To begin my ‘comeback’ on the blogging scene, I decided to write about something that has been requested often, particularly by fellow athletes. However, I have somewhat avoided it simply because I knew that it would be something I would struggle to give advice on it. Nevertheless, I think that I have finally come up with three sort of steps on how to deal with setbacks.
Setbacks, defeat and disappointment. They’re frustrating and demotivating. You may face them in sport, exams or even just everyday life.
We are often faced with setbacks, defeat and disappointment, but how do we deal with them? I’m not going to pretend to be a guru on this but I’m willing to give my perspective on things. To gear this towards my athletic audience without excluding the rest of my readers, I’ll try and intertwine both athletics and everyday life disappointments into this write.
Firstly, defeat is embarrassing. That is a fact. Especially when you have put yourself on a pedestal in the first place. So, my first tip to save yourself from that embarrassment would be to stay quiet about you goals. It’s very rare for people to explicitly say their exact aims in high profile interviews as like I said, if you fail it ends up being embarrassing. Additionally, it adds more unnecessary pressure before you even face the disappointment. I would avoid telling too many people your personal goals as it will honestly make dealing with a setback much easier. That’s not to say that you can’t give yourself praise and believe that you can do things to the best of your ability to gain success.
We are often told to compare ourselves to those who are less fortunate than us to make us more humble. It makes sense but it’s undeniable that we live in a society that is extremely competitive. This results in us comparing ourselves to those who have more success than us leading us to never be fully satisfied with our own accomplishments. We always want more which isn’t necessarily bad BUT the notion of entitlement is somewhat damaging at times. Therefore, firstly you might need to accept your setback, defeat and/or disappointment and put it into perspective in a way to realise that ‘its not the end of the world’. It sounds harsh after so much hard work, dedication and sacrifice whether that is in sport or exams, I know. But, perspective is important. It might help by speaking to other people to gain their perspectives on your situations too. In addition, failure to reach your goal doesn’t mean that you can’t try again which leads me on to my next point.
Another way in which you can deal with disappointment is to set yourself new goals as well as not giving up on old ones. I’ve written a post about goal setting before and it’s something that I still stand by strongly. Goal setting is imperial when you want to succeed in something. A positive mid set is a healthy mindset so, convincing yourself that you are going to fail is only going to lead you to failure. If you really do want something, then you will put in the hard work for it. My advice would be to keep trying because the worst that can happen is failure, and failure itself isn’t all that bad – especially when lessons are leant from it.
If you would like some advice on goal setting please read one of my previous posts here.