“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw


This is one of my favorite quotes because it holds so much value. One of the best lessons we can learn in life is that we will have setbacks. Everyone will. Period. The next best lesson we can learn is that setbacks don’t need to stop or control us. Instead, life’s setbacks can become valuable lessons on the road to happiness and fulfillment. Let’s take a look for common setbacks and ways to navigate them successfully.

Grief is one of the most difficult emotions to manage. Particularly in the cases of an unexpected death or death under tragic circumstances, the shock of the loss can lead to an onslaught of emotion that can bring our own happiness to a standstill. The key to successfully managing this shock and devastation is to try to remember to celebrate the life of the person you loved more than you remind yourself of the circumstances of their death. It’s also a good idea to remind yourself that it will get better. Perhaps not today, perhaps not tomorrow. Don’t rush grief. Allow yourself to fully experience your grief and to heal on your own healthy timeline.

The loss of a job can have more than dire financial setbacks. In many cases, it can mean the loss of self-definition. Losing a job does not mean you need to lose sight of yourself. In fact, it can be an opportunity for valuable self-discovery or rediscovery. It can be an opportunity to turn a skill or hobby into a thriving business. It can also be the opportunity to find a different kind of work that might prove more fulfilling.

Very few people go into a marriage anticipating divorce. Similar to the loss of a job, the demise of a marriage can bring on many questions of fault and blame. The sudden loss of your life’s partner can leave you questioning yourself, your image and appearance, and your sexuality. Support groups and trained professionals can help you learn to navigate divorce in healthy ways and to come to terms with the loss of your marriage. Remind yourself, too, that you found love before and love will not elude you when you’re ready to find it, again.

Few things are more difficult to deal with mentally, physically, and emotionally than a sick child. The demands they make on your time and attention frequently pull you away from everything else going on around you. While this is a setback that can leave you with lifelong responsibilities, it needn’t leave you with lifelong guilt or regret. One of the best ways to take care of your child is to take care of yourself. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to properly care for your child because you cannot care for them if you are not at your best.

Life has many setbacks, many obstacles, many twists and turns. These setbacks are never easy to deal with, but they can be learned from. Remind yourself of how you’ve handled and come through previous setbacks, strive for optimism, and be honest with yourself about your emotions along the way. Allow yourself to simply feel. Life is a journey – one that should be enjoyed despite its occasional disruptions. Remember these wise word of Lucy Maude Montgomery, “Tomorrow is a brand new day with no mistakes in it.” Lucy Maude Montgomery




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