Many of us experience hardship, loss, and hopelessness at some point in our lives. Every person reacts to these setbacks in different ways and processes negative emotions with different coping techniques. Some people have healthier coping styles than others. The challenge is to approach the negative situation in a way that will allow us to achieve our most positive existence. While we all react differently, the power to absorb and recover from setbacks is in our control; we are the masters of our own world.
This may seem like a difficult task, after all, sometimes our emotions seem to spiral and snowball into a disaster. However, we can train ourselves to approach these inevitable setbacks with resilience. It is in our power to prepare ourselves to deal with the negatives in life through the cultivation of psychological toughness and to ultimately grow from them. We can withstand all sorts of setbacks as proven from our personal history, which has led us to this point in our lives. The key is tapping into our resilience strengths, and learning how to use our setbacks to better our lives in the long run.
The most important part of dealing with our obstacles is shifting the way we perceive them. Taking control of our negative reactions and emotions requires a change in the way we view our situation to allow for resilience, psychological toughness, and ultimately post-setback growth. Gaining control of a difficult circumstance is challenging, however, there are steps we can take to do so:
- Making a conscious effort to observe our situation from an outsider perspective in order to gain a less clouded view of the setback.
- Questioning our reaction by assessing how monumental the situation is and if we will be able to get through it with time.
- Finding something that allows for momentary relief from the pain that we feel to get past difficult moments.
- Identifying our personal goal in terms of handling the specific situation in the context of our life. How will our reaction either detract or add to where we are trying to get to?
- Recognizing the parts of ourselves whether that be an activity, relationship, belief system, or a combination of these that allow us to process difficulties.
- Developing post-setback growth from the negative experience. We must ask ourselves how can experiencing and processing this negativity lead to our betterment?
These steps require active efforts in order to orient our thoughts to productive and healthy coping. This involves a conscious effort to shift our perspective during challenging and sometimes heart wrenching experiences. Though it may feel unnatural or strange, perspective-shifting enables us to develop tools such as resilience and psychological toughness, which help us cope with the difficulties in our lives. From there, we can realize how the negative obstacle may actually encourage growth and positivity despite its pain. We hold the power to determine how we approach our setbacks. We are in control, not them.
To learn more about conquering setbacks please visit Long Island Psychology today.