We all know, setbacks and disappointments are a part of life.
In difficult times like these, they seem to be coming in greater frequency and scale than we could have imagined – and with more uncertainty.
You may have lost your job, fallen ill, or experiencing a dramatic loss of business, unsure how to keep your doors open.
There’s no denying it. There are seemingly setbacks around every corner right now. It’s trying, challenging and emotionally-draining.
As hard as it might seem in this moment, it’s important to channel your energy into developing life skills and resilience to help you deal with setbacks. In particular, cultivating a positive mindset.
A positive mindset is the greatest strength you have in tough times. No, it won’t change external events; but it can act as a shield, help you think more clearly, and come out the other side a stronger person.
Here are some easy to adopt tips for cultivating a positive mindset during a setback, like the one we are experiencing now.
Identify the Good in Every Situation
Easier said than done, you might be thinking. That’s only natural.
But in almost all situations – even today’s – if you look hard enough, you will see the silver lining. It may not be immediately visible, but search long enough and you will find it.
Perhaps extra free time inside will allow you to learn a new skill or take an online course?
Or more forced time with your partner will deepen your bond?
Maybe time alone will lead you to become clearer on your goals and what you want in life?
Whatever you identify, focus on it and make the most of what may be an otherwise unwanted experience.
This simple shift in mindset can help get you through bleak periods, keeping you not just sane, but motivated to forge onward.
Come Up with a “Bounce-Back” Game Plan
No one knows exactly how or when normal life will return. But at some point – and in some form – it will.
And, when it does, you need to be ready with a game plan.
Ask yourself, how will you get back on track?
Will you update your resume and be first in line for new work? Use your new skills to start freelancing? Pivot your business to seize new opportunities? Start a ‘get fit challenge’ now so you are ready to seize any and all opportunities when they come?
Whatever you decide, create a physical plan. Write down the steps you will take to get back to where you were – and beyond.
You will find having a game plan gives you a sense of persistence, certainty and surety. It won’t reveal all that the future holds – but it will make you better prepared.
- Assess the Cause of Your Setback
Finding lessons in unexpected, catastrophic external events can be more of a challenge. After all, the cause was out of your control.
With regular, daily life setbacks, it’s usually easy to pinpoint the cause. And the lessons to be learned.
But in these situations, it’s not about controlling the external, but focusing on what you can control. Consider how you can embrace the situation to better position yourself and limit the impact of external events on your life.
This could involve making changes to be better prepared, like managing your finances more closely or having a marketable skill to fall back on.
It’s important to draw lessons from the cause of your setbacks, even if it’s largely out of your control.
Seek Help from Professionals
Simply, you don’t have to go it alone.
There are psychologists, mental health practitioners and coaches who are there to help.
Just having someone to listen to and provide advice is incredibly reassuring and empowering. And with tele-health widely available online, support has never been more accessible.
A professional will help you stay positive, realise that what you are going through is normal, and reinforce your plan to bounce back.
So, keep these points in mind. And remember, right now, just about everyone is dealing with challenges, setbacks and crises. The good news is, on the other side of any adversity is a stronger, wiser, more resilient you.