Yesterday, a reporter from a national magazine interviewed me to get some
of my thoughts on how I help people to get past a major setback in one’s life. This writer
was particularly interested in the best ways to help men overcome disappointments
in business and in sports.
Life is certainly loaded with disappointments and setbacks. Learning to be
resilient is a very useful and important skill. I thought that some of the ideas
I shared with the reporter would be helpful to the readers of this column.
So, here are a few tips and thoughts on recovering from a setback in your life:
1. In my view, there are no failures in life. Rather there are successes and learning
experiences. And in fact, we learn much more from our setbacks than we
learn from our successes. Always ask yourself what you can learn from something
that did not go as well as you would have liked it to have gone.
2. Surround yourself with a support network that can give you advice and can
nurture you through your crisis. Going it alone can be very tough. Supportive
friends, family members and colleagues can be very helpful.
3. Conversely, negative people can make you feel worse after a crisis, so you may
want to avoid people who are likely to give you bad advice or be unsupportive
of your feelings and your situation.
4. Champions in sports and successful entrepreneurs show great resilience in the
face of adversity. Reading biographies and autobiographies of people who have overcome
significant obstacles in their lives can be very inspiring. (Winston Churchill’s
autobiography is a fascinating story about perseverance in the face of a crisis.)
5. When you feel overwhelmed by a slump or by a series of unfortunate events,
it is very important to develop a step by step plan of action which allows you to
break the problems down into small steps and solve them one by one.
6. Take a step back from the problem you are facing and remove your ego from the
situation and ask yourself how a wise and calm person would manage the situation.
7. Reflect on what you have done to succeed in the past and utilize that knowledge
and experience to address what is confronting you now.
8. Some of my patients find prayer and religion to be quite helpful when they are
in a tough spot.
9. If the problems facing you cause you to feel depressed for an extended period of
time, professional counseling for some support, guidance and encouragement
might be a good idea.
10. Last, always remember, “You can never stop the waves, but you can always learn how
Other tips sports psychology tips and programs to perform to your fullest potential
are available at www.StayInTheZone.com
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist in River Edge, NJ.