How to Recover From A Setback

To live as imperfect human beings is to encounter setbacks. You can ask anyone you know, they will tell you they’ve experienced setbacks personally, professionally, or both at some point in their lives. Rather than viewing setbacks as a “fail”, consider them a necessary learning experience on your pathways to success.

But, how do you recover after facing a setback? 

It’s absolutely possible to recover after a setback, grow, learn and come out on top, but as with anything worthwhile, it does take effort.

Are you ready to put in the work? Then keep reading!

Avoid the ‘Blame Game’ – When negative situations arise, it can be easy to want to assign blame to someone or something. Resist the desire to do this, especially as an initial response. Take the time to sit with the experience, the potentially uncomfortable feelings that it caused, and acknowledge the impact it had on you. Then take a step back. Shifting your perspective on the setback can help you to avoid making an unwise and rash decision immediately following the situation, like handing in your resignation to your employer.

Mindset Shift – Do you remember in the intro we said to try not to view setbacks as a “fail”, but rather as a learning experience on your way to success? That’s what this step involves. Take a moment to reflect on another time in your life when you faced a challenging situation. How did you handle it? Did you gain new skills? Were you set on another path that led you to more positive outcomes? Did the negative consequences last as long as you thought they would? Was there a silver lining? Self-reflection and awareness will help you to make the shift in your mindset and approach setbacks as stepping stones and not brick walls.

Seek Support – There is a saying that the ‘one isolating themself is rejecting practical wisdom’ and we agree. Turning inward to practice and grow your self-awareness is commendable, but there is also a time and place to seek the help of others. Specifically, those within your circle who are trustworthy, positive in their outlook, and practical in their planning abilities. These are your pillars on which to seek support after a setback.

Create a New Plan – Once you’ve been able to process the initial feelings and impact of the setback, leverage your support system in creating a new plan that can minimize the negative impact of the situation. With a plan in place, the next logical step is to take action to put the plan in motion. This can revitalize you and provide determination to continue putting forth the effort in your life and career.

Reflect – While each of these steps is important, this may be one of the most vital. Start by asking yourself some questions such as: What were the events or decisions that led up to the setback? What was going on in other areas of my life that could have impacted the situation? What aspects did I truly have control over? If given the opportunity, what would I change or do differently? You may find it useful to keep a record of your answers in a notebook or in digital form, as the answers may come in handy in the future. 

“In other words, don’t expect to always be great. Disappointments, failures and setbacks are a normal part of the lifecycle of a unit or a company and what the leader has to do is constantly be up and say ‘we have a problem, let’s go and get it’.” – Colin Powell

Part of what we aim to accomplish at Akramoff is to help you develop the skills to cope with the challenges you will inevitably face as a leader. To help you build resilience. Everyone deserves a great workplace and that starts with cultivating great qualities within each person. To find out more about how to make your work center a better place, please contact us at today.