We've all been there; things are going great, and out of nowhere it hits us like a freight train. The setback, a moment of failure, a disappointment, a heartbreak. We may or may not have known that this obstacle in our life was imminent. Either way, it leaves us feeling unbalanced and as life has just been flipped upside down.
Growing up, I used to take setbacks personal as if every one of them was due to my wrongdoing. However, I've learned through it all that every delay in my goals or failure, whether due to my wrongdoings or not was either a lesson or a success story later on. Whatever the setback was, for it to be a life lesson or a success story, one thing needed to be practiced consistently: Persistence.
Persistence is key to success in relationships and business including the setback of these. But it does not come automatically; practicing persistence is essential. One of the best ways to do this is by actually going through those setbacks and practicing resiliency through your thoughts and actions. We may not be able to control the unfortunate turnout of events in our lives, but we can control our responses to these events to reach a desirable outcome. Here are five ways to bounce back from a setback:
1) Define what failure means to you: Failure does not mean no. Failure means not yet. It is an opportunity to learn from and improve on. Even though it may have been a self-brought mistake that caused the failure, the mistake is not the issue, but not taking the opportunity to learn from the mistake is.
2) Experience failure, but don't immerse yourself in it: You need to experience the emotions of setbacks and failures to recognize them the next time they come around. Chances are, next time they do come around you already have an idea of what you're feeling and how to handle it accordingly. Allow yourself to go through the emotions but don't keep reminding yourself of the setback, instead keep a possible solution and positive outcome in mind. Remember the real failure is letting the setback be the end and not growing from it.
3) Self-talk goes a long way: Your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions become your legacy. Keep your thoughts in a positive lane. I know this can be difficult when going through a setback, but forcing positive thoughts into your mind will become easier the more you do it. The more you do it, the quicker you can bounce back from a setback. Keep in mind that failure is a perspective, what may seem like a crushing defeat for one person, may be a minor setback for another. So talk your way into seeing the failure as a learning lesson and come back stronger.
4) Listen to the Energy of the Universe: I know what you're thinking, the energy of the Universe? You may call this voice your conscious or you may call the voice God or whatever deity/ supreme being you believe in. Whatever you call it, energy has a universal voice we can all understand. Many times, to listen to this energy we need to get away. Away from those who surround us, away from the noise of our daily lives, away from the energy we are surrounded by day after day. Personally, when I need to listen to what the Universe needs to tell me, I go hiking. I take my dog Bongo on a hike through the mountains and sit on top of a high point, look out into the vast scenery and just listen to what is coming back to me. I take deep breathes, relax as much as I can and just sit there and be part of that mountain and be present in the moment. It may take 5 minutes or 20 minutes, but eventually, I begin to talk to myself (refer to point number 3 above), and my advice to how to deal with my current situation starts to come out. Invest in this energy to not only bounce back from setbacks but also become more self-aware of the person you truly are. Listen carefully.
5) Take Responsibility: You can control your response to any event (positive or negative) to achieve the outcome you would like. This means that we are responsible for what we can control. If a setback was out of our control, it is natural to have a mixture of emotions to deal with. In this case, refer to the last 4 points to advance the bounce back. However, take responsibility for what you CAN control every time, including the moments where we are the cause of the setback. The faster we take responsibility, the quicker the bounce back, the greater the lesson.