5 Step Plan To Turning Any Setback Into A Comeback

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Post written by Mike Martens.

What do you do when life deals you a losing hand and the world appears to single you out and turn against you?

Setbacks happen. They happen to all of us. Illness, jobs lost, broken relationships – even death. Sometimes something as simple as a flat tire, when late for an important meeting, derails us.

How we react to the curve balls and setbacks that we face everyday defines our path in the world and our long-term results.

If you didn’t realise there were choices to be made when faced with a set back, check out this short guide that will have you using the next major setback you face as a Set Up for the Comeback story in your life

1. Get Out Of Your Head

Take a fifteen-minute break (longer if required) and re-group. You may require a fair bit longer depending on the severity of the situation. But here is why you do it. You have to separate yourself from the situation or set of circumstances. Ultimately, who you are can never be defined by your current situation or by any setback. You have to take a step back and see that you are so much more that anything that might happen to you in this world.

I like to take a walk. Getting outside and into nature helps me to get out of my head. When I was going through health challenges, there were times when my energy was completely depleted and I wasn’t even able to walk. Those were tough days, because time and space out of doors is sanctuary for me. Find that spot for yourself where you can step out of what is going on and take a clear look at the situation.

Now, some situations are entirely different and would appear more difficult to separate yourself from. I often start looking at a setback from the reference point of, “How much is this going to matter a year or five years from now?”

I found it a little more difficult when they discovered a bleed on my brain last year and all of a sudden I had no idea what life may or may not look like in a year. That took a little more than fifteen minutes, but thinking the entire ordeal over, the process for myself was entirely the same. I gathered myself, looked at the news objectively, almost analytically, and then decided that I had no choice but to move on to step 2.

2. Accept That What Is Done Is Done

The reality of any situation, and the hardest part for my kids to understand is that what has happened has happened, what is done is done. There is no going back. History can’t be altered, and unfortunate events cannot be undone. This is the fork in the road that, as humans, we all have to be acutely aware of because a choice has to be made. The reason we need to remain on high alert, following a setback, is because this choice can all too often be made completely unconsciously.

If we refuse to make an alert choice to accept and be at peace with an event, situation or setback, we are instantly transported onto the less desirable road where we become stuck in the mud of battling the obstacles of pity, despair and guilt.

The choice to accept is simply that, a choice. Don’t get me wrong; I often get confused about the right direction to take when this fork in the road presents itself. Sometimes spinning my wheels, I get a little ways down the wrong road before I need to back up. However, when we remain alert and have calmed ourselves down to rational thinking, the reality is that there is only one way to control what the next steps of your life are going to be, and that is to accept that what is done is done. It is time to move on or find another way.

3. Find The Good In All Things

This can be tough. Sometimes it’s obvious though. If a business deal collapses or comes to an end, you can waste time commiserating over it, or decide to look at the opportunities that it offered you, and the experience that came out of it. I hear top entrepreneurial leaders say all the time that most great business leaders fail several times before they get things right. Who is to say why they failed, and looking to place blame is useless. Use it as a learning experience and the fuel to persevere and try the next endeavour. That is finding the good.

Over the last year I lost my health due to a bleed in my head. It resulted in several surgeries and lots of complications and I basically lost almost a year of my life. I had to sell my business because it was failing due to my inability to work, and the entire ordeal completely overturned mine and my families lives.

I had a hard time finding the good in the destruction of my business and finances, but out of it all came a story. I decided to start a blog, tell my story and find ways to help others to similarly make changes, or find ways to get past difficult situations. I tell myself all the time, if it doesn’t work this way, it will work another way. I have accepted it, and with time, found the good in the situation.

Decide to be grateful for everything that happens, not to you, but rather for you. There is no comeback without a setback.

4. Set Clear Intentions For A Comeback

In my opinion this is the most important step. Even if you didn’t do the first three steps that well, if you feed clear intentions to your mind your ultimate comeback is undeniable. Believe that you can become an unstoppable force of nature and dispel yourself of all guilt, remorse and uncertainty.

I am a very visual guy and I do two things:

First I talk to my problems.

Yes I am that guy. I talk to myself. That’s why I have to get out of my own head.

It’s not a sympathetic conversation with these guys though. The picture in my head for this process is always the same. It is a David vs. Goliath story and I AM ALWAYS David!

The giant (the problem) always thinks it has the upper hand, the grip and can’t be defeated. I always know and believe I will prevail and speak the words out loud (OK, just to paint the proper image in your mind – I do this alone in a quiet place where no one else is listening). I said these words daily for six months.

“Illness, you will not destroy me. You will not beat me down and you will not win this battle. I am strong, I am healthy, I am a winner and I will defeat you. I was created in the perfect image of God, the creator of all things, against whom you are defenceless to rise against. I will destroy you. This is my life and it’s time for you to move on.

Now, I don’t know what your beliefs are, but that really isn’t the point. Take a stand for yourself, confront your circumstances and claim your comeback.

Secondly, I define very clearly in my mind what it is that I want.

The reason for this is simple. Both personal experience, and my journey into personal development, have proven to me that when you do NOT clearly define what you want, everything that you don’t want will start showing up, and continue to show up, in your in your life. Our personal development is never static. We are either growing and becoming more and doing something with life, or life chooses to do something with us.

Get a clear picture of what you want, what you are going to give in exchange, or what you are going to do to acquire it, and when you are going to have it. Write it all out in a statement and visualise being there right now – right down to the smallest detail.

Incorporate all five senses and picture it as having already occurred in your life. I have a great exercise for this and work at it daily.

5. Develop Daily Goals & Related Actions

I wrote an article, 3 Inspiring Comeback Stories to Help You Get Better, on my blog at GetBetterHQ.com. In it, the story about Chad Jones’ rehabilitation is amazing. The level of commitment to his daily disciplines, the things that he did, whether he wanted to or not, in order to re-build his leg and restore it’s function is incredible. Watch the video. This is what I mean by matching your actions to your goals.

Too often we say we want something, but our actions don’t reveal a deep, inner desire to obtain it. We want to get in shape, but we sit on the couch for three hours watching TV. We want to make more money, but we watch the clock all day and aren’t prepared to do more work, or we’re scared to start a business. We need our burning desire to become a passion and we need to be willing to sacrifice what we might want right now for that bigger, more rewarding goal.

Simply put, our Dreams have to be bigger than our excuses!

Work backwards from your goal until you can break it down into a daily outcome. Any timeframe longer than daily may result in losing focus. Once you know what daily result is required, you can now design your activities to achieve the result. If this isn’t broken down to daily, even the slightest deviation will have you way behind in a week, month or year.

When you understand the daily actions required to achieve your goal, you have a formula that WILL work. Apply commitment, focus and course correct as required and the Comeback isn’t an eventuality. It becomes your new reality!

Mike Martens is a Father, Family man, Entrepreneur & Creator of GetBetterHQ.com: Do Something With Life Before Life Does Something With You. You can also connect with him on Facebook at www.GetBetterHQ.com/facebook or Twitter @GetBetterHQ.

photo source: roseamongthethorns.com

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