Setbacks are disheartening. After identifying a goal and making steady progress towards it, we are suddenly bounced farther from it. It can be a tiny speed bump or a giant pothole, but all setbacks have the potential to become huge, looming, beckoning back doors out of a commitment.
Maybe a particular route to the goal becomes blocked, when a contact with an entry visa to a coveted company suddenly loses their job. Perhaps an attention shift occurs, when an agent or referral partner gets overwhelmed with other projects.
New information can also suddenly block the route to success, like discovering an educational program provided skills in one area of a new business, but didn’t teach some very pertinent skills needed to make profits.
The back door looms!
We can simply skittle out that door, turn back, and no one would really know. We can play victim and create a lot of drama in the lives of those around us. We could focus on a new goal –that would sound good after a frustrating effort that led nowhere!
But, before exiting, take another look at the reasons to stay the path and endure.
To Turn Back Now Means Losses
Whether pursuing a goal for 10 days or 10 years, we have paid into that goal with effort, money, time, and emotion. We’ve also been growing to accommodate that goal.
It’s like putting a down payment on a coveted item, making payments, and then forgetting the almost-paid-for item at the store.
- The opportunity to learn how to ride the wave of setbacks.
- A meaningful commitment to yourself.
- A dream that energized and motivated you.
- The goal itself, whatever that may be: new career, material success, health.
- The personal satisfaction of knowing you conquered all.
Why turn back when you’re so close?
Staying the Course Means Winning
One of my clients pursued her own coaching business, but struggled with her lack of business experience. She risked losing all the time and effort she had invested in her excellent coach training and the framework of her business, which we had carefully set up.
Developing business skills was nowhere near as daunting as what she had been through positioning herself for success as a coach. We identified her bigger, juicy goal of exercising autonomy in her life, being her own boss, and having freedom of choice. This excited her past her discomfort.
Now, years later, she often drops me an email, thanking me again for keeping her on the path to her goal.
There are bigger wins we receive when we keep to the road:
- Identifying real friends and supporters. It may not be who you think!
- Learning how to get what you need to succeed.
- Developing grit – defined as perseverance in pursuit of long term goals. That inherent characteristic serves us in every area of life.
- Being REAL and authentic in life.
- Old-fashioned, killer confidence.
To turn back means wasting all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve worked for. Have faith and stay the course.
None of us can see the far-reaching reasons for a delay in our dreams, but timing is a genius in many situations.
One of my clients had frustrating infertility issues, but later uncovered some hidden facts about her husband, which meant he wouldn’t be the best parent. A few years later, divorced and remarried, her first husband in jail for unethical stock trading, she had NO problem getting pregnant and starting a family.
Another client had prayed for years for a breakthrough in her acting career, but it didn’t happen until she was in her 40s. As she looked back, she had not been prepared for the challenges that might have come with fame in her 20s.
One of her friends suffered a debilitating eating disorder, which almost killed her. Another landed an instant-fame type part, only to explode in a viral display of self-absorbed narcissist behavior that destroyed her career. She felt she would have suffered a similar fate in her less mature days.
Timing can be a beautiful thing, if we allow it, giving us what we need when we can handle it.
We are the only ones who see our work, and the effort we put forth in life, everyday. The decision NOT to turn back doesn’t just point us towards success; it could also mean success at the right time. It gives us the experience of succeeding, leading to depth of meaning we can’t feel any other way.