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The setback monster

February 24, 2014

Don't give up

I’ts true. People around you may feel compassionate, or even feel sorry for you as they see you have met with the setback monster for the tenth time, only to see you wrestle again and again.

The first attempt at anything new is always the most exciting, and the most stressful for that matter. The unknown is yet to show itself, and there is no reference point for first time endeavors except for others’ opinions and pep talks. This is hardly a substitute for your own, but sometimes just enough to push you down the hill to take on something new as opposed to just reading about it and wishing it was you.

The best part about trying something and experiencing a setback, then trying again, is that you have experience to do it better or differently the next few times around. I have never heard someone tell someone: “Wow, Dan, you’re going to take another stab at baking? Well I’m so glad because now you will be more ready and more successful than ever after you have tried it so many times.”
No, I never hear that.
I hear “oh no Dan, you can’t bake. Please stop trying. Don’t make me eat any more of your baking.”

People could use support through bouts with the setback monster. It can be a very special part of their journey. We don’t tell sports teams that meet repeatedly with the setback monster to give up, disband, and walk away forever. Why then should we give up at the first sign of a setback or many repeated setbacks?
Setback monsters arm us with much needed knowledge to do it differently again and again. If you see value in your endeavours, or even if you are not sure if there is value, do it anyway.

At least once.
Preferably more than once.

At the end of your life, what would you rather say to yourself? That you have met many setback monsters but you learned, grew, and became a wiser more successful person because of them? Or would you rather say that you just didn’t bother trying after the first couple of setbacks? When babies first start walking, they don’t give up if they fall down a few times. Not learning to walk is not an option for babies who have legs. Why do grown ups stop so quickly after a setback? Act more like a baby. Successful people expect to have setbacks. It’s part of the success process. I wish I had learned that in grade school. I would be in a completely different place than I am today. Fortunately, I ended up learning this along the way, and as a result my life is exactly where it should be for the amount of work I put into it, or don’t put into it, and I am not afraid of the setback monster any longer.
She is my friend.

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