How To Recover From Setbacks

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Today I want to share with you six tips to help you recover from life’s setbacks. Surely, there are more – but this particular list is my go-to as it has really guided me through the years. 

Number ONE: It’s not personal.

You can’t take whatever happened personally, so stop feeling sorry for yourself. There’s zero positivity that comes from that. It just makes things worse. Guaranteed. Being wrapped up in your own self-pity will completely spoil any chance of you being able to see real possibilities, the light at the end of the tunnel… hope.

And, in fact, when you feel sorry for yourself, you repel people from you. The kind of people you need during these trying times. The only thing that grows when we feel sorry for ourselves is our own inner bitterness.

Number TWO: Acknowledge the pain.

When we’re faced with something painful, our first response is often to try and pretend we didn’t feel it. That it doesn’t upset us. And we want to put on a brave face so that we don’t seem like we’re weak or struggling. Sometimes, sadly, we’re more concerned with how others see us than we are our own well-being.

Listen, if you push your feelings down and suppress, they will most definitely surface again. Most likely, when it’s least convenient!

Now, how much time you should allow yourself to grieve? That’s up to you. Please don’t rush past your emotions. You need to feel them, move through them, and then get over it.

Number THREE: Don’t let your failure define you.

That’s not what makes you important, lovable, or even remotely interesting. The reason why I’m expressing this sentiment is so many people have identified themselves as victims, you know? They’re borderline excited to find out they have a life-threatening illness (!) because people are showering them with love and praise.

If you do this, your trauma becomes almost a happy occasion because for the first time, perhaps, you’re really recognizing that people pay attention.

But once you work through the suffering… you’ll feel sad, disappointed, and depressed. And it just won’t make sense to you. I mean, shouldn’t you feel elated and relieved? Nope. You played the victim card.

Number FOUR: Find a confidant.

Too often, when something horrific happen to us, we talk to everybody about it – reopening the wound and turning it into gossip. It becomes more hurtful than helpful. So, find someone who you can listen to, who won’t placate to your inner self-pity party. Rather, they’ll listen and empathize AND keep you accountable to move forward.

Number FIVE: The 3 Rs – Review, Reflect, and Readjust.

No matter what the circumstance – whether it was an accident, someone betrayed you, an unexpected illness, getting laid off from your job – you have to review the situation and reflect on what happened. Where were your expectations unrealistic? Were you too trusting? Did you ignore your gut instinct? Did you expect too much? Had you asked for too little?

And, then… readjust. Do you need to lower your expectations? Maybe change the way you operate, view people, or deal with setbacks in the future?

Number SIX: Create an action plan.

Nothing makes the human spirit come alive more than action. Ask yourself today, “What do I need to do next?” And if you don’t know, then take matters into your own hands to find out.

Go online, Google it, find other people who have dealt with this exact trauma. Find a support group, get therapy. Because in some way, shape or form… all setbacks have been brought to us to make us better and stronger.

It’s all part of God’s plan.


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