I don’t know many people who experience life without setbacks. I do remember a conversation many years ago with someone who expressed concern that her family had not suffered any real hardships. She was afraid of what she would do if anything terrible happened to them. I have reflected on this conversation many times over the years as I have watched people experiencing troubling situations. After going through some difficult times, I can understand her apprehension. The lessons we learn and the maturity we develop while working through difficulties helps us develop strategies and resources for dealing with future setbacks.
Overcoming fear and anxiety are necessary skills in dealing with setbacks. I am sometimes surprised at the things I am no longer afraid of because I have already faced them. Knowing what doesn’t scare you can go a long way toward overcoming setbacks.
The list of things we are not afraid of is different for each of us, and it can and does change over the course of time. It is never easy to deal with loss. Successfully dealing with loss gives us confidence and knowledge to allow us to face future losses without the same fear as when it is an entirely unknown experience. Future losses will in all likelihood still cause us pain and difficulty, but facing these setbacks with less fear will definitely be helpful.
Facing challenges, especially with most or all of the fear removed, can make us open to new possibilities. Being forced out of our comfort zone can lead us in directions we might never have considered without being faced with the setback. Far too many people come to a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and just stop there. They may live out the rest of their lives with that setback being the thing that defines and dominates their life.
What setbacks have you experienced in your life? Have they been due to circumstances you could not control? Have you experienced significant loss? Have you made decisions that led to a setback? Have you learned things that would make it easier to move forward through the setback[s] you might be currently facing?
As we move forward, how can more knowledge and less fear make you more successful in working through and current and future setbacks? May that knowledge be helpful yo you both now and in the future.
–David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.
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