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Looking at Life’s Setbacks as Opportunities

By Thomas Scott

Each of us faces disruptions to our daily routines that can throw us off our game. Having the hot water heater go out in the middle of a morning shower gives you a bad start to the day. An accident that blocks your route and makes you late for an important meeting. Some minor setbacks can seem like major hurdles, affecting your mood, your plans, and potentially your finances.

But life is also full of other large obstacles that can really knock us down. These life-altering setbacks can impact your state of mind, physical health, finances, relationships, and other facets of your professional or personal life.

The good news, however, is that you can use setbacks — both big and small — to create new opportunities and achieve your goals. This skill is especially important for entrepreneurs, who will face setbacks on a daily basis. Here's how you can use obstacles as opportunities.

4 Strategies To Turn Setbacks into Opportunities

1. Identify the Positives

After a setback, it can be easy to fall into disappointment and wallow in fear or anger. But every situation has a silver lining. Reframe the setback and identify the positives in the situation. This may require some work! 

Remember that the brain is hardwired with a negativity bias. We tend to register and dwell on negative events more than positive ones. This is likely due to the fact that the early humans who paid attention to negative threats were more attuned to danger were more likely to survive. But this negativity bias should not keep you down. 

Acknowledge that the setback did present some negatives but embrace the fact that it also brought new opportunities for growth and learning. 

2. Refocus

When life gets challenging, it's a great time to reassess your goals and determine if they make sense and contribute to your long-term vision. A setback may cause you to rethink how you approach a goal, or it might help you realize that the goal isn't actually something you want to achieve. 

Take time to reflect on how the setback has impacted your progress personally and professionally. Be honest with yourself about what you want and how you might need to change. Then refocus your energy on achieving your long-term goals. 

3. Learn for the Future

In his book, A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback, motivational speaker Willie Jolley states that everyone encounters setbacks at one time or another. The goal, however, to overcome your obstacle is to "face it, and trace it, [so] we can learn how to avoid it in the future."

Have an honest discussion with yourself about areas of your behavior that could be changed. What actions could you have taken to result in a better outcome? As you reflect, do not fall into guilt or pessimism. Remember that the experience is a learning tool. Then, draw energy from the negativity and use it to propel you into a better version of yourself.

4. Get Creative

Entrepreneurs generally approach problem solving with a lot of creativity. Their big ideas are usually what got them to start a business in the first place. But as entrepreneurs fall into the day-to-day routine, creativity may be replaced by monotony. But a major setback can actually rekindle that creativity.

When you experience an obstacle, use it to shake up your routine and let it spark your creativity! Start thinking of new ideas and new ways to approach the problem at hand. By doing so, you may become reinvigorated and excited about the future.

Examples of Turning Setbacks into Successes

There are many examples of amazing individuals who turned life's setbacks into successes. Here are just a few examples to help guide you through your own challenges.

1. J. K. Rowling

Rowling endured a series of misfortunes in short succession. She lost her mother. Later, 2 months after the birth of her daughter, Rowling separated from her husband, with whom she was living in Portugal. She returned to the United Kingdom with her infant daughter, took out a restraining order against her husband, filed for divorce, and lived in poverty while writing the first book of her phenomenally successful Harry Potter series.

2. Michael Jordan 

Despite Jordan's status as one of the all-time greatest basketball players, he certainly had to put his share of failures into proper perspective. He summarizes the reason he's become so successful:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." 

3. Albert Einstein

Einstein traveled a long arduous road to winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. As a child, he could not speak fluently until the age of 9. In fact, during the first few years of his life, his parents thought he was mentally disabled. Einstein faced school expulsion and was refused admission to the Zurich Polytechnic School. But today, we all know about his genius.

Looking Toward the Future

If you've experienced professional setbacks recently, you may want to consider a franchise opportunity. Caring Senior Service is a non-medical home care provider with many territories available nationwide. The affordable initial cost of investment provides you with a world of opportunity. And we provide you with state-of-the-art technology that helps you keep track of your business expenditures and profits.

Caring Senior Service doesn't just sign you up as a franchise owner and wish you the best. We continue to assist you with ongoing training and support. If you have any questions or would like more information about the type of services our company offers and the benefits of buying a franchise don't hesitate to contact us.

Picture of a caregiver and senior with text that says, "Build your own future. Become a home care franchise owner. Get Started."

Tags: Personal Growth