Setbacks are disheartening. They can leave us feeling disempowered and discouraged. Mostly setbacks can leave us feeling as though we have no real control over our lives. Yet there are some people who are successful despite the challenges and setbacks they experience. What is their secret?
Setbacks Help You Gain Perspective
Successful people view setbacks differently. The difference is that they have a different perspective on setbacks. While they realize that they can’t always control the world around them, they can control how they respond to circumstances. In other words, successful people use setbacks to gain perspective when they experience circumstances beyond their control. They see setbacks as an opportunity to REFOCUS and find an EVEN BETTER WAY to achieve their goals. Setbacks don’t stop them, they simply slow them down for a short period of time.
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not you’ll find an excuse.” – Unknown
Setbacks Bring Clarity
The truth about setbacks is that you always have a choice. You choose how to respond to circumstances and that choice is what can make all the difference. John Maxwell is a well-known author on the subject of leadership and success. One of his best known books is Failing Forward. In his book John Maxwell says:
“Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. If we learn to embrace a new definition of failure, then we are free to start moving ahead – and failing forward.” – John Maxwell
In recent years there have been several major events that have resulted in setbacks for millions of people in America and around the world. The recession brought job losses, cutbacks in salaries, even closures of big companies. Natural disasters destroyed homes, families and communities. Not many of the people affected had any control at all over what happened to them. But every person had a choice in how they responded to the setbacks. In every situation there was someone who chose to look up, step up and not be overwhelmed by the situation.
“Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it” – John Maxwell
What’s Your Choice?
This is the truth about setbacks. You have that same choice. You can surrender to the problem, or be part of the solution. You can be the person sitting back complaining and finding excuses, or you can be out there looking for opportunities and solutions.
While the circumstances may be beyond your control, your response is well within your control. What do you choose? Do you choose life? Do you choose opportunity? Do you choose to seek out a solution?
Remember that it is not failure if you learn and grow from the experience. Even the most challenging situations can make you stronger. There is always hope. Don’t quit. Don’t think of excuses. Persevere, learn and grow.
“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:2-5