How to Grow Through Setbacks
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Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC
“Sooner or later comes a crisis in our affairs, and how we meet it determines our future happiness and success. Since the beginning of time, every form of life has been called upon to meet such a crisis.” Robert Collier
Life can be hard, which may not come as a shock; it can present challenges, detours and roadblocks that can waylay us from going where we planned to go. As crazy as life can be, these detours usually occur when we least expect them: getting laid off from our job…a flat tire on the way to church…a death. Setbacks don’t have to be major, such as a death; losing something that was dear to us or hearing that an event we planned will not go off the way we wanted can set us into a tailspin.
Typically, we set expectations based on our wants and desires. We focus on what we would like to happen, not necessarily anticipating that it may not occur in the exact way we want. We essentially set ourselves up for failure, so to speak, when we expect a particular outcome. We tend to lose our focus that there may be other possibilities that could occur. When we set an expectation, it elicits a feeling, such as happiness or excitement, which is why we keep focus on our hopes and wishes. We think, “If I want this…then it will happen.” This is why we feel so miserable when we suffer a setback in our plans.
But, often these disappointments can be blessings in disguise and help us grow in our self-development. We can learn so much about ourselves – our character, our outlook and our strengths – which helps us to deal and move on. They help to strengthen and enhance our capability to handle future setbacks.
Here are three ways to deal with adversity:
When something negative occurs, we must take time to grieve and expel the emotions that arise, such as anger, anxiety or sadness. These are all natural emotions that, if not released, will adversely impact you along the way. Recognize that it can take some time to go through this journey.
Commit to looking inside to your feelings and assessing the situation for what it is; this is not about blame but about looking realistically at the situation for what occurred, why and what your part was in it. This releases you from victimhood, it gets you to accept responsibility and allows you to move on.
Now that you have released any old feelings, it is now time to refocus on what you do want in your life. Ask questions, such as “what do I need to know to heal and move on” and then journal what comes to you (without limitations); set new goals, along with some action steps, to go about achieving them and take one step to action.
Moving through these steps will help you to move and grow through any setback that may occur in your life. Recognizing how you deal and adapting is what enhances your coping skills and strengthens your character. Be sure to celebrate the successes you have along the way and hold them dear – step into the greatness of you!
How do you deal with adversity?
Dr. Barbara Seifert, LCSW, CPC, NLP is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified coach and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is a Premier Coach with the American Society of Training & Development. You can learn more by visiting www.cyscoaching.com and Your Career Success Blog at www.allaboutcareerssite.wordpress.com.
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