How good are you at dealing with setbacks?

Of all the strategies recommended for dealing with setbacks, two struck my fancy: one, refining our coping strategy, and two, surrounding ourselves with supportive people. More on these in a moment. 
Not to say that I dismiss the standards – but in dealing with setbacks, be they minor or major, experts say it’s important to:
• Feel the feelings (don’t repress them).
• Develop a positive mindset.
• Take action.
Feel the feelings makes abundant sense, that is, process the negative emotions, experience the sadness, the disappointment, the anger – don’t let it build.
Take action? Logical enough, once we’ve had sufficient time to cycle.
But, develop a positive mindset? I wonder: If it’s not inherently in one’s DNA, how exactly does one “develop” that? The same could easily be said, I suppose, for grit and resilience. 
Your coping strategy
When setbacks occur, we immediately engage our coping strategy, but what exactly is it? How well do we know it? Experts encourage us to take time to step back and examine it, to explore the thoughts that rise first, the thought cycles that ensue, and the time it takes to recalibrate and move forward.
The kind authors at share five ideas for improving our coping strategy:
1. Find the learning opportunity.
2. Consider an alternative path forward.
3. Don’t succumb to negative thinking (which, one might argue, is a touch more doable than “develop a positive mindset”).
4. Take a break.
5. Surround yourself with loved ones.
This last strategy is my favorite. Writes William Arruda, in his piece for Forbes, “Surround yourself with people who are objective, positive, and focused on solutions, not problems. Seek out the can-do people in your network.”
Reframing setbacks
Should we embrace setbacks? That might be a bridge too far. After all, the major setbacks in our lives (relationships, careers, personal injuries, or trauma) can take a toll. But there’s much to be learned. Arruda, again,
“Setbacks are actually progress in disguise. Think back to the most powerful things you learned in life, and I’ll bet many of those enlightenments are connected to a setback.” Offers Dave Clark, writing for, “I like to view every situation either as a good one or an opportunity to learn.” 
Nuala Walsh, writing for Psychology Today, talks about the contrast effect, “The most obvious response is to try to gain immediate perspective and reduce the perceived consequentiality of the error. I find it helpful to look at higher consequence impacts and ask three things: Will you struggle to eat? Will you lose your bed? Has this damaged lives? As the answer is most likely ‘no’ to these questions, the issue may not be quite so
dramatic. Note the echo of (psychologist Abraham) Maslow’s survival needs. Compare yourself to those who lose loved ones, face terminal illnesses, have missing children, and struggle to pay bills or feed families. It’s
the contrast effect that minimizes potential overreaction to what is usually a minor event, albeit one that feels disproportionately large in the moment.”
Your life as a laboratory
The editorial crew at the American Heart Association poses this challenge, “See your life as a laboratory, where you don’t have failures but setbacks that teach you what not to do so you can regroup and try again.” Their list of dos and don’ts: Don’t dwell on past mistakes, don’t be an avoider, and don’t stick with plans that aren’t working. On the flip side, they encourage us to focus on future goals, be a seeker, and adjust quickly. 
The last word is reserved for Walsh, “The speed with which you bounce back is based not just on the inner voices you tune into, but also on the scornful voices you tune out.” Touche.

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