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5 Tips for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Setbacks

If you bat enough times throughout the course of a baseball season, the undeniable reality is that you will strikeout. This comes part and parcel with baseball probabilities. To offer a hyperbole, even the most decorated of Hall of Famers succeed one out of every three attempts at bat. It is safe to posit, therefore, that success in baseball is predicated upon perseverance, a concept often alluded to by sports analysts, but with baseball parlance.

If you’ve watched enough games you’re likely to have heard a commentator utter the term short-term amnesia. Short-term amnesia reflects the understanding that we must compartmentalize – we must have the ability to forget the past in order to forge ahead for the sake of materializing a favorable outcome in the future. If a proficient hitter dwells on a previous unsuccessful at bat, he will not posture himself and manage his anxieties needed for his next at bat.

In many ways running a business and living life are akin to baseball. We must forget setbacks and come to terms that failure is a bold-faced constituent of life – that is if we’re fortunate to live long enough. The reality is that we all encounter obstacles, but it is the way we reconcile with them that influences the outcomes of our future endeavors.  Bad things happen even to the most successful people. Successful people learn from the past and do not dwell as they chalk it up to simply life. Often times through adversity they become emboldened knowing that their vicissitudes didn’t end them, but just make them stronger. Confidence and self-efficacy unfold as a result.  One can argue that adversity is a stepping stone to good fortune.

In a likewise manner, when a baseball player is in a slump it’s not uncommon that he seeks solace from his teammates and staff. They function as morale boosters among the many ways that they do. When we have a setback in life or in our business, it’s not uncommon to become emotional, to not think logically and to become pessimistic. Surround yourself with positive people that could reiterate with objectivity that you are no imposter. You may have not succeeded in your last attempt, but you have all the making, history and preparation to achieve next go around.

In my lifetime I have dealt with divorce, a heart attack, bankruptcy and a medical diagnosis that will require a kidney transplant in the future.  Notwithstanding those misfortunes, I’m fortunate that I surround myself with positive people and mentally strong enough to know that there’s nothing that I could do about the past. Perseverating about it will not enhance my ability to influence the future while worrying disproportionately about the future will impede my ability to leave an imprint on the now. Here are a few tips on overcoming life’s setbacks.

  1. Forget the past

  2. Forge ahead

  3. Reconcile that adversity is part of life

  4.  Surround yourself with positive people

  5. Setbacks are to be evaluated objectively and not with our emotions.

Written by Dr. IVAN


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