Dust Yourself Off: How to See the Brightside in Setbacks

Dust Yourself Off: How to See the Brightside in Setbacks
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Every person is bound to face a variety of setbacks in their life. From a breakup to a job loss, obstacles are simply a part of human existence. When life brings you challenges, it is important to dust yourself off and keep moving. Rather than throwing in the towel, view life’s setbacks as a way to learn, grow, and evolve.

Seeing the bright side of difficult situations doesn’t mean that they’re not painful: it is important to cope with your emotions, but you must eventually get back up. While it certainly will not be simple (and is likely easier said than done), here are 6 tips for moving on from daunting roadblocks on the path of life.

1. Recognize that Failure Creates Progress

Something didn’t go your way, and you’re left feeling defeated. Rather than feeling like a failure, understand that setbacks are necessary for growth. It is common knowledge that we can learn from our mistakes. For example, poker player Lee Jones has made a point to learn from his losing rounds. He states, “You can’t win every pot and you can’t win every session. The key to winning poker is to go back and review your play—from winning and losing sessions—and figure out how to play better next time.” Ultimately, experiencing challenges–whether in your career or personal life–can result in something meaningful. Reframe your mindset and allow your setback to motivate you: consider the lessons you’ve learned and how you’re better off with the experience of this challenge.

2. Take Deliberate Time to Reflect

After experiencing a setback, you will need time to process. It is important that you actually create time to do this! The amount of time will vary depending on the obstacle, but finding time to reflect is key to moving on. Take a break from work if needed or maybe you could benefit from a break from social media. Instead, do something that makes you happy and serves as an outlet for any lingering pain you might be experiencing. Consider keeping a journal to reflect on your progress: detail how you’re feeling and what you’ve learned. Overall, being introspective to your situation is imperative to learn from your mistakes or setbacks.

3. Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Having a positive attitude about your situation is crucial for moving past the setback. Think beyond just being positive and aim to be grateful for all that you have. Consider materialistic items that you may take for granted, like your home with running water or your computer that can help you advance your career. Think about the people and relationships in your life that will help you move forward, like a loving family or a great team of co-workers. Rather than focusing on the negativity, you’re facing, reframe your life by looking at all the wonderful things around you. Perhaps you begin writing in a gratitude journal: research shows that journaling just three times a week can impact your overall happiness. Or simply take time during your busy day to refocus on your blessings. Either way, you’ll likely gain a more positive outlook on your current challenge by adopting an attitude of gratitude.

4. Take Action: Do Something!

After you’ve taken time to acknowledge and accept the challenge life has thrown your way, you’ll need to take a step to move forward. No one said life would be easy, so here’s where you get up and dust yourself off–and that can be hard work! As a female business leader, Bethenny Frankel knows the importance of hardwork: “It’s [about] old-school hard work. People who are successful realize that it’s about working hard.” You can’t stop when life knocks you down. Instead, focus on taking an action step that will move you closer to the end goal. Perhaps you need to update your resume before applying for new jobs. Or maybe this means trashing memorabilia that is keeping you from moving on from your ex. No matter how small, slow progress in the right direction is much better than making no progress at all!

5. Surround Yourself with Encouragement

In order to stay positive during this difficult time, you must rid your life of negativity! This means steering away from negative people, places, and things. Instead, find and surround yourself with people who will encourage you. Find a trusted friend or mentor who you can ask for honest feedback. It is important to have someone to vent to but who will also help you take responsibility for your setback. Additionally, talking to another person can help you see a different perspective and possibly reframe your view of the situation. Overall, spend time with people who encourage and enrich your life and who ultimately help you persevere and grow from your challenge.

6. Believe in Yourself

All of these tips might sound great, but none of them will help you unless you believe in yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths and your amazing resiliency. Even when the situation seems overwhelming, know that you can handle it. Think back on other challenges in your life and how you made it through. Need some inspiration? Here are 12 stories of people who overcame their adversities to ultimately find success. When life feels especially hard, do not let yourself stop and play the victim: instead, do whatever it takes to keep moving forward.

Look on the Brightside: Positivity is Key to Moving On

Life’s setbacks and obstacles may derail us temporarily, but with the right outlook, you can grow from the situation. View your adversity as an opportunity to learn or to see the situation from a new angle. Consider seeking help from another person to reframe your mindset. Understand that you are not defined by your failures, but instead, these challenges can help build confidence and abilities. While things may not be going as planned, you can evolve from each hiccup that you may face. Overall, how you react to challenging situations can determine your level of peace and happiness.

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