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How to deal with setbacks

Posted on December 18, 2012 by Ollie 'Ojay' Matthews There have been 0 comments


When we are dealt certain setbacks it can be easy to get down, think the world has ended and all is lost. Try not to get upset and emotional about the setback that has happened instead stop, take a step back and reflect. Think about the thing that has actually happened and how you are going to adapt to the news you have just received. This would be my first step in any setback, deal with the news and take a moment to step back and reflect.


Find a confidante

Find a companion, a confidante, someone to have a chat with about the setback you have just experienced, they say a problem shared is a problem halved, this goes for setbacks too. Sometimes the person you choose wont actually be able to do anything with regards to the setback but just having someone to listen can help with your own state of mind at the time of need and they may be able to offer advice.


Teach others

Try to benefit not just yourself but others from what you have learnt from this setback. Speak about the issue that you have confronted and in future try to use your experience as an example, people seem to appreciate a lot more real life experiences rather than fictional stories.


Write about your experience

Alongside teaching others it may be good practice to write your setbacks down just to help others once again benefit from these and also you never know when you may need to look back and see how you once dealt with it and need that advice you have written again.


Stay positive

Every cloud has a silver lining….

Sometimes we stare so long at the door that has slammed shut we failure to realise the once that has been unlocked in the process…

I complained I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet…

There are many sayings that could be listed here but always try and look at the positives out of any situation. Nine times out of ten things can always be a lot worse. You may have given a presentation that did not go as well as you wanted it to, but what feedback have you received? Seek feedback, which parts went well? What are your strengths and how can you play to these strengths in the future?

Yes this can be hard at times, staying positive, but attempting to focus on these positives (and believe me there are positives even in the hardest of situations) will allow you to grow, progress and help you with your overall mental well-being.


Learn from your experience

There are no mistakes if lessons have been learnt. Learn from the setback you have just had. Try to look at the situation from another 3rd person perspective, view it outside in. Don’t look at it always as ‘What can I learn’ but more ‘what could someone else learn from this?’ ‘what did this person do well?’ and ‘what could this person do differently’. Self-development is so much easier to undertake when you look at the situation from another perspective and take the ‘I’ out of the equation.


Focus on the future and not the past

Forget the things behind you, you still have a goal right? You still want to get that goal? There is always another route to get to your goal, you may need to adjust the journey, there may be a roadblock and you have to take a diversion but you can always reach your destination. Reflect but don’t dwell, learn from the past as those that merely forget what has happened are certain to repeat it but use this lesson to keep moving forward, keep getting up when you are knocked down and keep progressing to your goal. Remember what Rocky said ‘It ain’t about how hard you can hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward’


Keep caution when passing the blame

Did you do something wrong? Did someone else make an error? Maybe this is the case. It is not merely a blame game, no matter how aggrieved you may feel, the important part is what you have learnt and making sure that that error is not repeated in future. ‘Next time we could try to do it like this’ gets much further than ‘You $%^£^& it was all your fault you shouldn’t have done it like that!’


Use the setback as a way to benefit

If you can benefit from the setback, the actual setback impact is lessoned greatly. There have been major disasters in the past that have changed the way we do things day to day for the good. Yes, these disasters have been hard to take but the future has been moulded by these experiences that the world has faced.


Failure is NOT final

Persistence is key, never giving up.

You may have encountered a setback but it is not final.

Alex Ferguson nearly lost his job at Manchester United manager back in the 80s before successfully turning the team into one of the biggest most successful clubs in the world.

Jay Cutler finished 2nd at the Mr Olympia contest four times before winning it twice, then suffered another setback with another 2nd place before regaining the title another two times afterwards.

Even a setback should not prevent you from succeeding in the future.



If you would like tailored training and diet, maybe motivational guidance to reach your goals follow me @OJayPT on twitter, facebook, and www.bodycatchers.com also check out www.peakphysiqueawards.com to win yourself a holiday just by hitting your goals!


By Ojay Matthews

This post was posted in Athletes