When you have a setback then it’s easy to start doubting yourself and what you
do. To believe that this current setback is something that will simply become your
It’s easy to make it very personal and to start seeing yourself as the failure
because of what happened.
This is a destructive way of looking at things that can drag you down and get you
stuck under a dark cloud of self-pity.
So I’ve learned to look at it this way instead:
A setback is something that sometimes happens. It can be helpful and it’s just
Now, here’s how I usually break that down into three steps.
1. A sobering reminder.
Take a few deep breaths to calm down and then remind yourself: You’re not a
failure just because you failed.
Setbacks happen to everyone that take chances. It’s simply a part of living life
Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. So don’t make a failure into
this huge thing or into your identity.
2. Get something helpful out of it.
Ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback?
Use the mistake, stumble or setback to your advantage as you go forward.
3. Get going in some small way to make it temporary to yourself.
I know it’s tempting to sit still and feel sorry for yourself, to beat yourself up or
to just do nothing.
I’ve done it more times than I can count.
But I’ve also found that the best way to convince myself that this setback is just
temporary is to start moving again.
So I take one small step forward. Or I take what I can learn from what happened
and make a small action-plan that I can use to avoid making the same mistake
Just taking one or a few small steps might not sound like much. But it can work
wonders for your optimism and confidence.
That’s at least been my experience.
P S: If you read my last post, this is to let you that I stopped beating myself up before the end of last week and it helped me do well (to my satisfaction and not proving anything to anybody) in the choir last Sunday. Yay!