Setbacks and challenges are an inevitable part of human life. They can emerge both in our personal
and professional life; hugely affecting us. While, we would like to eliminate or prevent these
setbacks from occurring entirely, the reality is far from it. Uncontrollable factors and circumstances
play a major role in bringing challenges in our daily lives. Some would even argue that challenges are
an unavoidable evil that help enrich and give purpose to our lives. This is true to an extent as
challenges encourage us to work and try harder in order to overcome them. There is a huge sense of
relief and achievement when people finally overcome their setbacks and challenges in the life. A
common misunderstanding is that successful people do not have setbacks or face little challenge in
life. While, those who have been successful are economically equipped to deal with most of what life
can throw at them, some matters cannot be resolved throw money alone. Steve Jobs is the perfect
example of this, a person who was and is still seen and admired as a leadership figure with the
technology space. Despite being fired from the very organisation that he helped establish, Jobs
returned to Apple several years later, where he played a critical role in revitalising the organisation.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help people overcome challenges and setbacks in life.

  1. Acknowledging and Accepting Responsibility
    Every challenge must be tackled head-on. We must accept that there is a problem and we need to
    address it. Often the first step in dealing with setbacks is to acknowledge and accept personal
    responsibility. This will help prevent self-blame, which can cause major anxiety and depression.
    Simply blaming yourself or others around you is not the same taking responsibility. If you focus
    excessively over blaming either yourself or something or somebody else, the problem or setback at
    hand will only become ever harder to overcome. If individuals cannot look beyond the blame, it
    could potentially hold them back and discourage them from even trying. Therefore, accepting the
    fault and moving towards a resolution or solution is a good possible approach with regard to dealing
    with setbacks or serious challenges in our lives.
  2. Maintain Emotional Control and Leverage Information
    Dealing with setbacks is emotionally burdening on people. As soon as we face difficulties in life or
    end up in a difficult situation, our immediate response is an emotional outburst of fear, anxiety,
    sadness and stress. The key here is to take control of our emotions and instead from a logical
    perspective. Information is your friend in this regard. Focus on gathering information either from
    you or from the surroundings. Carrying out a self-analysis over your strengths and weaknesses is one
    such strategy. This could help identify potential causes for the setback. For example, the analysis
    could reveal ‘speech clarity’ as a weakness. This could be a reason for a person failing in a job
    interview that requires good communication skills. One thing to know that feeling negative emotions
    upon failing is extremely normal. You can expect to feel scared, overwhelemed and stressed when
    challenges surface. For some the emotional shock can be quite difficult to deal with. Time and
    focusing on making yourself feel better is recommended in these situations. For an athlete who has
    reached his or her performance threshold is unlikely to make further progress simply by increasing
    the intensity of the routines. Sometimes it is best to move away from the problem and focus on
    yourself, gain emotional control and look at the problem by leveraging information.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations
    Expectations play a pivotal role in preparing us for dealing with setbacks and failures. Moreover, not
    all expectations should be positive in nature. While this might seem as an extremely negative
    approach to dealing with challenges and setbacks, setting the correct expectation is necessary. If we
    set unrealistic expectations, the negative impact on us in the event of failure will be far greater. One
    should understand that not all decisions or actions would lead to the desired outcome. This however
    should not be confused with self-belief, which is essential in motivating us to strive for becoming better. An athlete should have self-belief that he or she will win the race, but he or she should not completely ignore the possibility of failure. Wanting to succeed is the correct approach, but settingunrealistic expectations will only put you in a vulnerable position, which in turn can hurt you later on.
  1. Set Goals
    A simple yet powerful solution to overcoming challenges is the practice of basic goal setting.
    Accepting failure is only the start; one must then look towards self-improvement by setting goals.
    One of the biggest reasons to adopt goal setting is that it will allow you to improve slowly overtime.
    These goals can help breakdown the necessary requirements for overcoming the challenge or
    failure. For instance, a failed attempt to win a sprint race could be attributed to lack of stamina, lack
    of acceleration, poor cardio, poor balance and improper running posture. Instead of looking to tackle
    all these potential problem areas, the person should be looking towards setting these as goals. As
    with goals, it is important to prioritise them according and setting an appropriate schedule. You
    must therefore understand what is needed for improvements in each area, with respect to time and
    effort. Understanding this will allow you to create plan for improvement guided by the goals you set.
    In addition, achieving each goal should be celebrated. This can act as motivation to keep improving
    one’s self, eventually becoming a well-rounded individual capable over tackling the challenge at
    hand. However, it is important that rushing to achieving these goals will only lead to premature
    results. Instead, taking small steps and making meaning improvement will bring a much bigger
    impact in the end.
  2. Consider Opinion and Advice
    Sometimes, a good solution is to ask somebody else for help. It is unlikely that every person will be
    able to identify problems and overcome their challenges on their own. Advice and opinion from a
    third party; be it friends or even family is a great source of information. While, it is unwise to follow
    someone else’s advice blindly, another person’s opinion can be extremely valuable. Even if you do
    not choose to follow their advice, different perspectives can lead to solutions. In fact, in some
    situations seeking advice from others could be a better approach than attempting to resolve the
    issue by yourself. For instance, advice from a team leader could make an employee’s work more
    efficient and less stressful. On other hand, if the employee with his/her limited knowledge were to
    attempt to resolve the problem by him/herself, it would be much more difficult.
  3. Staying Positive
    One thing to note is that problems do no simply disappear overnight. Even if you have identified
    areas of improvement that could potentially help u overcome the challenge at hand, making slow
    progress is actually normal. One thing we should definitely not do is become demotivated after not
    seeking results. We must accept that failures cannot be addressed through a quick fix. Improving
    one’s self is a long-term commitment and patience. Therefore, you must remain positive and keep
    pursing the goals originally set by you. A negative attitude could massively affect your progress and
    could even put a total halt to it. Even if progress is minuscule, it is imperative to maintain a positive
    attitude. This essentially harps on the saying “no pain, no gain”.
  4. Your Comfort Zone is Your Enemy
    A common reason why people fail to overcome challenges is that they often refuse to set outside of
    their comfort zone. While, your comfort zone can help you feel good about yourself, it is not a viable
    solution for dealing with the issue at hand. Making meaning progress can be severely hindered by
    our unwillingness to do something that we are not comfortable with. Being stubborn and refusing to
    change or do something different is not the right attitude. Staying within your comfort zone might
    make you feel shielded, but it is nowhere a long-term solution. Instead, the issue at hand will
    continue to affect you and your daily life.


  1. Taking a Break
    Sometimes it is best to simply take a break and use the time to recollect your thoughts. Whatever
    the failure or challenge might be, simply leaving everything and giving yourself a time off can both
    be relaxing and reenergising. Taking your mind off from the problem at hand and engaging in other
    activities can work wonders. Even if these breaks are short, doing something different to take your
    mind off the problem is strongly recommended. Taking a break and coming back even stronger is a
    good approach to dealing with failures in life.