The first step in getting over your setback is to regain your focus. Get out of that setback mentality. Tune back into the Anything Is Possible Network and think about where you want to go and why you want to get there. Remember what you were aiming for and why. Look at what happened, accept it, and evaluate it. Don’t pass sentence on yoursel£ Pass sentence on what happened. Figure out what you could have done better or how you could have avoided the problem.
Maybe you needed to learn something more about your goal or about the company or the people around you. Maybe you needed to talk to someone else, to find a mentor who can help you. Ask him or her if your problem has ever happened to anyone else, and if so, how that person fixed it. Maybe it was just bad luck or bad timing. If so, vow that you will keep trying until you have good luck or until you make your luck good. You’ll keep trying until the timing is good or until your timing is good.
Be honest with yourself, or ask others to be honest with you. Nobody gets it right the first time or even the second time. No, it’s not fair. But it’s life-learning.
The second arrow in your quiver is our old friend, imagination. Take some time to get your feet back under you and feel the excitement of your dream. One thing that failure does is to teach you new ways to use your imagination. When you were setting goals for yourself, preparing yourself for success, you took the time to envision what it would be like when you succeeded. You imagined what it would look like, what it would feel like, what it would taste like. Now you have to do the same thing with opposition. Facing opposition, expecting opposition, and dealing with opposition are key steps to achieving success. You have to replace your setback mentality with a step-back mentality.
When you’ve experienced a setback, you have been given a new ingredient for your success. Once you change what went wrong, once you adjust either your behavior or your attitude, then you’ve firmed up the ground you stand on.
When things were going right, you didn’t want to think about what it would feel like if they went left. You didn’t want to get back to that place where things weren’t going your way. But one of the things to learn on our path to success is never to avoid thinking about the hard times, about failure, about making mistakes, about being alone. Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers says, “The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.” An inevitable part. Readjust your vision of the fut~re to include failure. Just don’t let your subconscious hear that. Say to yourself, “Life will teach me lessons, sometimes in disguise. It’s up to me to discover their real shape.” It takes courage to face that fact, but once you do, you’ll be better off.
Next, take another helping of persistence. Did you imagine that everything would go your way the first time? Were you reading the Cliff’s Notes version of your life? Thomas Edison said that he tried more than a thousand different experiments before he made the lightbulb work. But he didn’t describe them as a thousand failures-he said simply, “I took a thousand steps.” If Edison had stopped after 999 experiments and just given up, he wouldn’t have changed the world.
You will make mistakes as you’re trying to accomplish your goal. You’ll slip a Twinkie into your diet or sneak a cigarette. You’ll make a proposal that is dismissed with a sneer. But as long as you learn from whatever happens, you’ve taken a step forward. You might have to learn 999 new things to reach your goal, the way Edison did, but each new idea, each new approach brought him one step closer to his goal. The important thing is not to stop. I couldn’t get into the Peace Corps, but I didn’t stop there. I investigated and navigated until I found the place I needed to be.
CHALLENGE: Make a plan to refocus today. Think about where you want to be. Write down these three words and put them somewhere you will see them all day…FOCUS, IMAGINE, PERSISTENCE.