Is it just a matter of character?

  • Often our dominant thoughts are because we have just repeated those thought patterns over and over again until they are now our default setting and a deeply entrenched thought habits. So learning about deconstructing habits and creating new, healthy thought patterns and habits can be really powerful. However, there can be many reasons that we struggle with the letting go bit so it is worth taking some time, and even getting some help, to get to the real source.

  • 1010 Park Place

    Great topic to write about. I’m always surprised by how many people let themselves be devastated by even small things and want to hang on to them.

  • Yup, mindset drives everything. Including how we deal with setbacks – which is why it is such an important thing to be aware of and to work on developing and improving.