Dealing with Setbacks: Tips & Tricks

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(the faces of setbacks & promotion for Crescent Moon Naturals coffee body scrub)

How Do You Deal with Setbacks?

Last Wednesday, I (Emily) was given a sign by the universe via a big ol' cup of joe falling onto my computer. Again. Enter short circuits, a messed up trackpad, and a four and a half day hiatus from work, my life was filled with repair costs, backups, and visits to the store. This is the second time that something like that has happened this summer. (Last time it sparked The Digital Detox). You'd think I'd get a clue. Whether it was that I need(ed) to start backing up my computer or that I need(no -ed) to stop stretching myself so thin, I'm getting the notion that I was being clued in to something bigger than myself. BUT in the middle of it all, I was not about this turn of events and all the hours of work I lost.  So that's what I thought we could delve into today: how we deal with setbacks, both in the immediate situation and the aftermath (any english teacher of mine reading this will cringe at my use of first-person-entering into a thesis. sorry not sorry?).

Oh, and then I have a yummy recipe heading your way Wednesday!

When a situation that makes you want to scream arises, how do you deal? Do you sit there in vibrating anger and think the world is out to get you, or do you take a deep breath (maybe five) and come up with a way to play it in your favor? I would say most of us are somewhat in the middle; initially, we may react in anger, but as the situation calms down, we recognize it isn't the end of the world.

5 Tips for Dealing with Setbacks

1. Be Realistic Chances are, as important as this setback is in your life, it isn't the end of the world, your career, or your life.  With no access to my computer or my work (documents, school work, notes, etc), I was convinced I was going to destroy all of the connections and career choices made in the last few weeks. But meetings were able to be rescheduled, appointments changed, and as much of an inconvenience I felt I was being, to others it was life and understandable. Give both yourself and others the chance to recognize the mishap and move forward.

2. Find the Benefit Yes, spilling coffee on my computer was a pain in the behind, and losing those days of my work was very frustrating. However, I was able to find more inspiration, experiment with a yummy recipe, and learn a lot about how my computer works and functions. And in doing so, I know I can make really great things, share more recipes with all of you, and help someone in the future if they have a similar problem. I could say this whole thing was a waste of my time and my resources and a terrible life happenstance, but that does nothing but turn me bitter and angry.

3. Give Yourself Time As much as I hope this post allows you a healthy mindset for setbacks, I want to emphasize that giving yourself time to move through the stages of emotions is important. It's not grieving, but you do move through similar steps: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Maybe not to their full extent, but most likely shock and denial hits you as it's happening; anger occurs when you realize this happened; being willing to give anything for it to work again or all fall back into place; depression or low energy as you realize there isn't really anything you can do in the moments while you wait; and finally, acceptance, because despite it all, it did happen, and you have to move forward eventually. So allow yourself to move through this (maybe work on it until it takes less than 15 minutes), but work through your initial response with kindness and respect for yourself.

4. Get Over It So it happened. Your computer broke, you didn't get your promotion, he didn't ask you to marry you, it all stinks. But get over it. Holding onto it to replay endlessly or to tell every single person you see does nothing but keep you rooted in the setback. Move forward to the next step; fix what's broken, find your next project, determine whether it's worth it to stay with the person. Easier said than done, but every inhale allow it to sit with you and every exhale push it the eff out of your system.

5. Do Something You Love Setbacks stink. But so is the recognition that through all the stress of moving forward and getting your to-do list done, you've lost your passion or your spark. Use the time of your setback to embrace what you haven't tapped into in a long while. I spent my time while not working reading articles about proper breathing and injuries to athletes (something I'm thrilled to learn more about) and rediscovering my old passion of DIY. All in all, I'm so happy I had time to do this -- I feel flooded with new ideas and invigorating passion.

Now that I have it all back and running, I'm happy to work and advance my career, but I know that I need to make time for play and self-exploration. I am 20 after all, good gosh. I'll be using these tips and tricks, and I encourage you to do the same, when hit with the next setback. Remember, life is full of them, but they are the fuel for your future and sometimes the eye opening adjustment we need to find our true purpose. Woohoo!

+ did you find these tips helpful? which ones did you like the best? comment below or on Facebook!

Need some guidance in cultivating a healthy mindset around setbacks, situations, or just plain life in general? I invite you to get in touch with me.