How Do You Handle Setbacks?

Many people that I’ve met who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are very intelligent and creative individuals.  Sometimes those same people have very high expectations of themselves due to being smart.  Another potential tie-in for some is that when manic some of us get a TON of stuff done.  Although this energy and output is not sustainable long term, in my opinion it does open a window as to what we are capable of.  It is quite common, and was personally for myself on different occasions, to have a depressive period after a manic one.  In many ways that felt like a setback to me. 

In your daily life, job, career or business how do you handle setbacks? 

I got thinking of this topic a few days ago. Earlier this week I had planned to hold two evening workshops for my business.  Due to lack of interest I had to cancel them. 

How do you think I felt? 

Initially I felt like I had let both the those interested in attending and myself down.  I felt disappointed since I had put a fair amount of work into refining the workshop, getting the event spaces co-ordinated, reaching out to different people and organizations to help spread the word, and messaging friends in both cities to volunteer.  Then I reminded myself that what’s done is done and it doesn’t do me any good to stew in that negative mindset.  Next I thought about what I could do differently the next time before holding a workshop.  I told myself that failures in life happen and that it is not a bad thing to fail. 

Then I forgave myself and let it go. 

After doing that I felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I truly enjoyed the rest of my day and week. 

My response to this setback is much different than it was a few years ago.  At that time, I would focus on the failure aspect, and associate myself with being a failure since I had just experienced a failure.  Sometimes that would spiral into me being low, or slightly depressed, for a period of time.   

If you’re comfortable sharing…have you had a setback recently?  If so, how did you handle it? 

Read more of Scott’s blog posts for IBPF here or visit his personal blog

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