Six Steps to Succeed Against Setbacks

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Sophie Coffey
Sophie Coffey
A self-confessed shopaholic with a severe bookshop obsession.

It is an unfortunate inevitably that in life each of us will face setbacks or knocks to our plans and goals. These setbacks can damage our confidence and dishearten our ambition. However, we do not have to let these knocks harm any future prospects. 

Finding ways to deal with these setbacks is definitely worthwhile and so I have created six steps to steer you back on track.

Here are six steps to succeed against setbacks:

1) You do not have to “Bounce back!”

I have made this the first tip on my list for a reason! The term bouncing back is regularly used in conversations centring around picking yourself up again after a confidence knock. In reality it is a completely misleading verb and unhelpful in both the long and short term. Expecting to bounce up, motivated and raring to go immediately after a big knock tends to be unrealistic. Sometimes taking a little time or taking stock of your position mean you are more likely to maintain any progression in the long run.

2) Take some time

A sudden setback is discouraging, and it is often hard to find sufficient motivation to continue with whatever project it is that you are undertaking. Making a hasty decision while disheartened might lead you to permanently give up on something you otherwise might have successfully continued. Taking a short period of time to reflect and relax will ensure you are in the best possible place to make a well contemplated choice in the future.

steps to succeed against setbacks

3) “Get back on the bike”

I don’t mean this literally – unless of course your goal involves cycling, in which case take it away! Sometimes leaving it too long before you get back to work creates a mental block in your head. This can make it hard to separate your positive and negative reactions to the goal as your mind is clouded by the doubt of this single setback. Even if you have decided that this particular setback is enough for you to cease carrying on, it is still worthwhile to give it one last go without any pressure. This way your last memory of it will be a positive recollection and not one that you look back on with disappointment and regret.

4) Re-evaluate

Once you have taken a short break, spend some time re-evaluating your position. Whatever your goal or ultimate ambition is, it is important to know how willing you are to invest your time and effort. It is particularly useful when disappointed to recognise your efforts and any potential successes. If even after a short break, you realise that this setback is enough to completely put you off continuing with your goal, then perhaps it was not the path for you. However, if you decide to persist then be sure to take advantage of this newfound inspiration!

5) Prepare for future knocks

Regardless of the magnitude, the path to any goal will involve obstacles. It will be easy to pick yourself up after some of these, but other hurdles necessitate a little more work to overcome. When you are ready to get back into the swing of things again, remember the feeling of renewed determination for future setbacks. Never doubt the value of the skills you have learnt in order to revive your ambition.  Consider the reasons you have chosen to pick it back up again and store this resolve for potential knocks further down the line.

steps to succeed against setbacks

6) Note your progress

Confidence knocks can occur for anything; however, accolades happen just as easily. Following a setback, it is easy to focus purely on the negatives, but taking note of the good and bad is essential when dealing with an obstacle. Balancing your successes and failures will help you to decide if spending any longer pursuing this particular ambition is worthwhile. Whatever your goal is, if it is the one for you then pushing through any setbacks will be well worth it in the end!

Have you ever dealt with a setback? Do you have any steps for succeeding after a setback?

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