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How to Deal with Setbacks

Bounce Back from Life's Hurdles
  -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

We’ve all hit that bump in the road, the setback, the problem. What sets people apart is how they react to that bump. Are you one to spin out of control, in despair? Or do you grab a hold of that wheel and steer yourself straight? Whether it’s a school assignment, a work project, or a volunteer mission, we all encounter things that slow us down. You just have to keep in mind that a setback is only temporary and greater things lay ahead.

It is easy just to quit, give up and ignore the hard work you have put into something. But at SparkPeople, we believe in the "two steps forward, one step back" philosophy. So what if something bad happens? Keep moving forward, developing what you have. You’ve already built a solid foundation on which you can rely. Hard work can’t be overlooked.

So how can you react when something doesn’t turn out as you’ve expected? First, be objective. Step back and look at the situation. Take responsibility where it is due, but don’t place blame on others. Is your setback really that significant, or will it just require a little extra exertion on your part? Come to terms with it and then start planning your next move. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to do this. Oftentimes, people are more than willing to give you support and advice, maybe even after being in a similar situation. You don’t have to be perfect; after all, nobody else is.

Bounce back. Reevaluate the goals you should have set for yourself at the beginning and retool them as necessary. Goals should be realistic and specific, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be flexible and are allowed for minor impediments. Instead of looking at your project as a disaster or failure, view it with success. Concentrate on how great it will feel after it is finally done, after you have put your all into it. Instead of focusing on a possible unsatisfactory performance one single time, take a moment to sit back and reward yourself for all that you have accomplished.<pagebreak>

Above all, don’t live with regrets. Approach life with perseverance and dedication to the things that matter most to you. Success is never easy. It remains up to you whether you will give up, or fight through the tough battles to earn whatever it is you want.

A fragment of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson is telling:

"Finish each day
And be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and
Absurdities have crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can."

Move on with your life. Keep reaching for your goals and you will achieve them. One minor setback is nothing if you really want something and are willing to work for it.