“Every challenge, every adversity, contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth”
We all experience obstacles and setbacks we have to overcome in life, and COVID-19 has certainly created some substantial setbacks for many:
- New businesses that were ready to launch in March having to delay their grand openings or having to call it quits
- Individuals that finally got out of debt, only to lose their jobs are seeing the credit card charges add up
- Tourism is suffering in multiple cities which is a setback for the various industries
- Setbacks in individual’s mental health progress due to unexpected circumstances causing:
- Emotional breakdowns
- Sleep disturbances
Setbacks don’t need to be viewed at roadblocks, they are more like speed bumps; they don’t stop us, they just slow us down. No one says, “Bring on the setbacks to make my life more challenging!” When you are faced with a setback, try asking yourself, “How can I adapt to accommodate this setback I’m faced with?”
It doesn’t matter if you are rich and famous, if you are Oprah Winfrey, or even the Dali Lama, everyone experiences setbacks or obstacles in life.
What steps can help us when we are faced with setbacks?
- Acknowledge it: Allow yourself to feel sad, worried, disappointed, upset, etc., but for a limited time; this is a dangerous place to stay for too long. Set a time limit for how long you will allow yourself to feel the sadness or disappointment.
- Eliminate Blame: We can’t keep blaming other people or the world in general. Yes, it’s true that someone else (or a virus) might be the reason you were presented with your setback but blaming them doesn’t change the fact it happened.
- Talk to someone: I’m not suggesting you need to seek counseling every time life presents you with a setback. However, talking can help. It can be your friend or a co-worker you respect and value. Keeping things bottled up inside isn’t healthy for any of us.
- Record what you are thankful for: Writing down or recording a voice memo of things you are grateful can help. When you can actually SEE them or HEAR them, it doesn’t fix your setback, but can give you a little perspective sometimes.
- Give yourself time: A broken bone doesn’t heal in a week and a virus doesn’t disappear overnight, neither do most setbacks you are faced with. Process what you have been presented with and know it will take a bit of time to work through.
- Keep moving forward: Expect setbacks. If we expect them, we can accept them and move forward that much quicker. Obviously we don’t usually know when we are going to be presented with a setback, but this worksheet is great exercise that allows you to visually see some of the setbacks that could occur in any situation in life and guides you to work through them as they happen.
So, are setbacks really setbacks? Perhaps they are just growth and learning opportunities? It sounds nice doesn’t it, “I just had a huge growth opportunity today” vs “Well crap, that was a huge setback!”
If you are presented with a “growth opportunity” today or if you have been recently, take a deep breath and before you get to the steps listed above, ask yourself “How can I adapt to accommodate this setback I’m faced with?”
Remember, You Got This!