How Do You Deal With Setbacks?
What do you do when things don't go right?
Following on from the last blog about overwhelm, I spoke about addressing this by taking action and moving through your to-do list to get ahead.
So what happens when you are making progress and all of a sudden there is an unexpected roadblock?
Sometimes you're able to find the motivation to start moving forward only to realise that the tasks you need to fulfil are much bigger than you originally thought, or that the task simply wasn't going to be able to be completed.
For me this week, I had this exact experience. I was working towards a deadline and in between that deadline I had clients and calls and meetings and all the usual life things that I had to fit and move around. I had cancelled things so I could make this deadline. When the deadline day arrived, there were all these things that were thrown in front of me which meant I couldn't complete the tasks on time and there was nothing I could do about it.
I was devastated. I had worked hard, I had done everything in my power to meet the deadline and I couldn't possibly do it.
One of the things we need to do in these kinds of situations
There are days when everything flows, whether that be at work or at home, where you can easily complete tasks and find yourself on top of your workload. When there are no setbacks, statistically we are more likely to accomplish more.
When we have one or more setbacks in our day, it disrupts our flow. Once we have stumbled upon an obstacle to getting things done, it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep going.
In these moments, we have a decision to make. Are we going to let this control me and own me? Or am I going to keep moving forward regardless?
We need to see these setbacks as a learning experience, instead of a failure. You're not completely wrong, but it's important to reflect on what went wrong and how it all played out so you can learn from it.
There is an opportunity in these situations as well to ask for help and support, and to think about if you had the right support when things went wrong. Maybe it's a matter of hiring someone else, or having a conversation with the people involved to ensure they're onboard for next time.
Quite often we feel afraid to speak to our peers or our boss or even our family when things go wrong, when in fact they might have some guidance or experience that can help us in the future.
Setbacks are normal! Everyone has them, everyday. This is important to remember when things go belly up. Try not to beat yourself up about it, instead put this energy into thinking about what you can do next time to prevent or manage the situation and keep moving forward.
Take some time after your setback to consider if the task is even playing to your strengths or in line with your values. Could you find someone else that might be more suited to doing it?
Let yourself feel disappointed, but know it's not going to last forever. The quicker you can move ahead or asses the situation and your approach, the better that will be for you.
Keep the momentum going, you're doing great!