How To Deal with Setbacks In Life?

“When you face setbacks, you need to remind yourself that whatever is trying to defeat you could very well be what God will use to promote you.”
– Joel Osteen – 

No human on this planet is without setbacks. The actual problem is not the setbacks, but our response to them.

But you will be amazed to hear that more than 50% of people believe that it is the end and so, they quit.

But this is not true. I can say it with full authority as I have experienced this in my life.

Today when I evaluate my journey of the past 15 years and say that the setbacks we face in life will always leave us better than we were earlier.

There were a series of setbacks that I faced in my life in these 15 years. After each setback, I found myself at a higher level.

It was the mindset that I developed during these 15 years which helped me turn these adversities into opportunities.

Let us discuss what was this mindset and what were its core values that I learned.

Mindset To Deal With Setbacks

Now, whenever I face any setback, I face them with this mindset. There are 4 core values that I developed during these years:

  • Positive Perception
  • Expect and Accept
  • Evaluation
  • Action

Positive Perception

Positive Perception

I believe that everything happens for a good reason. Failures in business, no job promotion, break-ups, heartbreaks, divorce, friendships breaks, etc are always good.

Let’s take an example of it. I was doing a metal scrap business. For this, I had to travel a lot. After some time it became hectic for me. Slowly and gradually the business went down. I had to shut down and it gave me huge losses.

Practically, I was left with nothing in hand so that I could think of anything. For making some movements, I started another venture with my school buddy.

This was just a trial. I wasn’t a blogger/writer priorly. But slowly and gradually what we had just started for trial started working and we started getting huge profits.

It was better than my previous business also. I was spending a lot of time with my family. Working at my own pace. Planning vacations every year and sometimes twice a year.

Thus, now whenever I face any setback in life I always have a positive perception.

Expect and Accept

Expect and Accept

You will not face failure if you are doing something normal or easy or routine that doesn’t require additional efforts. When you do something hard then you will face these hurdles.

The first thing to understand is that you need to expect that hurdles will come. Secondly, accept it that it is part of your success story.

Resistance creates frustration hence acceptance is the only way you can be calm and enjoy the process.

An arrow is pulled back so that it can reach to move forward. The airplane takes off against the wind and not with the wind.

Back in 2007, I was working for a trading firm in the UAE. I was sacked due to the 2008 recession. Since I landed in UAE, I dreamt of working for an airline, but couldn’t get at that time.

I kept on trying and but was not serious until I was sacked. Then I got a job in an Airline Agency.

I joined in November and I exactly remember that in 3 months on 14th Feb, I was again jobless. The reason was the same 2008 recession. As I was a recruit, I had to leave.

I sometimes literally felt that it was the end of my career. But didn’t lose hope. Suddenly, one of my room partners resigned from his job and there was an opening in an Airline Company. I applied and got this job.

Practically, these were very big setbacks and I was pulled back twice, but I was determined and didn’t lose hope.

This is how God, destiny, universe, or whatever you call brought me what I was working for after being 2 times jobless.

As I wanted to move forward, I expected these hardships and was ready for that. I didn’t resist the change and accepted it. In addition to this, it was with the support of my family in all these bad times that made me stronger.

Hence, expecting and accepting is very important for us in times of setbacks.



Usually, most people tend to either play the blame game, and if they don’t find others to blame they take the blame and sit back.

Evaluation of the cause of setback is the most important part. I don’t say that you shouldn’t check out your faults. In addition to this, you must assess what happened and what you need to do.

Research thoroughly and write what worked and what didn’t work. What factors are responsible for the setback.

List down options and deeply evaluate each of them based on what needs to be done. Keep your emotional needs aside. Think practically rather than emotionally.

Continuing the story, I evaluated my situation thoroughly. I had two options, either to get back to my home country and start looking for jobs here or stay there in UAE, try-hard, and have my dream job. I chose to stay.



Once you are done with evaluation the time comes for action. After every setback, making a decision is the toughest job. This makes us stagnant and taking action becomes literally hard.

Think long-term but divide your final goal into small goals. Think of what you can do every day to getting near to your goal. How you can progress towards it slowly and steadily.

A lack of experience or knowledge doesn’t close a door but defines what must be learned. So prepare yourself in the meantime for the thing that is required.

Such pullbacks sometimes create self-doubt and it further turns into fear. So to overcome it, it is the action that is required.

When you act, your mind doesn’t think much of disappointment and no chance of fear at all.

As in my case, I took the first step to join an Airline Agency instead. I learned how an airline agency works. How they deal with matters of passengers. If I wouldn’t have done that I would have not been qualified for the job which I longed for.


In the end, to support my theory I have some quotes that align with the solutions mentioned above. This will not only support my theory but also inspire you to deal with setbacks in a more profound way.


“It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.”
– Dieter F. Uchtdorf – 

“Hard times are sometimes blessings in disguise. Let it go and let it make you better.”

“One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments.”
– Henry Ward Beecher –

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.”
– Howard Schultz –

“Hardships make us strong. Problems give birth to wisdom. Sorrows cultivate compassion. Those who have suffered the most will become the happiest.”
– Daisaku Ikeda –

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don´t give up.”
– Robert Tew –

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
– Henry Ford –

“Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart. A humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor.”
– Marianne Williamson –

“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.”
– Sherrilyn Kenyon –

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”
– William James –

“Your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
– Michelle Obama –

“Impossible odds make achievements even more satisfying.”
– Darlene A. McGarrity –

“Hardship may come from the outside, but failure can only come from the inside.”
– Melanie Hope –

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.”
– Winston Churchill –

“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.”
– Ray A. Davis –


If you need any help we are here to help you. I am a Behavior Analyst and mindset coach. Share your story with me and I would be more than happy to help you.

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