How to deal with a setback?
Reached rock bottom? The silver lining is the only way is up but, I’ll admit, it is never easy!
To stand again after a massive fall is equal parts exhausting and interesting. If I were to write this article a few years ago, I’d probably never really have any answer to give you. I’d probably tell you to keep going, keep fighting, keep trying.
Back when I was naïve by what life really had in store for me, I was terrified of failure. I was terrified of all the unnecessary and impromptu twits and turns. By the time I understood one, I was pushed to face another. All in all, it was quite tough to deal with things. Imagine what so much of trauma can do to your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. But I couldn’t accept it all and sit back. I never have and each challenge has been quite interesting, I’ll say. But, it wasn’t easy!
“Why should you then bother to get up when life is in control??”
Ever asked yourself this question? – I have, a few times. I received a reply too, because life doesn’t deliver anything you cannot handle and there is a lot of work that is still left to be done! The interesting factor here, is that life happens to you the way you want it. If you are experiencing something that feels like a set back or a defeat, its because you have something to learn from it, something to understand from it.
Here’s what you can do to get back up again, after a fall –
Let me share an incident with you which really taught me a lot about my life, about me and I must add about success and failure. This incident happened to me at the very peak of my career. Meaning, I was doing pretty well for myself, my business was taking off and I was extremely happy about my work. When all of a sudden, I experienced a major setback because of two of my clients. They were unhappy with my work as they put it (quite rudely) they felt that my approach was a bit unconventional as they had perceived or rather expected very conventional sessions even though they were feeling better and were improving. It was insulting and I was mortified.
How the hell did this happen??
Why the hell did this happen??
But today, as I write this post for you, I can very bravely say that I am so glad it did. It changed the course of my professional life as well as my financial life. These are a few pointers that helped me stand back up after I hit my rock bottom, hoping that they would help you too in some way.
Your immediate reaction matters – This incident happened in my life at the peak of my career. A fall out from two of my clients and my reaction was so unexpected. Nothing unprofessional I assure you, but, I was mortified. I didn’t stand up for myself and my work that day and I let them accuse me of my appraoch. I was speechless that something so bizarre was happening to me. It was without any doubt unfair but I held my tongue and maintained my dignity by behaving as politely as I could. And.. I am glad I did. You see my profession requires me to be as non-judgemental as possible. I am a Psychologist, a life coach, I knew it would be unwise to explain myself so I kept quiet. Now, kindly note – I am not advocating you do the same thing, but it is important to gauge the consequences of your reaction. Your immediate reaction matters a lot.
Experience your emotions - “Deal with it!” or “move on!” Hell NO! absolutely not. You have just fallen, it is going to sting, it will hurt, it will cause discomfort. You might experience sadness, maybe anger, maybe you’d want to cry. And you should. After this incident, I hit rock bottom. My self-confidence shattered and my self-esteem completely washed down by self-loathing. But these emotions were private. These were my emotions and I held on to them for about a week. Its okay and you should experience the emotions you go through when you fall down.
Distract yourself – Pretty obvious isn’t it? But effective! In your own time, distract yourself. Cool off, give yourself a break. This fall out gave me a perfect excuse to go on a small trip and luckily, I had to attend a social event for which I had to leave the city for a few days. I enjoyed my butt off at this social event and returned with a damn good perspective on life.
Take small steps – The biggest mistake is to try to get everything to “the way it was”. Here’s the big truth. It may not be the way it was, it will be better, it will be different, but it won’t be the same. Go slow. Crawl again if you must. Give yourself time to go back to what happened and rationalize from it. Yes, I did. I tried to understand what happened and this time my emotions took a backseat. I made a list of the things I possibly didn’t do right, places I needed to improve. Next, I made a small plan of how to take things from there. As slowly as possible. It needed be done!
Keep yourself Motivated and Inspired – There is something called as channel “non-stop thinking” which keeps replaying that horrible day/event/situation/conversation/ in your mind. No matter how slow you move it still comes to haunt you. It will, there is no escape from it and the best thing to do is be as non-responsive as possible. On the contrary try to keep yourself as motivated and inspired as possible. You might need to push yourself to make that effort and take the pain but you need to. Staying motivated and inspired will encourage you to keep taking the next step. I kept myself motivated by reading the “Dream-Tales” I have up on my blog and watching inspiring videos by #MarieFoleo and #GabbyBernstein. I read articles on a daily basis by #Entrepreneur, #Inc which taught me a lot on business and entrepreneurship.
Success Graph – This incident taught me the biggest belief I always had about success was not quite the way I believed it. I assumed that the success graph should always go higher and higher and stay that way. I believed that once I hit success, I would have achieved everything there is to achieve. And the biggest belief I had was that once I become successful I will never experience failure. Here’s what I learned, it is always about the present. Your present matters a lot. Success graph will always fluctuate as it should, because if it doesn’t there is no scope to learn more and grow more. Failure is not the enemy but a stepping stone toward a better grasp at situations.
I experience success and failure each day. Each day is a new challenge and each failure brings me a new opportunity to grow and learn. Hope this article gives you an outline to follow each time you experience a setback.
After you’ve had a chance of reading with the way I dealt with my setback I would love to hear from you.
What strategies and insights helped you deal with a setback?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
If you need any kind of personal assistance on how to rise up again, get in touch with me and I’ll help you as much as I can. You can also take a look at the amazing digital products on Self Development which will help you stay mindful and self-aware.
Pause, Breathe, Dream