Life Coach Feature: How to deal with setbacks

Black woman closed eyes

Janet Brown, Life Coach for Women in Business, found the time in her busy schedule to tell me about how she deals with setbacks and offer some advice on how we can manage when things don’t go the way we planned…

“You know what? In order to live life to the full, we have to accept that there will be setbacks -the swirls, roundabouts, highs and lows. Nothing stays the same – ever. This is what it is to experience being alive. It is normal to have had setbacks in many areas of life, for example in relationships, careers, with our finances and our health.

When do we call a situation a ‘set-back’?

A setback, is measured as not fully getting what we set out to obtain in the way we want it. You know when we apply for a job, get to the interview stage but don’t get the job.   Due to the way we have been taught, we see this as a failure, we attach feelings to the situation, might start to feel unworthy, not good enough, lacking in any ability or that we’re not as good as others. It is indeed the strong thoughts and feelings that contribute to our fear and struggles.

Setbacks from my own experiences

I have had my own setbacks, especially since being in business. They have ranged from perspective clients changing their mind about the services I offer – coaching, and workshops not going as planned due to not getting bookings or participants not being able to agree on a date they can attend. I’ve also had funding applications not come through to help me complete new projects. I must be honest and say that these feelings – the highs and low that presented themselves were enormous. It was almost like being on big deeper ride at the fun fair. I just wanted things to flow by doing what I love and building a viable financial business.

So how do I deal with set-backs?

On a deeper level, I have learnt to work on my internal blocks; I listen to online webinars with business people who have been through setbacks and even state that if you’re not having setbacks, then you’re not aiming high enough! I’ve learned that we all take setbacks personally and feel that no-one else has faced this type of dilemma. I am, indeed learning on the job how to get through these challenges. I like to watch and listen to Motivational Speaker Lisa Nichols who states that we should “fail forward, look at the things that went well, celebrate them and tweek the things, that can be improved”.

We also have to be honest and understand the things that were out of our own control. Recently, I participated in a webinar where the presenter explored the ‘setback route of curiosity’; where we accept what has happened to move forward instead of the usual route of fix, change and repair. I know that I do get disappointed and bruised feelings when I have a setback but I am learning to put things in perspective and use the support systems available to me.  I realize when I surrender, I become more creative. Why don’t you try this too?

So, what are my tips for dealing with set-backs?

  • Accept the situation, analyse and reach out for support.
  • Think of  what the experience gave you, a chance to learn, grow and move on other things.
  • Get professional assistance- find a coach, mentor or adviser.
  • Journal, about the situation, include thoughts and feelings and how you want to move forward

Want to hear more about how I can help you manage your setbacks?

If you have a health/wellbeing (setback) that you’d like to work on. I can offer you a complimentary breakthrough session to work on the goal, break through challenges and move forward. You can contact me at   I’m also available at @janetlifecoach on Twitter and Breakthrough to Your Brilliance – my Facebook page.

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