(This article originally appeared in Al's column, Elevate U, in the Black Collegian Magazine. It is part of the Best of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN--a collection of the best articles in TBC's 40-year history.)
6 Ways to Turn Setbacks Into Comebacks
The vast majority of smart and successful people have all kinds of insurance to cover them just in case of an emergency. Most people have or wish they had insurance so that when a loss occurs they will be protected. Even your money in the bank is insured.
But there is one situation that has the potential to become a disaster for which many people, especially graduating college students, do not have insurance. Setbacks and letdowns.
If a person is not prepared to deal with a setback it can become a permanent disaster. Although the great amount of success that you have been experiencing will most likely continue in the future, here are six things you can do to make sure that you’re covered when you experience a setback.
1. Identify what is and what isn’t under your control.
I once heard someone say, “All you can do is all you can do. And all you can do is enough. But you better make sure you do all you can do.”
After a setback many people spend too much time agonizing over things they have little or no control over. So when you are preparing for the interview or whatever the opportunity may be, take inventory of what is and isn’t directly under your control.
Make a list of everything that has to happen in order for your opportunity to be a successful endeavor. After completing your list go through it and label each item as under your control or not under your control. For instance being well prepared for an interview is under your control. Being the most qualified and experienced person for the job isn’t under your control. There’s no way for you to know who else is being interviewed for the position.
WARNING: Be careful of passing the buck or playing the blame game. You’ve got to be honest with yourself about your assessment of what is and isn’t under your control. If the situation didn’t go your way because of circumstances that were under your control, it might be tempting but it is most certainly not beneficial to beat yourself up. In fact…
2. Move from bitter to better.
If you are like most people then you are your own worst critic. When you are constantly giving yourself a mental tongue-lashing you are simply compounding your current bitterness. Piling negative thoughts on top of negative thoughts and mixing toxic emotions with more toxic emotions leaves a person stuck in a vicious circle called feeling bad about feeling bad. Psychologists estimate that negative thoughts are seven times stronger than positive thoughts. That means that it takes seven positive thoughts to nullify one negative thought!