Bouncing back from a setback

Everyone faces setbacks at certain times, some bigger and unexpected than others. The question is: How do you bounce back from these and get yourself back on track?


Sometimes setbacks can be out of your control and aren’t a personal reflection on you. If this is the case, try to stay positive. They’re only temporary and you can get through them. When experiencing a setback, keep in mind the following tips to help you through.


  1. Let it out and let it go

Allow yourself to feel the downside of making the mistake but be sure to move on from the situation. We all have bad days; be rational … you’re not a failure. Be gentle to yourself.


  1. Swallow your pride and listen to your body

We all have a competitive streak in us and we tend to take mistakes personally. Remember, you need to make a mistake in order to learn and better yourself. Cool off and take a walk or grab a coffee. Face the music with humility, confidence and a centred state of mind.


  1. Surround yourself with people who will elevate you

Unfortunately, there’ll be people who’ll revel in your mistakes as it creates validation for themselves. Surround yourself with positive people who’ll encourage you to do better and help pick you up from your setback. Those who want the best for you will be there for you.


  1. Find progress in the mishap

It’s important to recognise how far you’ve made it. You’re not where you are now without everything you’ve learn and accomplished. The setback you’ve experienced just means you have much more to learn and strive for. At times like this, you really have to get back on the horse and ride on.


  1. Good days vs. bad days

We perform better on some days than others. It helps to assess our self-state on a daily basis and scope out what we can handle that day. There’s no point taking on a big project and committing to something if you know you’re not capable. This includes skill, knowledge, mental capability and confidence at the task at hand. Make it known to your manager or team and see where they can help you out.


  1. You’re your worst critic

At the end of the day, we have to build ourselves up. We’re our biggest obstacle. Ultimately, it’ll be your choice on how to move forward. Don’t discourage yourself, as you wouldn’t discourage your colleagues or friends on their abilities as a person. Take your own advice that you give to your colleagues and friends: “You’re good enough, you’re great and you’ll do amazing!”


In summary, the following steps should be taken with your colleagues and stakeholders affected by the setback:

  1. Identify the specific setback and rationally analyse what has happened
  2. Recognise what implications the problem may have and ask for feedback
  3. Establish possible solutions and move forward


Finally, it’s important to redefine what a setback means to you. They should be seen as a measurement of where you can grow, further learn and better yourself to be the best you can be.

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