Five Ways To Use Setbacks To Your Advantage

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Setbacks are a normal part of life and also the path to success. Unless your role is an insignificant role at your place of work, you will surely encounter setbacks – many of them – throughout your career.

Even the most intelligent of the “employer of the month” experiences failure, which rears its ugly head in many different forms like when a project doesn’t go as planned or a promotion you were counting on just didn’t happen.

Regardless of the setback, there are techniques that can help you shed the disappointment, prop yourself up and move forward with enthusiasm.

These five-step processes discussed below can help you use setbacks for your advancements:

Acknowledge it. Own it.

We think “failure” or “setbacks” are such a bad thing, that we end up beating ourselves up which leads to us feeling as though nothing good can ever happen. But that mentality is one of the reasons many don’t forge ahead, thereby unlocking new potentials capable of making us win. When you experience setbacks, own up to it, accept it’s happening and change your mindset because it’s actually ‘progress in disguise’.

Connect with others.

When you’re trying to push through a roadblock, being all by yourself is a dangerous tactic. Like the popular saying goes “no man is an island”. In other words, you need the input of others to help you through whatever situation you find yourself in. Reach out, speak up and let help and solutions find make its way to you.


Contrary to what people think about there being nothing to learn from setbacks, there are many things one can take note of during this phase. Setbacks point out one’s shortcomings which should be taken seriously. Don’t be overwhelmed by the emotion of disappointment, rather, analyse the situation carefully in order to identify the loopholes and what needs to be done differently.


After learning comes strategy. In order to not avoid making the same mistakes again, map out a different strategy from the last; a sustainable one. Also, ensure to have alternative plans to whichever one you consider the number 1.


After all is said and done, put in actual work. Don’t dwell on just word of mouth, act on it. Begin implementing the changes you think are necessary. Plans with no actions end up only on paper, zero execution.

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