Let’s face it setbacks are normal. As a matter of fact, a timely setback could be the best thing for you. However, the challenge is whether you’re willing to use the setback to your advantage or let it knock you completely off course.
One of the challenges that I put out for myself at the beginning of the year was to be intentional about everything. How I approached life and work needed to be more choice driven versus a constant state of reactionary events.
One of the things that was extremely important was my approach to my communication platforms: this blog, social media, my newsletter and a list of new projects that I had mapped out to be released later in the year.
One of the decisions I made was the importance of a weekly publishing schedule. Not only was it good to have a weekly routine, but also it was good to provide a consistent flow of new articles. The challenge became can I produce daily content?
Like a racehorse, I shot out of the gate with a goal and determination to daily reach the finish line and for months it brought great joy to daily reach the goal.
However, I noticed about eight weeks ago I would miss a day or two and would chalk it up to busyness, family responsibilities or whatever seemed appropriate for the day. Then a few weeks ago it was as if everything came to a screeching halt.
While I’ll keep the gory details to myself, I had hit a break wall of resistance. It would be great if I could blame someone, but this resistance was internal – a war between my past, present and future. It was bigger than just keeping a daily publishing schedule; it included every facet of my approach to my life goals and business ideas.
For a few weeks, I set all projects aside. I needed answers to figure out how to approach this temporary setback.
No one plans a temporary setback. For the most part, we are driven by our own desire to win. Goals, quotas, to-do lists and the always dangling carrot reward incentive we use to keep us moving at a steady pace. So the thought of scheduling a setback is completely out of the question.
However, setbacks are opportunities in disguise if you can recognize what’s going on. Entrepreneurs identify this as pivot moments; the moment when you realize it’s time to make an adjustment, tweak the product, cut features, add features or even zero in on specific area of the market.
If you can embrace a setback, you can come away with greater clarity, laser-like focus, not to mention a new found determination to birth your product, book, business or whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish.
One of the things that I recognized was I needed to take a few days and completely switch up my routine, alter my media inputs, shut off the information fire hose and walk away from the way I’ve been handling social media.
I’ve been in this place before and I was eager to see what would come out of this personal pivot moment.
After a few days without the influence of external clutter, I went back to the drawing board. I went back to the original blueprint that I had mapped out at the beginning of the year. I reviewed my strategy. I combed over my key performance indicators and then took time to ask myself the hard questions. You know the ones that make you feel naked and brutally honest with yourself.
When you overturn every stone, it’s only then can you assess your current status and only then begin to move forward.
One of the things that you’ll notice as you begin to do your own personal and internal gardening is locating where weeds have started to sprout up. You discover where some voices have become too loud and influential. You’ll also notice other relationships that have been silenced that need to be invited back to the table. Over the course of time you’ve developed habits that have steered you away from your goals instead of driving you towards them.
Embracing a setback doesn’t mean you’re starting over, it’s your “aha moment” that wants to point you in the right direction.
The greatest joy of a trail rider is the discovery of a new path, a new route, a new course of adventure. When I was a kid finding a new trail was my version of hitting the lotto. It was a new opportunity to explore.
However, it was quite common a mile or two into the trail that you would discover the unexpected. Often times, due to lack of upkeep, you would come across a place in the trail that was blocked by brush, failing branches and sometimes the occasional uprooted tree laying across the trail.
When we came across this situation we had three choices that we were presented with: 1. Turn around and go back home. 2. Remove the brush or 3. Alter the path.
Of course, going home was never an option. We had to find a way.
When confronted with a setback, quitting should never be the first option. This is your time to move forward with a new energy and determination.
Let me say that nine out of ten times we cleared the path or altered the path. It was the only option as a young explorer.
When you’re faced with your own setback you may need to stop everything you’re doing and remove the crap that’s been self inflicted and has sabotaged your forward progress.
Setbacks are great opportunities to clear the path. They provide you the time to be able to remove the distractions and resistance that you’ve encounter as you’ve tried to accomplish your goals. If you’re willing to embrace the temporary delay, you’ll be surprised what definition can come for the next leg of your journey.
If your view of a setback is failure, then you’ll never be able to leverage what you’ve learned to this point. Failure encourages quitting. Setbacks should encourage readjustment. Failure invokes the idea that you’ve done something wrong. Setbacks are indicators of things that you are missing.
What I’ve learned over the past few weeks has catapulted me into the next phase of my master plan. Things that didn’t make sense a few weeks ago, I now have a new perspective.
Not once did I think I failed. I knew that there was a piece that was missing and because of it I lacked the horsepower to move at the pace that I had hoped for.
With new perspective and insight, come new processes and new ways of doing things.
For me, it was an eye-opening moment to move forward in building my publishing initiative. All it took was a small setback to bring clarity to this site, my newsletter and a couple new projects that are right around the corner.
Are you in the midst of a setback? What have you learned? What are you doing to move forward?
Take a few days off. Shut off all the technology. Unplug from social media (trust me they’ll be there when you get back).
Do something you wouldn’t normally do. For me, I overdosed on movies. For you, it will probably look different. Whatever you choose, embrace it and don’t feel guilty about doing it.
One of things that I did after I cleared the cobwebs was I decided to go back to the drawing board. I pulled out all my notebooks over the past few years and charted the progress, as well as areas where I’ve went off track; the information was priceless.
It was at that point, where I began to clear the weeds and recommit to my plan for the year to be intentional about everything I was a part of.
With fresh perspective, a great level of insight and renewed energy, I’m pretty stoked about what’s coming done the path.
If you are currently in the midst of a setback, don’t panic… A little rest, fresh eyes and a new found determination could be exactly what you need.
image courtesy of OregonDOT