From Setback to Success: Keep your head up and your heart strong.

-Learn to handle obstacles so they work for you, not against you.

Imagine an inflated ball bouncing down a flight of stairs. Notice how every time it hits a step, it bounces back up. The step is the setback the ball uses to propel itself forward.
You can make your setbacks work for you too. It’s called resilience.

The real obstacles.
Although setbacks may be external events we can’t control, such as the loss of a job, an irate co-worker or heavy traffic that prevents us from arriving at a meeting on time, the real obstacles are the emotions triggered by those events.

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If you fail to achieve a goal, despite hard work and diligence, the real obstacle is dealing with any upset about losing the time, money and resources spent to achieve it.

If you have a conflict with someone, despite your best efforts to make your case, the real obstacle is dealing with any anger that affects the stability of the relationship.

If your ideas or outreach are dismissed by others, despite your good intentions, the real obstacle is dealing with any disappointment that may prevent you from taking risks in the

Unresolved emotions.

Emotions are a natural part of life. Managed well and they can help us. Mismanaged and they can derail our best efforts. I don’t know about you but my mind works better when I don’t have a bunch of raging emotions getting in the way of clear thinking.

Think of the bouncing ball I mentioned earlier. If each step triggers a difficult emotion, how can you use that emotion to launch you forward instead of backward? I have three questions that will help you do this.

-What am I feeling?
Acknowledge what the emotions are. Be honest with yourself. Call it out. Name it. Don’t skip this part. When you know what you’re feeling, you can deal with it better.

-What is this telling me I care about?
Identify what significant value or principle has been violated. When you fail to achieve a goal, maybe you’re upset because you pride yourself on getting things done. Although this may seem obvious, by expressing what matters to you, you shift from being managed by your feelings to managing them by understanding their source.

-How can I accept this and move on?
Resolve to accept your emotions and even thank them for reminding you what matters. Sometimes, you can even discover that what you thought was important, isn’t. This can resolve a lot of problems in one instant.

In any case, with this simple act of acceptance and gratitude, you would be amazed at how much easier it is to refocus, make the best of things and learn how to better deal with similar situations in the future.

As human beings, everything we think is influenced by how we feel. Even if we claim not to be emotional, emotions are still there, working subconsciously.

Strengthen your resilience by checking in on your emotions throughout the day. You don’t need to wait for a big blow-up. Practice acknowledging the more minor negative feelings that creep up. Figure out what’s behind them that matters or not. Use what you’ve learned to bounce forward with gratitude.

Resolve to keep your head up by keeping your heart strong.

Til next week, 

Work Your Authentic Genius.

  1. Can you remember a setback when your emotions were especially triggered?
  2. How would you have utilized the three questions if you had them?
  3. How differently would you have approached the situation with a mind less influenced by intense emotions?

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