What To Do When Stuff Doesn’t Work Out

It is easy to stay motivated when everything is going well, but what happens when setbacks occur? What happens when your “well thought out” plans don’t work out, or your world get turned upside down by events beyond your control, what do you do?

You can cry.

You can crawl into a hole.

You can give up.

Or you can try again.


Napoleon Hill once said:

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

The problem with most of us is that when stuff doesn’t work out we think it’s the END instead of seeing it as just TEMPORARY DEFEAT.  What we need to do is realize that the worst is never really the worst.  An end isn’t always THE END.  It could simply be the end to one thing and the start of another.

When you are ready to quit, you are closer than you think. – GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons.

When stuff doesn’t work out it is sometimes the best thing for us. But we will never see that if all we focus on is that it hasn’t worked out. Instead of making the event a mountain, think of it as a speed bump or traffic circle. Your momentum may have slowed, and maybe you need to change direction, but the setback is just TEMPORARY. Just because you don’t have a solution doesn’t mean there isn’t one. You just haven’t figured it out YET.

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all – in which case you fail by default. – J.K.Rowling

Setbacks, mistakes and failures are simply part of life. Sometimes we can control them and sometimes we can’t. But we can always control how we respond to them. If we look up, get up and start walking forward, the setback is just temporary and before you know it you will regain momentum.

Do you need a promise to make that real for your life? Does a setback feel so much bigger than you? No matter how you feel, know that it is just TEMPORARY.

There is a great interpretation of Lamentations from The Message that serves as encouragement for those experiencing setbacks:

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, The taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.  I remember it all – oh, how well I remember – The feeling of hitting rock bottom.  But there’s one other thing I remember, And remembering I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up.  They’re created new every morning.  How great is Your faithfulness!  I’m sticking with God (I’ll say it over and over) He’s all I’ve got left.  God proves good to the man who passionately waits, To the woman who diligently seeks.  It is a good thing to quietly hope, Quietly hope for help from God.  It is a good thing when you are young to stick it out through the hard times.  When life is heavy and hard to take, Go off by yourself. Enter the silence.  Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.  Don’t run from trouble. Take it full face.  The “worst” is never the worst.  Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return.  Lamentations 3:19-33. The Message.

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