Dealing With Setback

We all experience setbacks in our life. Some seem minor while others seem catastrophic. Sometimes a setback is so overwhelming we feel momentarily disoriented, unsure which direction to take next. We want to carry on, but we can't quite muster the will to make the next right move.

If you've felt this way lately, perhaps the following process will help you:

1. Grieve the loss. If you're feeling disappointment, loss, shock, or sadness, don't gloss over it. Give yourself time and space to feel it. There's nothing healthy in pretending the way you feel is wrong, shameful, or otherwise weak. Don't expect to "get over it." Rather, understand it is a loss you may carry forward with time.

2. Assess. What happened? What lead to this? What can you learn from the chain of events which lead to the setback? You might not have clear answers, but you will likely find something useful in reflection.

3. Recalibrate. Setbacks often redefine your reality, and change the conditions on the ground. The changes are often sudden and unpleasant, but it's best to gain some clarity on the new situation. A setback isn't the end unless you permit it to be the end. How does this new world require new strategies?

4. Look for opportunity and act. A setback does not negate your hopes, values, or goals. It may delay or redirect your path, but to let it annihilate your ideals would be something far worse than a mere setback. There are still opportunities, and if you want to recover, you will need to direct your productive energy to recognizing and acting on those opportunities.

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