• The Why In You

Dealing With Setbacks

Setbacks can happen. Fact!

Maybe we didn’t hit a target, or work out as hard as we did before. Perhaps we’re sporting an injury or struggling with a string of different challenges in our lives. Maybe we had a “Bad Day” and we made some choices that perhaps weren’t the best ones...and our coping mechanism was to demolish that last... “Insert whatever tasty food treat right here!!”

Stressed lady after setback

But ask yourself, truthfully...

”Did it break you?”...The answer is probably “No!”

...so why do we so often give ourselves such a tough time?

Our ability to acknowledge that we are going to have setbacks is important. It helps us keep things in perspective, so that when they do inevitably come along, we are able to use skills that we have developed, (sometimes with support of others who have our backs), deal with them, pick ourselves up, and keep on going!

Just like riding a bike, (stay with me here everyone), which involves learning a skill like knowing when to move your weight, pedal a bit more and when to pull the brake, coping is a skill that can be learned.

A great first step must be to recognise our own current patterns of coping with a setback and how they’re working (or not working) for you. We can often find that we are locked into a habitual way of coping, and if this is the case, we may need some additional support from friends and family, or even a trained professional.

Here are just a few tips and simple tools you could use to deal with a setback:-

Note It Down

Note down when whatever happened....happened. What contributed to it, led up to it, perhaps even caused it. Records like this can be excellent tools in being able to recognise repeat patterns, triggers and enable you to make steps to break them. “If I felt like that when “that” happened, then maybe I could do ‘this’!”. (We all have phones, tablets or even a notepad somewhere as a way of recording.)


Make a list of everything that’s good, everything that you have, everything and everyone that’s “on your side”. This really can help put many things into perspective and can often help make that particular moment in time not feel as heavy.

Sweat The Small Stuff

Sometimes the minutiae are just the things which need to be addressed. We don’t think that the tiniest of changes will make any difference in our lives, but when done consistently, these are so, so powerful, and end up making a world of difference to a situation.

Is Food is Your Thing

Remove your triggers. Now I’m not suggesting you cram your cupboards with broccoli and rice cakes, but if your previous coping methods have been edible treats, then by removing them and replacing them with something better, then that’s great progress and a step forward.

Change Your Inner Dialogue

Listen to all the hard things in your head that we could say to ourselves, then reframe it and imagine saying those same things to someone we care about. We simply wouldn’t do it right?, so change the dialogue to be a little kinder to yourself.

Forget “All or Nothing Thinking”

There aren’t only 2 ways to do something, right and wrong. If that were the case, nothing would ever be achieved. Sometimes a great way to deal with a setback can be us simply saying “this is how I look today”, but it doesn’t mean it’s how you’ll look tomorrow.

On those days, why not go for a different option. If you are unable to get to the gym, don’t throw your hands up screaming “what’s the point?”, make yourself a commitment and do something for 5 minutes today (24 hours in a day remember folks), ensuring you get back on track tomorrow.

If your nutrition's off track, again, make the best choice for now, and get right back on track afterwards.

Will anything in isolation break you?.....No, not if it’s in isolation.

Remember, there is no amount of good work, that cannot be undone, by poor emotion or poor decision! Sometimes simply acknowledging we have a place that we “Don’t Want To Be In” is a huge step forward.

So give yourselves permission to accept that moment has happened, and that a single moment doesn’t need to define you...then get up, make the choice that’s going to serve you the best...and commit!

Journeys begin for a reason, sometimes we need to revisit that reason and remind ourselves just why we began them in the first place.

Anyone who shows up for themselves and commits to something,

will never say at the end “I wish I’d not done that!”

#setback #movingforward #makingchange #onestepatatime

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