How To Stop Letting Setbacks Set You Back

Awhile back, a member of my Facebook group asked an important question:

“How do you keep up your motivation to keep working on getting better, stronger, healthier, when you’ve had a bad back-slide? I keep getting hung up on how much progress I’ve lost, and the sense of shame and failure from that, rather than keeping positive and putting more effort into moving forward.”

Good question. How can you stop letting setbacks, set you back? Let me begin by saying this:

1) Life happens to everyone.

This means every single person will experience a setback at some point in their journey.

2) Getting discouraged at losing progress is completely normal.

Yes, you’ve dedicated time and effort toward reaching this goal, and then something comes along and takes it away. Let’s just admit to ourselves that it sucks. Now, there is a silver lining in all of this.

3) Setbacks and failures are a necessary part of growth.

Growth is about learning, and you don’t learn anything when you’re right. 

Life gets in the way and we will all experience these moments from time to time. However, we can take solace knowing these setbacks are a normal and necessary part of the growth process. 

When everything is going the way we expect it to, we don’t learn anything from these situations. It’s the setbacks and moments when the plan fails that force us to learn, grow, and better prepare ourselves for success in the future. Each setback you face is ultimately building you up to be more successful in the future–If you take it as a learning opportunity. 

Here’s a another way to look at the potential benefits of setbacks:

Imagine for a moment,  that you’re standing a few inches away from a wall. 

It makes sense that your perception would be that climbing the wall is the best (or only) solution to successfully overcoming the obstacle. With enough strategy and determination you could probably climb the wall, but with a lot of difficulty and you’ll probably slip a few times. 

However, it might be just that moment when you give up and begin to walk away from the wall that you look back and realize it’s only a few feet wide, and you can easily walk around the wall to get to your goal. It was the moment of setback, that moment when you thought like giving up, that gave you new insight and a better way to reach your goal successfully. 

Use these moments to evaluate what has worked for you in the past. Then, revisit your goals and begin piecing together how you can improve in future attempts. 

How can you reincorporate what has worked before, and what solutions can you identify for solving the problems you struggled with?

Here’s a formula for success:

Try  Fail  Learn  Grow  Try Again, But Better* 

*Repeat until awesome.

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