Sunday, November 4, 2007

Strategies for Setbacks

How to Overcome and Come Out Ahead

Setbacks are a fact of life. The degree to which a setback will affect you and your results however, is 100% up to you. Here are 2 proactive and extremely effective strategies to help you successfully deal with setbacks.

1. You can choose to prevent a setback from ever happening.

For example: Turning down an invitation to meet your friends for dinner at the Mexican restaurant, knowing you will only go through 2 baskets of chips and salsa and down at least three $.99 margaritas. This awareness has not only helped you bypass the overwhelming feelings of guilt but instead has infused your mindset with confidence.


2. You can choose to make the most of a setback.

My clients are fully aware that a setback does not erase all the hard work that has been done. Instead, a setback is viewed as a learning opportunity. For example: My busy mom client, Amy shared that she ordered dinner out 5 times last week. She felt it would be a waste of her energy to make excuses about why she chose to fall back into this unsupportive habit. So instead she came up with a solution that would allow her and her family to stay on track this coming week and began to map out a list of quick and easy dinner ideas and headed off to the grocery store.

When you make the most of a setback, you come to embrace each experience for they will only make you stronger, more knowledgeable and more prepared for what lies ahead.

No matter which strategy you choose, you will come out ahead. You no longer have to struggle with blame, guilt and excuses.

I chose to cover this topic today for I too have setbacks.

I was out of town this weekend for a birthday celebration. 1st setback - the night before the birthday party was a jewelry party. Well that not only meant spending some money, it also meant wine and appetizers (my weakness!). I could have prevented this occassion by delaying my arrival, but I wanted to spend extra time with my family. So I made the most of it by enjoying the night and by making sure I was aware of the foods I consumed the following day at the birthday party.

Thought I was in the clear as I made it out of the party without cake and ice cream. I was on the road for about an hour when my tire blew. 2nd setback - I was stuck on the side of the road for 2 hours. Funny that my husband, who was 2 hours away, made it to me 5 minutes before AAA. Could I have prevented this setback? Maybe. But I was forced to make the most of it.

Instead of stressing and complaining for 2 hours, I made the most of my "extra" 2 hours - writing in my journal, working on my laptop and even finding humor in my situation. Funny that out of the thousands of cars that passes me by, only one stopped to ask if I needed help. A nice guy sporting a "Welcome to the gun show" t-shirt.

Needless to say, my 2 and a half hour trip in the car turned into a 5 hour trip. Yes you too will have days like this, where it seems that some situations are just out of your control. That does not mean you are relieved of your responsibility to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. If you find that each and every day is filled with chaos, you must stop and take the next best step to regain control for it all begins with you.

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