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Overcoming Setbacks

You might find yourself hitting the same roadblock every time you are making changes. You might find yourself always getting to a point where you feel incredibly stuck. Or where you really cannot understanding why you keep holding yourself back. So, why do you keep holding yourself back?


It’s the stories you regularly repeat in your head. Here’s what I’ve noticed working in my coaching practice. A client can be 100% clear on their goals, they can know exactly what they want. They can really genuinely want it with every cell in their body. But if they are not talking to themselves in the right way or asking themselves the right questions. They are going to continue to hold themselves back.


Here’s what you need to assess, how do you talk to yourself? What stories do you tell yourself? What questions do you ask yourself? Where I see people going wrong is, if you find yourself striving towards something, but you’ve hit a roadblock. The difference between someone who is going to progress forward with more ease compared to the person who struggles and gets bogged down and feel totally defeated. It is what they are focusing on.


Person A who seems to move through in a smoother manner keeps their focus on the future, they keep their focus on what they are working towards. They see setbacks not as a defeat but just a bump in the road. They are regularly reminding themselves of who they are working to become and they act from that space.


Person B who hits an obstacle and really gets knocked down hard and does not understand why things are not working for them. They are focusing on where they are going wrong. They are questioning every move they make and wondering where they messed up. They are regularly repeating to themselves things like, I just keep holding myself back, I don’t know why my ego is always getting in my way.


It is your focus. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself. If you are always asking, where am I going wrong? Why am I holding myself back? Why does my ego keep getting in the way? These questions are all focused on the past and what is not working. They may be valid to be asked once to gain a bit of clarity, but if you find yourself asking these questions over and over. You are creating the setbacks by consistently focusing on them.


We all have things that can hold us back, we all have stories that do not serve us. But we do not have to continue to focus on them and give them power. What I challenge you to do instead is consistently repeat to yourself the characteristics of the person you want to be. Regularly remind your mind of who it is working to become. This keeps you focused and ready for the next challenge.


Its not always easy to keep a strong focus when you feel like circumstances are knocking you around. But mastering this will make the difference between you feeling a little pain from setbacks and you completely suffering through it. As the great teacher Buddha once said, “life is pain, suffering is a choice”. So this week choose wisely. Pay attention to your thoughts and shift them so that they serve you better. Beating yourself up is just going to make you feel worse and hold you back more. Be diligent with you mind and the thoughts you choose to focus on.


Do not let you setbacks keep you from moving forward towards your goals. Think about it like this, your goals are you ultimate destination. If you are going a road trip, you know where you are going and you have a fairly clear idea of how you are going to get there and the time frame it is going to take to get to your destination. But it does not always workout that way, sometimes there is a detour, sometimes there is roadworks that slow us down, sometimes you can get a flat tyre. Sometimes you may even decide to take a different route because it feels like it might be a fun adventure along the way. No matter what comes up when we are on a road trip, we are always moving towards the goal, to get to the final destination. We don’t hit a road work and decide it is too hard and turn around and go home when we are already half way. So why would you do that for your goals? If you hit some speed bumps, do not let them defeat you and turn back or give up on the hard work you have already put in. Check your mindset, it is always the first place to start when things are not working.

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