It is not easy to accept that things haven’t worked out as planned.
So how do you deal with it? To start, it’s okay to take some time to deal with the disappointment. Whether we like to admit it or not we are all emotional beings. We all experience some despair when setbacks occur. That’s quite normal.
Take some time to reflect, even grieve so that you can move on. The important thing is that taking the time to deal with your emotions is the first step. And step implies that you are moving forward, not staying where you are.
The problem is that too often people get stuck in that emotional state. Instead of merely reflecting and then moving on they get stuck there. They stew over the fact that things haven’t worked out. They focus on what hasn’t happened, what has been lost instead of trying to move forward. When you get stuck here that’s when bitterness sets in. Bitterness is easy. It doesn’t require thought, movement or progress. It just requires you to sit and stew.
Move Forward – Get on the Road to Recovery
The road to recovery from setbacks requires you to take action. This means that you need to work through your emotions. Recognize that they are real, even normal, but don’t allow bitterness to set in. Bitterness will keep you stuck in the mud instead of getting on the road to recovery.
What I find is that it’s in the midst of setbacks that I learn the most powerful lessons. I learn things about myself, how I respond to people and situations, and I learn just how strong I can be. The key to learning is to ask questions. If you journal you can even write your thoughts. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself:
- Is there anything I would do differently next time?
- How would I respond if something similar happened to me again in the future?
- Is there anything I would not do?
- What new resources do I have as a result of the experience?
- Could I use these resources in the future for dealing with similar situations?
- Has the experience made me stronger – mentally or emotionally?
- What new perspective have I gained from the experience?
- Have I gained wisdom that I could share with someone else?
You can’t start the new chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.
Every athlete knows that there comes a time in their training and racing when they are emotionally and physically spent. The point is that it doesn’t stop them. They may have tears streaming down their cheeks and a grim expression on their face, but they power through the pain, they keep going. Sometimes they rest for a while or slow down and walk. They allow themselves to feel, but then they deal with it and move forward. Emotions are good and real, but they are just the first step in the road to recover. Do whatever you can to keep moving forward.
If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving forward. Martin Luther King Jr.
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