5 Tips to Overcome a Major Setback

by Tracey Jewel

“Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together.” ~Unknown.

Just when I thought I was ready to get some of my ideas into motion and action, I have a setback.

Previously setbacks involved finances (unexpected bills, for example), time delays, and an unresponsive partner or friend when I wanted to make changes.

My current setback came in the form of a massive health scare.

When I’ve gotten over some fear and self-sabotage, and I feel like I’m finally ready to take action, it always brings up things for me…

At that moment of action, when all my hard work starts to pay off, my little voice creeps in to stop me from moving forward. It creates doubt and makes me question my decisions.

It feels like I’m going to fall—or rather jump—off a cliff. But I know I need to get out of my comfort zone and take that leap. I also know, on some level, that these setbacks show me how close I am to achieving my dreams, if only I can find the faith to push through them.

Still, this setback is extreme, even for me!

I am writing this from a hospital. After I wrote my goals for the next six months, and got ready for an action-packed week ahead, I had an “attack” and was immediately rushed to hospital via ambulance.

Long story short, they found I have a pancreas and liver disease and I needed urgent life-saving surgery. I am now needing to heal from this and will probably need more surgery in six week’s time (although I am researching other natural alternatives too).

I’m a girl who drinks green smoothies every day, I don’t eat red meat or drink alcohol, and I’m certainly not overweight or unhealthy, yet I am in this health challenge.

As I write this with tears, I realize that facing and dealing with setbacks is a part of life for all of us. And sometimes when we think we’re ready to unleash on the world, the universe has other plans!

I’ve learned that we can choose to find something good in our setbacks. It all depends on what we want to take from then.

If you’re dealing with a setback too:

1. Acknowledge it.

No one is immune to setbacks. If you have one, recognize the problem. By doing this you can start the process of transformation, for it is on the other side of the setback that we realize we are not going to be the same person we were before. We are going to be wiser, stronger, and better for it.

Like nature and the seasons, the caterpillar and the butterfly, the tadpole and the frog, there’s no turning back, there’s no putting our head in the sand to pretend it isn’t happening. Acknowledge that through the tough times, the miracles of transformation happen, and we can flourish on the other side.

We are capable of doing amazing things—and even more if we can grow through our challenges.

2. Eliminate blame.

Things happen for no obvious reason sometimes. Exploring the way forward is much healthier than trying to blame someone or something for a setback that is irreversible.

3. Access your spirituality.

Spirituality can sustain us in times of uncertainty and difficulty. When we feel like we don’t have the physical, mental, or emotional strength to pull through, our faith in something more—whatever that may be—gives us the energy we need to keep going.

Spirituality reminds us that we are a gift, and have gifts to offer the world. Our job right now is to discover these gifts and to remove the setbacks so we can give them to others in the future.

Focusing on our spirituality allows us to see beyond this setback and find a purpose for it.

4. Give yourself time.

Just as we need to allow time for wounds and broken hearts to mend, we need to allow ourselves time to overcome our setbacks. Impatience only makes them harder and longer than they need to be.

We are in such a hurry to fix our problems and move on; usually this impatience is a pattern that overflows into other areas of our life.

I am terribly guilty of impatience, and the only solution I have found is focusing on and enjoying other things while allowing a setback to be resolved in its own time. I try to remember what really matters. I think back to happy memories and keep faith that after this setback I will be where I want to be.

It serves no purpose to dwell on a problem. Allow the movement of time to push you through it. Time does heal!

5. Step out of your comfort zone.

This is what I am doing now—confronting and staring a setback in the face, and sharing it honestly to say, “Hey this is where I’m at.” This type of openness has enormous power. We can learn so much from other people who are dealing with their own challenges, but we have to share our own to do it.

I’m dealing with a health challenge now, but I am not a victim. Setbacks can be overcome—even sickness.

I know I will be in a better situation on the other side of this, especially if I hold onto my faith and joy. I am confident I can beat this!

Yes we are all going to deal with setbacks in life, but we can overcome them if we see them as part of a bigger life picture, and commit to seeing them through from start to finish. Remember that this setback won’t stop you from being who you want to be and doing what you want to do.

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