Dealing With Setbacks: Our Tips for Getting Back on Track

No matter what you’re working towards—be it better grades, your first marathon or recovery from an addiction—obstacles can pop up and deter you from completing your goals. But when you’re confronted with these barriers, you don’t have to give up. If you’re working towards a goal, these helpful tips may be just what you need to keep at it until you’re back on the right track.

Reflect on the Setback

back of teen standing outdoors

Image Credit: Luke Pamer

When an obstacle throws you off course, it’s important to reflect on the cause of this issue so you can keep it from happening again. Were you triggered by a fight with a family member, a rough day at school or criticism from your coach? Reflecting on your setback and identifying what exactly caused you to veer off track can help you find more effective coping methods to use the next time you encounter a similar trigger. While triggers may be inevitable at times, how you react is up to you.

Remember That Every Day is a New Beginning

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you experience a setback. Maybe you failed an important test, or perhaps you relapsed and now you don’t feel you’ll ever be able to stay sober. Keep in mind that every day is a new beginning and a new chance to start over. Just because you got off track doesn’t mean you’re destined for failure. The setback may have gotten the best of you yesterday, but today you can choose to stand tall and keep moving forward. Don’t let past defeats stop you from starting fresh today.

Confide in Someone

teens having a conversation

Image Credit: Toa Heftiba

Dealing with setbacks is difficult and can often be isolating, so don’t make yourself go through it alone. While you may feel like the only person who’s struggling with a class or having trouble juggling their schedule, there are others out there dealing with the same issues as you. Find someone to confide in—whether it’s a parent, counselor or friend—so that you can ask for advice, feel heard and process the problem.

Ask for Help

If you feel like you’re falling behind in your goal because you’re stuck in one place, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your teacher may be able to suggest a tutor for a class you’re struggling with, your coach may be able to recommend some new training exercises or your counselor may be able to provide a new type of therapy. If you don’t know how to overcome an obstacle, reach out to people who can lend a hand. They can offer solutions or insight that you might not have otherwise considered.

When you’re working towards a goal that requires hard work and dedication, it’s normal to face a few stumbling blocks. The next time an obstacle pops up, remember that it’s not about the fall—it’s about how you get back up. With these tips, you’ll be back on track in no time. Good luck!

Feature Image: Tim Gouw