When we are pursuing our dreams, there will be times, whether we like it or not, that we encounter setbacks.

Whenever adversity strikes, here are some tips in getting back on track again.

1. Take a break.

Whatever setback that is in your path right now, the first and most important thing to do is take a break. You will need some time to process what is going on at the moment. You will be in no condition to act and try solving the problem. It is normal to feel tireddisappointed, and unmotivated. It is normal to feel angry, ashamed, disappointed, or sad. All these emotions you are going through needs to be acknowledged and processed. So take a step back and spend time with yourself.

2. Own your mistakes.

When we make mistakes, we have the tendency to place the blame onto someone else or we make all sorts of excuses just so we get absolved from our wrongdoings. We don’t accept responsibility for our mistakes. We’d rather be victims of misfortune or the poor guy that got played by others. And because we are not personally responsible, we tell ourselves that we have no reason to feel ashamed, disappointed, or frustrated. We trick ourselves to avoid these uncomfortable emotions. But these emotions are there for a reason. Avoiding these emotions (and thus the responsibility) prevents us from learning from our mistakes and taking a more mature and healthy attitude toward failures.

3. Accept that there are things (or people) can change.

When we experience a setback, there is always a corresponding change in our life. When this happens, our first instinct is to fix it and make things the way they were before. This is because we are wired to maintain our sense of comfort and predictability. But it is much healthier to accept that some setbacks can changed your life and you cannot change it back. The only thing you can do is learn the lessons from the setback and move on.

4. Reflect and learn from the setback, then readjust your perspective.

Reflect on the possible factors that might have contributed to your setback. One way to do this is by journaling. You can use journaling to figure out how things unraveled and what you have learned from it.  Another way is to be alone with yourself and evaluate your setback from an objective and nonjudgmental perspective.

Setbacks will inevitably alter the way you see yourself and how you see your future. It will redefine your identity, so readjusting your perspective on yourself and your future is important.

5. Remember your purpose.

Every goal you pursue, every risk you take, every challenging situation you put yourself through has a reason behind it. But when we encounter setbacks, we often tend to forget why we were doing it in the first place—the overarching “why.” When we lose track of our purpose/goals, we lose our motivation. Remembering your “why” will help you get back in the game and move you to begin again.

6. Set new goals and plan your new journey

Setbacks provide valuable opportunities to achieve more than we had thought of. No matter how painful the experience is, there are always fresh opportunities that go with it. All you have to do is open your heart and eyes to these fresh possibilities and opportunities. Then set new goals to pursue.

When you have a new goal in mind, start planning. Planning can help you accomplish your objective, identify resources, and prevent obstacles.

7. Take the first step and enjoy the journey.

You have set new goals and planned for its fruition. It is time to begin the journey. Don’t let the memory of your setback stop you. Don’t hesitate to take that first step. Take a chance and act despite all your fears and doubts.

Setbacks and adversities are always a possibility, but don’t let self-doubt stop you from enjoying the journey.


These are just some of the strategies you can do to recover from a setback in life. Remember that in pursuing your dreams, overcoming setbacks would be part of it.