Pathways To Overcome Setbacks In Life
RECENT political setbacks caught me unawares, just as similar setbacks in my past jolted me from my slumbers. They seem odd but the truth is that all setbacks burden us most uncomfortably. George Akume was the natural candidate for the Senate President, having been the Senate Minority Leader, while the All Progressives Congress was in opposition.
That was in spite of his coming from the North Central Zone, which has held the position before through Iyorchia Ayu, Ameh Ebute and the immediate past Senate President, David Mark. As a Christian, Akume stood a very good chance of being a religious game changer.
But the Northern power elite thought it should go to the North East’s Dr. Ahmed Lawan. Up till that time only Tafawa Balewa of Bauchi and Atiku Abubakar of Adamawa had seen any position of significance from the Federation. Sadly, two maverick politicians stole the show. Bukola Saraki of Kwara emerged Senate President while Christian Yakubu Dogara of Bauchi clinched the office of Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.
Whereas, the former APC minority leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila had been slated for the office of Speaker as a balancing act such that not all the principal officers of state went to the North. That was how Dogara unbalanced the apple cart. Thus, the three favourites lost out in the encounter. In the circumstance, such setbacks chips away at our ego, causing us to doubt our abilities, and ultimately, our self-worth. Moreover, feelings of helplessness set in and we get stuck in a victim mentality. The good news is that through struggles with setbacks of varying degrees, we have learned a lot about how to bounce back and overcome our setbacks.
Certainly, setbacks are inevitable in life. Often they open new opportunities to excel in fields we have overlooked in the past. So here are what works. One, accept reality and detach yourself from fantasies.
In the two kinds of pain, the one that hurts and the pain that changes, you must roll with them. Do not resist them for both help you to grow, emblazoning you with courage. For progress, you must first accept the reality of what it is. That provides you with an important starting point from where you can move forward. Accept the situation and let go. Forgive yourself of failure. Forgiveness is a big part of this process. All negativity is caused by a lack of forgiveness for oneself or another.
Two, embrace who you are and all your frailties. Self doubt plagues us because we desperately want to be somebody we are not. However, the key to such mistakes is to remind yourself that the person you are in is darn great and the role you are playing is the one Jehovah anointed you to play. You only need to remind yourself that you have had greater successes in the past. Stop pretending, accept your humanness. Making mistakes is the way to blaze your trail to greater heights.
Three, allow yourself emotional pain, so you can grow beyond it. Feel no shame for a failed attempt to enlarge your treasures. Enlarging your influence is the very basis of ambition. The people judging you for being ambitious are the ones who need pity for consigning themselves into mediocrity. Accepting the pains of loss propels you back to reality making you stronger to face the future without fear. Four, failure reminds you that everything in life is temporary. Your big breakthrough will come when you realize that all limitations, setbacks and life itself is temporary. Pain and uncertainty never last forever. Success and failure will pass like everything else for life doesn’t stop for anyone.
Five, find gratitude in the present moment. It is perhaps hackneyed, promoting gratitude as a universal solution to pain, but the reason is that it works every time. Indeed, life’s reality isn’t always full of happiness. Instead of comparing the present with the past, awaken yourself to the new reality, away from stressful fantasy.
So, keep your head up. When you finally let go of the setback, something equally as amazing will come along. Surprisingly, what you are looking for comes along unbidden. Gratitude will help you recognize your prize. You cannot solve your problems with the same thinking that created them. A setback jolts you into new reality. It opens a new mindset for you, facilitating new creative problem solving skills. Six, clear unnecessary clutter and complications standing on your way. The greatest physicist of all time, Albert Einstein once said, ‘‘Out of clutter, find simplicity; from discord, find harmony, in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
Which is why a setback is the period to reappraise your goals. Diamond which is more precious than the gold you were chasing might be lurking at your door just then. It is your time to get back to the basics. There is a big difference between what you want and what you need; between excess and what is essential. Thus, you must get rid of negative influences. Whenever you catch yourself wallowing in self pity, get outside of yourself. Stop being self-centered, focus on the people around you. Helping others infallibly, makes you feel better and happier.