Setbacks — Stepping Stones on the Road to Success

Roz Andrews
Jun 2, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by Stokpic from

It can be difficult to pick yourself up and carry on with life when you’ve come face-to-face with a setback.

No one can avoid setbacks, such as:

  • not being offered what you thought was your dream job
  • the purchase or rental of your ideal home falling through
  • a relationship with a person you loved ending unexpectedly.

Many other types of both minor and major setbacks can shake your confidence and temporarily affect you on your journey through life.

When you’re confronted with a setback, what should you do? Here are six steps to help you recover from the setback as quickly as possible.

1. Is there anything you can do about the situation?

Make sure that you’ve done everything you can to change the situation before you accept that there is nothing more you can do.

That way, you’ll have peace of mind about it in future. When looking back, you’ll have no regrets because you’ll be certain you did everything you could to change or redeem the situation.

2. Work through your feelings

Don’t deny your emotions but admit that you’re feeling them and work through them.

To work through your feelings, discuss them with a person you trust or write them down in your journal.

It’s important to express your feelings honestly. Don’t be afraid of expressing all your negative emotions.

If you don’t express your feelings at this stage, the healing process will take longer and it’ll be more difficult to bounce back from the setback.

3. View the setback as a learning experience

We can decide whether we learn from them and move forward or whether we feel bitter about what has happened.

If we decide to do the latter, we tend to become stuck in our negative feelings and this makes it much more difficult to move forward.

4. Don’t let the setback adversely affect your self-esteem

Don’t blame yourself for a situation that was outside your control. Believe that you’re still a valuable person despite what happened to you.

If you find this difficult, you may need to talk your feelings through with a trustworthy person who’ll assure you that the situation was not your fault and that you shouldn’t let it affect your self-esteem.

5. Accept that the setback happened and move forward

You’re now free to move forward into the future with confidence and without any emotional baggage from the setback holding you back.

6. Emerge from the setback as a stronger person

Don’t deny these emotions but work through them so that you emerge from the setback as a stronger and more resilient person.

Regard the setback as being part of the learning process of life and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t have a long-lasting impact on your self esteem.

Then, hold your head up high and walk into the future with renewed hope and confidence.

Small Steps

Move forward in life by taking one small step at a time.

Roz Andrews

Written by

Writer, editor, proofreader & founder of and, moving forward in life, one small step at a time.

Small Steps

Move forward in life by taking one small step at a time.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade