How Do You Deal With Setbacks, Obstacles, And Failures?
Do You Lose Faith In Yourself, Lose Hope, And Give Up?
What if you could learn how to use setbacks as fuel to reach your goals? What if each setback made you more determined rather than more discouraged?
This article will help you learn how to shift disappointment and discouragement into a powerful sense of determination. First, know that you’re not alone if you have trouble dealing with defeat.
The Default Response – Deflation, Discouragement, And Shame
When we experience a setback or failure, there’s an almost immediate response in the way we think and feel. The experience is usually made up of the following three components:
Deflation – This is a combination of sadness, disappointment, and feeling like you’re losing the wind in your sails. You might feel less energy, more tired, a heaviness in your body and a sluggishness in your mind. If you pay attention to your body, there’s a literal physical deflation – your chest might be caved in and your shoulders rounded. In this state, you tend to take shallower breaths, which influences your feelings and thinking patterns.
Discouragement – While Deflation is a very physical feeling, Discouragement often takes place mostly in your mind. It’s made up of convincing thoughts about how this didn’t work out, nothing will every work out, and that you’re doomed to an unending string of failures. This can range from mild discouragement, to despair and a feeling of hopelessness.
Shame – In the midst of our other painful feelings, Shame finds a way to jump into the fray. This is experienced as a sense of personal failure, of not being good enough. The dominant thought here is: If I were better, then I could have prevented this setback. In this state, you might compare yourself negatively to others, and conclude that you’re inferior and inadequate as a person.
All three of these experiences feed on each other, and in a heartbeat you can go from feeling fairly decent about your life to a state of painful despair. This pattern is our default and is often automatic. However, there is a better way.
In the next post I’ll share four ways to turn defeat into determination. Stay tuned!