Sue had been overweight for years. When she was diagnosed with asthma and a thyroid disease, she started getting the treatment she needed. She realized that it was time she started taking care of herself and began to get back into shape. Now, she was able to exercise easily and she no longer felt constantly tired. She had energy in the mornings and looked forward to each new day.
But just as Sue was finding a new groove and getting healthier, she tripped on the stairs in her house and broke her leg. When Sue realized she’d be in a cast for six weeks, she was disappointed. Her broken bone felt like a huge setback and she wasn’t sure if she could overcome it.
Have you ever been where Sue was? You felt like you were in your groove. You were on your way to achieving an important goal then something made the brakes screech to a halt.
Now you’re left wondering how you’re supposed to deal with this latest setback or obstacle. It can trigger old patterns and habits. It can create anxiety.
The good news is there are a few things you can do to turn this obstacle into an opportunity. You have the choice to overcome setbacks,
Re frame It
When you encounter a setback or obstacle, you might be tempted to turn it into a catastrophe. You say things like, “I knew this would happen! Nothing goes right for me and I can’t do this!”
This is something that often happens to us when we have experienced trauma as children. We learn to use catastrophizing as a coping behavior to keep ourselves safe. If we assume that things will go poorly there is no way to be disappointed.
Instead of looking at this problem as the end of your journey, challenge yourself to see it differently. For example, you might say, “I’m really bummed that ABC happened. But I can use this as a learning experience and grow from it.” I have a choice that needs to be made.
This simple attitude flip puts you back in the driver’s seat. Instead of being a helpless victim, you re-affirm that you’re in charge and you reclaim your power.
Getting a handle on the things that life throws at us isn’t about being prepared for every situation that comes along. It’s about creating resilience within us so that no matter what curve ball comes our way, we know we’ve got this.
Make an Action Plan
Now that you’re in a positive state of mind, it’s time to deal with your obstacle or setback. You need to start brainstorming solutions. Grab a sheet of paper and pen or your favorite smart device. Try to list 20 possible ways you could deal with the situation.
Not all of your solutions have to be realistic or even ideal. The important thing is that you begin brainstorming and thinking. As you stay open to new ideas, you may just come across the perfect solution.
So often when we start to do an activity like this all the logical parts of our brain get in the way and you begin to question or doubt your ideas. Try and let that all go by the wayside and just write down anything that comes to mind. Once you’ve gotten your list then it’s time to go through and see which ones might be possible, need tweaking, or are just not possible at this time.
Allow yourself to be open to all possibilities. This is a powerful exercise that really changes the energy of a situation.
If you have an action plan but don’t know which option is best, reach out to a mentor or a coach. Get support so that your mind starts to realize you can easily overcome setbacks in the future.
Be prepared to listen—even if you don’t like the answer. Your coach or mentor may have a suggestion that you hadn’t considered before. Don’t be quick to dismiss a new idea. Instead, quiet your inner ego and listen. You never know what you might discover!
Facing an obstacle is never easy. But you can overcome anything that life throws at you with the right attitude and a solid action plan.
You may also enjoy this piece I wrote about Personal Boundaries.
Want to connect?
Sometimes we are so stuck in old patterns that even the thought of trying to find new solutions seems impossible. If you find yourself needing fresh ideas and inspiration to help shift your mindset – let’s have a chat and see if we are good energetic match.