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A Simple 3-Step Process to Overcome Failure, Rejections, and Setbacks

Every setback or failure—regardless of how negative the situation—carries with it an equal advantage

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Failure, setbacks, and rejections. These are among the most common culprits of people not following through on their goals and, as a result, falling short of their potential. The sting of these unfavourable events is too much for many to stomach. Unfortunately, these barriers and hurdles are a part of the game, and without developing skin thick enough to shield yourself from them, you’ll never attain your goals and dreams. 

Luckily, you can toughen yourself up and learn to handle these obstacles. And all it takes are some new insights and a little bit of grit and resilience. So in this post, I’m sharing a simple 3-step process you can use to overcome failure, rejections, and setbacks. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Reframe the Situation

Every setback or failure—regardless of how negative the situation—carries with it an equal advantage. However, it’s often hidden underneath the veil of adversity. This means it’s up to you to find the gift in the temporary defeat. And how do you do that? By reframing the situation by putting a positive spin on it. Now, this is not wishful thinking; it’s a genuine effort on your part to look for the good. And here’s how you can do it:

  • Shift your perspective: It’s so easy to feel self-pity when you fail. However, if you can change your perspective on setbacks, they become tolerable. For instance, realize that setbacks make you stronger and wiser. Without failure, developing a thicker skin or learning to improve would be unnecessary. So instead of seeing it as something horrible, try shifting your view on failure to seeing it as a stepping stone that helps you grow. 
  • Be grateful: Focusing on gratitude is one of the best ways to reframe any adverse situation. Regardless of the circumstance, you will always have something to be grateful for. And shifting your focus toward gratitude changes your emotional output. As a result, it can help you develop creative solutions to the problem at hand. 
  • Never accept failure as final: Setbacks should never be viewed as a defeat. You can reframe any challenge as simply a stepping when you see “failure” as a means to an end rather than a final destination. Never let rejections or setbacks get the final word on your road to achievement!

“A setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lessons.” ― Richard Branson

2. Find the Lesson

There’s a gift in every impediment and obstacle that comes your way. However, the advantage is often hidden underneath the veil of adversity. So what do you do? You need to consciously look for the lesson or the opportunity in difficulty. Now, of course, this is easier said than done. But if you can focus your mind on finding the gift in the misfortune, new opportunities will open up to you. And one simple way to do this is to ask better questions! 

Asking empowering questions forces you to think of better solutions. This simple technique then shifts your focus and helps you to think more positively about the obstacle. For example, instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” Ask yourself, “What’s good about this?” Or “What’s the lesson here?” Or “What can I take away from this that will be of value to me in the future?” Etc.

3. Keep Moving Forward

In his landmark best seller, Think and Grow Rich (over 10 million copies sold), Napoleon Hill researched over 25,000 people. These people were some of America’s most rich and successful individuals; however, many were also some of the nation’s most poor and downtrodden. And he discovered something fascinating. 

The main differentiator between the most successful and unsuccessful people America has ever known was persistence: the ability to keep moving forward after each failure, rejection, or setback. Success is hard. You will fail and fall short, probably many times. But if you can continue pushing forward, blowing past each obstacle as it comes, you will be an unstoppable force. 

Old man failure, sooner or later, gets tired and disappears. But the only way to reach that point is to persist. Here are a few tips to help you develop more persistence in your life:

  1. Accountability: Find an accountability partner to help keep you focused. Preferably someone who shares similar goals and values and won’t let you slide.
  2. Recall your reasons for starting: Remember why you started in the first place. Your reasons can keep you going long after your motivation has fizzled out.
  3. Constantly review your goals: This simple act helps keep your aims fresh in your mind
  4. Don’t take setbacks personally: Realize that failure, obstacles, and difficulty are all a necessary part of the process.
  5. Clean up your social circle: You are who you surround yourself with. It’s hard to stay persistent toward big goals and dreams when the “friends” in your life don’t support or believe in you. Remove them as soon as possible. 

Alex Brown is a self-improvement writer who specializes in health & fitness, goal setting, self-discipline, and high-quality living. His work draws from his personal experiences in self-improvement and goal achievement and encompasses how to become the best version of yourself.

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