Just as anyone else, I’ve experienced many setbacks in my life so far. And I am glad I did!
Setbacks used to put me down for long. I used to dramatise and mull over them whenever I felt unsuccessful. And I probably amplified my setbacks as I sinked into my sorrows. I used to get so emotional whenever I experienced an outcome that was far from what I desired or hoped for.
I am the type of person that has a tendency to take the long route home. Whenever things feel too easy, I make them difficult. Naturally, once in a while, this leads to setbacks.
Some setbacks are internally generated. These are forms of self-sabotage when my mind indulges in rebelling against its own self-imposed rules and aspirations
But each setback gives me a very bold impulse to take action, to do something to come out of the situation. After I finish sinking into the emotional depths of a setback, I instantly get spellbound by a fiery desire to turn the situation around, to make up for the lost time I spent leading myself to failure and to turn the situation on its head. And also to prove to myself and to others that I am better than that.
When faced with a setback, everything in my mind becomes crystal clear: I become deeply aware of what I lost or am about to lose or simply what I wanted to achieve for a long time. And then it all sparks up into action. I get so focused and feel such a strong impetus to bring myself back on track, that I start acting very quickly, like an athletic runner that has knows it has a lot of ground to catch up. And I thrive on that feeling. That strong drive and sense of adrenaline, coupled with a sense of regret are so powerful. No distraction or external stimuli is strong enough to distract me from my actions.
For me, setbacks, are a wake up call. And sometimes I need them. I need that slap in the backside to push me back onto the right direction. I've had to fail many job interviews to land my dream jobs, I had to be a couch potato in my childhood and teenage years to learn about the discipline of sport and to get to do long-distance running challenges. And the list goes on.
I am an underdog. And that’s why I admire all underdogs that make a breakthrough. I know how hard it is to go from one extreme to another, and how much work it takes to come out on the other end stronger. I’ve been there time and time again.
I’ve learnt a lot from setbacks, both externally generated and self-inflicted ones. Nowadays, I surprise myself and others around me with how cool I stay when faced with a setback. I’m well trained in how to handle them. I’ve been there many times before, so I don’t feel the need to internalise them or get emotional. I acknowledge them and get on the rollercoster ride back up almost instantly. Life's too short to get hung up on things that might seem big in the moment, but as times amplifies, they are as insignificant as anything else. Now, I see everything from the bird's eye view perspective.
Setbacks don’t get to me anymore. They don't feel as impactful, as whenever I am faced with a setback, my mind instantly switches to: what can I do about it? I also don’t have the time to spend getting over them. Nor, the energy. Just the thought of getting into my crying state makes me think I can't expend that effort, as I've got too much to do. And so, I've become very respectful of setbacks. Things happened for a reason and setbacks have led me to find the path to my gloriously good self.