Funny how any time there is a blip or bump in the road toward results we feel like we’re failing.

But we often ignore the fact that technically we can only suffer a setback because we’ve moved forward.

And trust me…I get it.

It’s frustrating when you’re working hard and things don’t work out.

It’s hard when you’ve emotionally and physically invested in something for it to not only not move you forward but even cause you to lose some of the progress previously made.

But the sucky truth is, sometimes you don’t know until you’ve tried.

Progress is never linear.

Setbacks come with success.

That’s why I did want to share how I approach setbacks to hopefully help you take them in stride as you work toward your goals this week.

Because with results, with progress, will come failures.

#1: I plan for them.

Any time I do something new, I recognize beforehand that there are going to be issues that come up.

And that many of the issues I simply won’t be able to plan for or predict.

By mentally preparing myself for this fact, it often helps me take the situation in stride when it does arise.

#2: I find something to learn, no matter what.

When I first suffer a setback, I may curse up a storm, whine, complain…do absolutely nothing productive. BUT as soon as possible I pause my brain and say “What can I learn?”

Because setbacks often teach us something super valuable that can lead to a bigger win than we even thought possible.

I swear some of my biggest failures have also led to my biggest successes!

Because often setbacks happen when we are striving to do something super new, something we’ve never done. 

And to learn the ups and downs, ins and outs of that new thing, we have to TRY IT first. 

#3: I assess whether it is a problem to be solved or a downside to the upside.

Not all setbacks are “solvable.”

Sometimes we run into issues we won’t be able to fix…that just come with the success.

So as you encounter “setbacks” or what feels like failures, assess if it is really a problem to be solved or simply the downside to the upsides you’ve achieved.

It can also help us avoid wasting effort trying to handle something you really can’t change or even that shouldn’t be changed.

And maybe even realize it wasn’t a setback to begin with.

Like as weird as it sounds, cheat days.

Maybe it felt like a setback to “eat off plan” for the day.

But maybe part of what will make you successful is actually these days. 

They may not be ideal and it may stink to see the scale increase after, but maybe long-term they actually help you stay consistent.

Maybe the setback is actually for the better even.

Not everything we do directly moves us forward too!


So much of how we view setbacks is really about our perspective. And I think even realizing we can’t have a setback if we haven’t moved forward is a key mental switch.

Progress is never linear. So these setbacks are a part of success.

They show us we’ve moved outside our comfort zone to even make the changes that WILL help us reach new goals!