Maybe your business failed and you’re financially drained now.
Maybe you failed in your exams and now repeating the same class.
Or, maybe your boss fired you and you have no job at present.
Setbacks are an integral part of life. Although undesired, they are inevitable and, often, uncontrollable. The presence of setbacks is more prevalent in lives of those who are fast moving forward and growing. Meaning, a person who’s doing more has higher chances of encountering more setbacks vs. someone who isn’t doing anything out of fear.
So, you cannot avoid the setbacks; especially when you’re trying to get somewhere, achieve something big and grow yourself into a better person.
For that matter, setbacks are important to help shape your ideas and experience, which then redefine the next chapter of your journey. In a way, they are essential.
That all said though, it’s not easy to handle setbacks.
For a person who lost his mother, it’s hard to understand “this will help you grow”. For someone who lost her job and can’t feed her children, it’s almost impossible to believe “this will fuel your fire”.
The key here isn’t to avoid setbacks – but knowing how to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
You must know how to use these experiences to start something fresh (and better).
To help you with that, here are five tips on how you can reinvent yourself after a setback:
1. Don’t try to get back to “normal” instantly
The walk to your “normal” – or a state where you feel good – is a process and you can’t rush it.
No matter what the setback is, recovering from it will take time. You can’t just flick and switch your state of mind. You can’t instantly change your circumstances.
You must allow yourself the time to embrace the reality AND feel that discomfort and pain that setback demands you to feel.
So, do not try to speed up the process. Let yourself take a natural course towards complete recovery and better days.
2. Surround yourself with people who love you
During difficult times, the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. Interestingly, this is something many people actually, albeit unconsciously, do that makes their situation even worse.
When things are going in the wrong direction, you need the love, support, and care of friends and family members.
Remember, a setback is only a part of the game. How you react to it is the bigger part!
If you have people by your side who love you, you’re more likely to react to your setbacks in a much more positive way.
When someone hugs you like they really mean it, when someone puts a hand on your shoulder and tells you “it’s going to be fine” – such acts of love and care really make a big difference in your mental make-up. This, in turn, provides you the power and will to live, survive and get better.
3. Get the right perspective about time
Life is VERY long. You’re going to live for years and decades to come.
This basic mindset, which goes against the prevalent narrative of “life is short”, can solve some of life’s biggest woes rather easily.
When you realize that you’re going to be here for so many more years – and that you will grow, experience new things – all of a sudden whatever you’re feeling right now starts looking smaller.
It would make you realize that this setback is only a tiny portion of your life. You have plenty of time ahead, which would likely be filled with an abundance of opportunities and happiness.
When we go through tough times, our mind instantly focuses on how we’re going to live tomorrow; what tomorrow will be like.
A simple switch to this gear is to adopt the macro-perspective.
Life is long. You will get enough time to build another business. There’s a lot of time ahead to fall in love again, to grow your career, to build a family, to make friends, to travel the world.
Get this mindset and feel the lightness in your heart.
4. Plan out the next chapter of your life
You have to move forward from this point to the next chapter of your life. There’s no other option. So, you might as well move forward with a thorough plan so to steer yourself in the right direction.
Once you’ve hit the rock-bottom and you seem to have embraced the reality of the moment, it’s time now to outline your “move on” plan.
Know how you’re going to rise from this fall, how you’re going to get yourself out of this ditch, what immediate steps you must take, how your life will change from hereon, how long will it take for you to be back on your feet and run.
Answer such key questions that address the how’s, why’s, what’s and when’s.
Plan and set smaller milestones on your path to reach your bigger goals.
The more definite your plan is, the more confident and clearer you will be about your rise and this will make moving on so much easier.
5. Make proactive efforts to get better
A change is not an event – it’s a process which demands consistent efforts on your end.
Meaning, you cannot just sit back and assume that things will get better with time. Because it won’t. You have to make it happen by putting in the work and being consistent.
This is not easy, admittedly. But, again, you have no other option, unless you want to be in the same misery for years.
So, once you have a plan, you must take smaller steps every day to make evident progress. You must courage-up and battle your inner demons with a positive outlook. You must focus on all the good over the bad.
The more work you put, the farther away you will get from your setback, towards a better and happier life.
When even waking up in the morning feels like a burden, the path to recovery is not going to be easy.
But remember, in difficult times, there’s no better person to help you than you yourself. You can be your own enemy or your best friend. That choice is with you.
The above-mentioned five tips will help you systematically build your strength following a setback, and rebuild yourself into a person who is destined for all the love, happiness and success in the world.