How to handle set backs (And turn them into catalysts for success)

Handling set backs

Most of us face set backs: We don’t get the date we want, the job we want, someone is unkind to us or we have to face some other disappointment.  It is how we handle set backs that determine the success in our life.


Here are some ways to learn how to get motivated and deal with these challenges that may prevent you from being able to achieve your goals.


Learn to look at the upside of each event and trust “the grand design”:

E.g. We learn that our date has a track record of infidelity, so we are better off without him. Not getting the job we want, means we are available for an even better job when it comes up. Receiving unkindness prompts us to be sensitive to how we treat others. Whenever I face a disappointment, I remind myself: “if the train doesn’t stop at my station, it isn’t my train”.


Learn to reframe:

Look at the event from an empowering or neutral position. In my case, if a new client chooses a practitioner in a different field in preference to me, I can tell myself any one of the following: It is a better choice for them to work with a another practitioner right now; we are not the best fit; I now have space for another more ideal client or space for my family or my other passions. I can remind and reassure myself that I have an extensive track record of facilitating successful outcomes for clients that no one is the right choice for everyone or I can tell myself that “I am rubbish!” Which type of self talk is likely to have me feeling good about myself, I wonder?


Be your own best friend:

Use empowering self talk, as much as possible. What would you be saying to a friend who comes to you with a set back? Consider saying the same to yourself. One word of warning – be weary of any tendency to criticise the person who you consider responsible for the knock back.  They may have done you an unseen favour, perhaps a “thanks” might be a more appropriate response


Think of a recent set back you’ve recently encountered. What did you do to overcome it? Share your experience.

This article was written by Karen Skehel