I grew up being the star of all my grades at school. Right from kindergarten, through elementary school, to high school and even up to college. I was always the one that got stellar grades, awards, and recognition from my teachers.
So, I grew up with the mentality that life was meant to be all rosy. You know, like always a win-win situation. Until I experienced what it felt like to encounter setbacks. And that has completely changed my outlook on life as well as my understanding of life itself.
You see, if you have never been stuck with a tight pair of shoes, you will never understand what it means when someone else complains that their feet hurt from being stuffed in a tight pair of shoes.
Prior to my unwholesome experience, I never really understood why people had to ‘fail’ at anything or even give excuses for why they didn’t go ahead to achieve their much-desired results.
For me, my understanding about life was that all you needed to do was put in the hard work and everything else would just align perfectly. i.e. fall into place.
However, after my experience, I realized that my thought process along those lines may not have been entirely correct.
Because, in my mind, prior to experiencing those setbacks, I had thought that I put in all the hard work that was required. But, in spite of my seemingly hard work, I still hard nothing to show for it. And that really got me thinking.
Plus, it made me realize that hard work alone, may not be all that is required to succeed in this life. There has to be a better way of getting things done and achieving the results that we desire.
But, first, here are the 3 key lessons I learned from My experience:
- No one is immune to setbacks (or failures): Anyone, at any time, can experience temporary set-backs. However, the most significant thing is not the set-back (or failure) in itself, but our attitude after the event occurs. Our attitude after experiencing a setback would determine whether we get it right the next time. i.e. if we are willing to try again.
- Setbacks (or failures) are meant to humble us: Some of us may be born with silver spoons in our hands, or like me always seem to get everything right, on a platter of gold. Being privileged to experience life this way has the tendency to make us feel entitled and assume that the journey to success ought to always be smooth. So, when those setbacks (or failures) happen, they are meant to make us humble and give us the opportunity to begin to see life from a different perspective.
- There is always a lesson learned from an unpleasant experience: When those negative situations show up, they have loaded with them a pack of lessons. Learning the lessons and moving on would make us not repeat or make the same mistake that we may have made previously.
So, how should we deal with temporary setbacks (or failures)?
Notice that I prefer to refer to them as temporary, because nothing indeed is permanent, even your life. Situations come and go. Problems would always get solved and what goes up must come down.
When I experienced setbacks in my own life, I became withdrawn. I took a long hiatus from social media and some of my friends because I just wanted to deal with my misery on my own.
But, even though we sometimes need our “me” times to deal with stuff, completely shutting off the world from our views is not the best way (I believe) to go about it.
We can still handle disappointments, frustrations, failures, and setbacks without giving up on the other things that matter to us.
So, when those road-blocks (or failures) show up, instead of beating yourself too hard:
- Acknowledge them, learn the lessons and move on. There is no need or gain crying over spilled milk. In fact, clean up the milk and go buy another gallon from the grocery store.
- Try again. As long as there is life, there is always hope for a better future. My slogan is, “it can only get better.” Don’t give up because you will never know what success tastes like if you do not take another shot at that target.
- Ask for help when necessary. Sometimes, in order to record success, we may need to enlist the help of other people. Don’t go it alone. Know when to do it on your own and know when to reach out for help.
- Breathe and take one step at a time. That saying, “slow and steady wins the race” is very true indeed. Don’t feel pressured to get everything done at once. Take your time, learn the ropes and go gracefully.
- Rather than focus on working hard, pay more attention to working smart. There are definitely smarter ways to get things done these days. But, we all want to be seen as being busy and hardworking. Don’t get hung up on working hard, instead discover the smarter options.
- Be thankful for small victories. Sometimes, we are so engrossed with the big picture or final destination that we fail to acknowledge the little successes that we pack up along the way. Celebrate those, because they serve as catalysts to spur you to keep pushing.
So, while temporary setbacks (or failures) are a part of life’s journeys, they in no way ought to limit the extent we can go or dampen our zeal to continue to press forward.
Begin to see temporary setbacks as spring-boards to your success! Don’t settle for less, keep soaring!!!
Thank you so much for reading.