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Setbacks – how to turn them into something good.

Setbacks. We’ve all had them. Either in business or in our personal life, they certainly know how to turn up and disrupt our path to progress. If we let them, they can really take hold of our positivity and turn us into doubting Thomas’s or Thomasina’s.

But if we are quick to nip these voices, we can turn our setbacks into fuel for doing better – after all if we didn’t have them, life would be far too easy!

So, how do we get over them?

There are a couple of things you can do, that hopefully will help turn setbacks on their head.

  1. Draw a line under them – and don’t dwell. It’s happened and there isn’t much you can do about it – so don’t throw in the towel and give up. Understand it for what it is – a small step backwards… nothing more.
  2. Analyse what happened. Was it in your control? If yes, then what could you have done better or differently so it doesn’t happen again. Or if it wasn’t your fault, how could you have avoided it?
  3. Use it to your advantage. Changing your mindset – however hard that might be, shifting your feelings from ‘it’s so unfair’ to ‘I’m not going to let this stop me’ can result in using that feeling of disappointment as fuel to do better.
  4. Understand that they happen. Setbacks are common. If you’re shocked which results in anger – then check yourself. What does getting angry actually achieve? Just a feeling of resentments which can spiral into doom and gloom. Don’t let it.

So now you know how to get change your thinking, how do you go forwards and turn it into something good?

Measure what you need to do to get over it. Having a plan makes us feel back in control and you mustn’t underestimate the power of taking ownership of a problem. Then use that to inspire action. Without action, nothing will change. It’s what differentiates between failure and success. Even if it’s one thing… that little step will inspire more steps, and then a whole bunch of other steps forward which will eventually overtake the setback.

Notice the small victories. Never dismiss a small victory – they are the fuel to getting bigger and better results. Pay attention to them, and give them the recognition they deserve. We are all so results orientated, and if it’s not a ‘massive achievement’ then little steps in the right direction get ignored… a collection of these little victories leads us to the breakthroughs.

Be kind but don’t dwell. Sometimes a setback can really knock our confidence, and get us down. And that’s okay – as long as you don’t dwell and get into victim thinking. We are our own champions, and it’s up to us to dust ourselves off and get back on track. I love the quote, “Fall down 7, get up 8” because it’s so empowering. Don’t stay down… get back up.

Being the owners of our setbacks is the quickest way we can overcome them. Understanding our reaction, and turning it into positive action can be the quickest way to get around them. Remember that they happen, and don’t dwell for too long – dust yourself off and propel yourself forwards. Measure and reward yourself for any small victories.

Alexa is a book coach and publisher, who can help you get your writing into print. She can take you through the writing process, or take your manuscript and delivery a fantastic book. If you need her help, just drop her an email, alexa@thebookrefinery.com