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Coping With and Overcoming Setbacks

Posted on: April 7th, 2018 by Dr. Susan Pazak

In pursuit of your goals and an overall healthy lifestyle, you will experience situations that appear as setbacks. The important thing to know is that a setback does not mean that you have to start all over again or give up on your goal or dream. All setbacks are opportunities to learn. This makes it easier to cope. We need to recognize what caused the setback and then have a plan for the future. Most likely we will keep being exposed to the same setback until we learn to do things differently. Remember with every obstacle comes opportunity! Be prepared for setbacks and obstacles that may interrupt the pursuit of your goal of living healthy.

Be aware when you are out of balance: mind, body or spirit, this can cause setbacks. Take the time to be aware of your thoughts, walk and take care of your body and pray and meditate.

Time is your greatest asset. Make the most of your day. Be aware of distractions that may tempt you to lose your focus and balance. Refer back to your daily plan. Make a commitment to have “no more bad days”. If you have a setback in the morning, it does not mean that you have lost a whole day. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and make needed adjustments. For example, if your goal is weight loss and you make an unhealthy food choice, re-balance, focus and make better choices throughout the day. Another example is if you eat one or two cookies avoid statements such as “I blew it” or “I will start again tomorrow” and then eat more than you originally intended. Remove yourself from the situation and re-balance. Go for a walk to regain balance, burn the excess
calories and then modify your choices for the remainder of the day.

Negative thoughts such as “I can’t” or “this is not happening fast enough” focusing on what you do not have or your limitations can set you back. Challenge the thoughts immediately. During the first 30 days of changing a habit, you may find yourself challenging negative self-messages throughout the day. As you re-train your brain for success, the negative thoughts will become less.

Physical or emotional pain can also be a perceived setback. Have a plan to overcome and address feelings of pain, emotional or physical. Remember HALT – hungry, angry, lonely, tired. If you are feeling these feelings, halt and take the time to address the thoughts and feelings and regain your balance. Be aware of the tendency to want to feed the feeling instead of hunger.

Limit contact with people that are not supportive of your efforts and offer negative verbal feedback. Words both positive and negative will impact your progress. Learn to cope with the impact. Surround yourself with others that are positive and living healthy. If you do not have anybody like that in your life right now, you have God.

Commitment, self-discipline and patience will help you to stay focused on your goals and cope with setbacks. Develop and learn to apply these traits in your life today.

Speak positively to yourself throughout the process. Be your biggest fan. Believe that you can achieve. Visualize yourself daily achieving your goal.

View setbacks as a learning experience. If you fall down, get back up, work through the emotion and regain your balance. You will have to make mistakes in order to learn.

Find your balance and enjoy the journey, one day at a time.

Do not let anything get in your way..After every storm, the sun shines again.Keep on keeping on.God believes in you, I believe in you..DON’T GIVE UP!

Dr. Susan Pazak

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