How to Deal with Setbacks

At some time or another, we will experience failure. It is inevitable. We all make mistakes. So, how we respond to setbacks is important. The word for it is resilience, and it is this resilience which, in the long run, might make the difference between our ultimate success or failure in life.

Resilience is bouncing back from failure. It is something we all need to have. How can we develop resilience, how can we bounce back from failure? When you face adversity, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Face your fear, face your failure.
Denial won’t help you develop resilience. Avoiding problems or refusing to acknowledge them will only make them worse. You cannot confront problems or find the solution to them if you refuse to admit their existence. This is simply running away from your troubles.

Moreover, research has shown that by ignoring problems, we only create more stress.

2. It’s OK to feel sad.
There is no shame in feeling disappointed and dejected when we fail. In fact, it is a normal reaction and something that actually helps to heal and recover from failure. It helps to bring a sense of closure, enabling us to move on.

It may help to write down your feelings, which has been shown to help people recover more quickly from setbacks.

3. Watch out for self pity.
Don’t get stuck feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t go your way. This is a vicious circle that really leads nowhere, and certainly won’t help you build up your capacity for resilience.

Remind yourself of your strengths and abilities and skills, and put them to use in trying to solve the problems facing you. Remember those times when you overcame obstacles and how you did it. Try to put those same skills to use in facing your current difficulty.

4. Try something different.
If things aren’t working out, try different a strategy and tactics. Remember the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

5. Stick with it.
Persistence and determination are key to achieving any success. In fact, they may be the most important factors. Don’t waste time with too much introspection. Keep at it. And remember the proverb, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

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