Handling Setbacks

Something I have certainly learned in life is dealing with setbacks. Some are big…some small…but with each one, you have to deal with it, figure out how to overcome, and move forward. I often speak to people about things that happen in their lives and quickly realize that handling setbacks is definitely something one needs to learn how to do. Not everyone has the skill to deal and continue to move forward in a positive way.

I think back to being a parent of a young child. Having gone through many things in my own life, I realized that I sheltered my child from so many things in hers. I did not ever want her to have to experience some of the things that I did. But, then I learned that I had to let her experience setbacks so she could learn to problem solve; she had to learn to handle them and grow from them. As parents, we never want to see our kids struggle, but sometimes its the struggle that teaches them the way to handle so many things in the world. Once I had this epiphany, I could help her on the path of becoming a functioning adult.

As mentioned above, I truly believe so many people have not had an opportunity to build the capacity to deal with setbacks. One person I think of in particular will completely shut down…as if her life is over…and will need her family to “fix” the problem, so she can move on. It makes me sad to think about her, as she is close to me, and how if we were not around, would she be forced to deal with her own problems and figure them out??? Are we actually enabling her?

This summer has been a series of setbacks for me…and honestly both positive and challenging. I really must preface with, I am truly lucky to have all I have…,meaning: to have the grit and wisdom to do what is needed to be done to get all that I have. But, setbacks are hard, nonetheless. My setbacks have included, losing staff members that needed to be replaced with strong candidates, dealing with a very busy schedule that has made working out and self care challenging, learning to change with moving to a new neighborhood and being out of my comfort zone for a while, starting a new school year with new staff who do not know our systems, requiring many additional hours both at work and home for me…again, not all negative, but needing to be dealt with. So how do I handle them? Please see my process below.

  1. Stop, take a breath, and evaluate what is happening. This is the first step in my processing. I really need to take a minute to evaluate the magnitude and what kind of response I should have to the current situation.
  2. Remind myself that I do deserve some grace and if the situation cannot be solved immediately, it is ok. I can give myself time to resolve…and really, this will help me in the long run, as I know I make better decisions when I am not in a rush.
  3. Determine the best steps in fixing the problem. It may mean adjusting my schedule, waking up earlier, working later, or a little bit of all of that. This planning process will help me know exactly what to do to resolve.
  4. Ask for help if needed. This one is exceptionally hard for me, but I have learned over time, that when in a situation that could be considered a setback, I may not be thinking as clearly as normal and other’s input can be very helpful.
  5. And finally, I keep moving forward. If I miss a week or two of workouts, for example, when I have the time to get back at it, I start fresh. I never overdo it to “make up” missed time, as that is the perfect recipe for an injury.

I will never say that I am an expert to any of this. To be truthful, I can panic at first, and just have learned the most important part is to calm down so that I can recover from any setback. And, more importantly, never give up, never shut down, and keep moving forward! Stay tuned, my friends!

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