“You have to keep pushing toward those dreams no matter what setbacks happen.” – Anthony Hamilton

I’ve never been punched square in the face, but it feels that way when you face a major setback.

Setbacks are things we all have to deal with, no matter what the circumstance is. Whether It’s losing tons of money, being made redundant because of some brainless asshole, or even going out of business (I know how that feels).

Setbacks are always creeping around the corner waiting to strike like a king cobra without warning. So you’ve got to be prepared or risk being bitten.


Here are 5 steps that help me deal with setbacks:


1. Look at the “why”

how to deal with setbacks

100% of the setbacks we experience in life happen for a reason. There’s no such thing as running into bad luck, being unlucky or “this only happens to me”.

Setbacks happen to us all, which is a bitch. But that’s life.

When I was working part-time in a warehouse job back in 2012, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then before I even had the chance to see it coming I was made redundant with the click of a finger. After having a supervisor scream at me like I was his fucking wife or some shit.

It would have been easy for me to blame the WHY on the negative colleagues and the company it’s self for redundancy. But the real WHY behind it was simple.

Jobs are not secure and it was my own fault for relying on it without planning ahead.

I took responsibility instead of crying over spilt milk. And evaluated why it happened, so I can do better next time.


2. What can you learn from it?

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

It would have been easy for me to just apply for more “standard” jobs to work in. Or to think the same way and do the same things which would have put me in the same bullshit position.

But I didn’t do that.

In fact – being made redundant changed everything for me. And opened up my mind in ways I couldn’t believe.

Being sacked gave my life new meaning, and what I learned from it will always stick with me.

Here are 2 things I learned from it:

  • You can’t rely on “everyday” jobs.
  • Everyday jobs are best used as stepping-stones.


3. Look at the “how”

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

After being made jobless because of a racist, toxic work environment, my HOW to better my circumstances was self-employment, buying and selling, and starting my own businesses.

My HOW looked like this:

  • Read everything I can about creating an online business
  • Buy books on the topics.
  • Create businesses based on my skills, talents and interests
  • Get a business grant or loan.
  • Fund my business through a part-time job.
  • Attend business events.
  • Learn as much as I can about taxes, going self-employed, etc.
  • Personal development.

Of course, your how will probably look a lot different compared to mine. But you can’t move forward and progress If you have no idea how you’re going to do it.

A pilot for obvious reasons isn’t allowed to fly a plane full of passengers without first knowing HOW it works.

From the controls, to the knobs, procedures, and everything that’s required to become a pilot. Including their mental state and how healthy they are.

The same is true for a car.

I haven’t learned to drive so I’m not going to jump in a car and attempt to drive it without knowing HOW. That would be Illegal anyway and suicidal, but that’s besides the point.

So get your how in check to help improve upon your situation. Or else you’ll be stuck in your comfort zone which will kill your motivation and weaken your conviction.


4. Stay focused on the solutions

“Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Setbacks are ruthless, especially when it happens so suddenly. But the longer you focus on the negatives of the situation the longer you’ll be stuck in it. And you’ll sink deeper and deeper as the negative pulls you in like quicksand.

You have to focus on the solutions daily, and put your time into solving the problem.

It might not be “easy” when reality is staring you in the face, but it’s a discipline worth pursuing as it will help you get results a lot faster.


5. Have a support system

how to deal with setbacks

My main support system is family. A few people I keep close.

I’m grateful for that and I understand it’s not as simplistic as it sounds for some people. But it doesn’t even have to be family or friends, it can be an online community you’re a part of. Or someone you can talk to online who you trust with your life.

It can even be this blog or myself personally.

You can do it alone but It’s always nice to have someone supporting you along the way. It helps to keep your stress in check and to relieve yourself of any problems you’re facing. Seeing as you can talk to someone who can help you push through the setbacks and solve problems along the way.


Got anything to add to this post? Let me know in the comments.


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