7 Tips for Overcoming Setbacks

Jan 11, 2023 | Blog, Success

Life, wonderful and complicated, is not a smooth elevator ride to the penthouse of success. I contest that the path to success is more akin to climbing a steep, rocky mountain. Sometimes the ascent is paved and clear of debris while other times the path contains challenging obstacles to overcome.

In life, obstacles, or setbacks, are unexpected situations or challenges that stand in the way of our success. Setbacks can have many forms: injury, divorce, job loss, paralyzing anxiety, or even the quintessential “bad day.

Setbacks can take us by surprise even though we know that life will present us with unexpected challenges. So, when life is a rocky mountain, prepare yourself to clear out or climb over the rocks to continue forward.

It’s important to face these obstacles, setbacks, and difficulties because they instill resilience and strength, important skills for success in life. If you avoid facing a challenge by choosing to procrastinate until it disappears, you will miss out on personal and professional growth and development.

Facing adversity head-on teaches you about:

  • Limiting Beliefs: by daring beyond self-perceived limits, you discover more that you can do.
  • Resourcefulness: overcoming a setback hones skills that strengthen resolve, improving resilience for future challenges.
  • Mistakes: instructions for what not to do the next time a similar challenge presents itself.

7 Tips to Face Setbacks


1. Acceptance

It is what it is — so choose to embrace the setback. Don’t accept it as a permanent roadblock. Consider what you can change and do something, while, at the same time, accepting the things you cannot change. Humans are limited beings, but we are not helpless.

2. Choose Resilience

Resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.

Perhaps you are dealing with a relationship issue, work stress, or financial difficulties: decide to experience the hardships and learn from them. You will emerge from these situations with increased strength and resilience.

3. Faith In Yourself

You are your biggest cheerleader. Trust yourself as you would a best friend. Value your worth and count on the insights you have gained from experience. Learn from failures but do not dwell on them, failures do not define you. Cultivate self-confidence, knowing that strength and courage are within you.

4. Focus Your Mindset

A setback is not an insurmountable obstacle. Your attitude toward the things that happen to you is more important than the circumstances: as I said in a previous post, the realm of your control is within yourself. Focus on what can be done in the present, make plans for the future, and highlight the positive in what is happening. Positive thinking won’t solve anything, but it can help you to frame adversity as an opportunity.

5. Adapt

Maybe a setback will slow down the speed at which you climb to the top of your mountain. Perhaps it will detain you from getting that academic degree or force you to modify your financial plan. Adapt and move forward knowing that your goal need not change when the road changes.

6. Visualize the Outcome

There are many benefits of visualization for goal setting. Creating a clear image of what you want to achieve, writing (and drawing) it down on paper, and looking at it regularly will help you keep your mind on your goal. Focusing on a prosperous future can be instrumental to your long-term attitude and actions while supporting your current behaviors.

7. Jump, Leap, Do It

We all fear rejection and failure. Many of us can recall being paralyzed before making a decision. Instead of relying on hope as a strategy, it is better to take action to overcome hardships that get in our way. The size of the action is less important than taking a step forward, closer to your goal.

Bottom Line

When was the last time you faced a setback? How did you overcome it? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me via Twitter. Should you need help in the aspect of financial growth, please visit my company’s website, LexION Capital.


Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City, serving everyone who feels left out by traditional “Wall Street”, including women and the families they love.

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