How To Regain Momentum After Setbacks Or Failures

By Dominica


Last Updated: May 6, 2021

It’s quite common to experience a setback or failure at times in life. No matter how intelligent or experienced you are, things don’t always go as planned – and that’s alright.  The attitude you adopt during or after these times can determine the kind of life you live.

Part of life involves facing challenges.  What do you normally do when challenges or setbacks come knocking on your door? Do you spiral downward into sadness and depression? Do you get angry or frustrated and carry around negative emotions?  Have you given up on your wishes and dreams because of setbacks or failures?

Whether you experience something that sets you back, or what you perceive is a complete failure, you can adopt the perspective that these are opportunities to learn and grow.  They are opportunities to resist beating yourself up, apply positive thinking, and find out what you’re really made of.

The difference between highly successful people and unsuccessful people is that those that feel successful choose to learn from setbacks or failures. In fact, they tend to learn valuable lessons about themselves and life in general. They also tend to adopt a more positive perspective throughout their journey.  It may not always be easy, but it is possible.

Make Positive Thinking A Habit

Begin thinking about what you will do the next time you face a setback or a failure.  You see, a failure may not really be a failure. Some people don’t label anything a failure, as they view everything as an opportunity to learn.

Just because you didn’t accomplish what you set out to do or the project didn’t go as planned does not mean you failed. It simply means you tried, learned some things along the way, and you didn’t get the desired effect.

Did you know Thomas Edison tried to make the light bulb thousands of times? Some would say he failed every time that bulb didn’t light up, but he didn’t look at it as failure. He looked at it as a learning experience and was determined to just keep trying. As you know, he did succeed after many tries. He didn’t keep a negative attitude and think “Oh no, I’ll never be able to get this thing to work.”  Rather, he engaged in positive thinking and said, “Oh yes! I will get this thing to work!”

Think of a toddler that’s learning how to walk. They stumble and fall down plenty of times, but that doesn’t make them a failure.  As adults, we encourage them to get up and keep trying. We say, “Come on, keep trying. It’s alright. You got this!” They begin to understand that stumbling and falling are part of the process to master the skill of walking.

We can view our life endeavors the same way. Positive thinking can help, and we can make it a habit. Really get it in your heart that no matter what you encounter, you will enjoy a positive attitude. Even if you stumble or fall, you’ll just get up and keep trying, learning lessons along the way.

Persistence Pays Off

I know a woman who had the dream of publishing a book. She began freelance writing and did that for a few years while learning about the publishing industry.  When she sent out her book proposal to numerous agents, she began receiving rejection letter after rejection letter.

She could have looked at this as a failure. After all, rejection can be tough to swallow.  However, she didn’t give up and she didn’t look at the rejections as failures.  She decided before she even sent that first proposal out that she would engage in positive thinking no matter what happened.

She held firm that she would find an agent to give her book a chance, even if it took 1000 proposals.

Guess what?  One year later she got her break.  After 86 rejections, revisions, and positive thinking, she landed her book deal!  How’s that for persistence and payoff?

Gaining Momentum After a Setback

Working toward a goal may not go as planned.  Accept that up front. At the same time, dedicate yourself to getting up after a setback and get that momentum going again. Learn from the experience. If you can’t figure out what went wrong, perhaps you can reach out to a mentor or coach to help get some fresh insight.  Sometimes we can’t quite see what happened or what lessons we can learn from an experience.

You may think you’re headed one way, but a setback could give you an idea to change course and head another way. That’s alright too.  You may be enjoying swift success and then experience a dry spell. That’s alright too. Your attitude and perspective are what can help you navigate through any setback or slow time.  Adopting an optimistic perspective is quite helpful too.

You can regain momentum after setbacks by changing your perspective and persisting in your endeavors.  If you run into some challenges and need some clarity, know that there are plenty of people that would be willing to help you get some clarity.  You don’t have to navigate life alone. In fact, as humans, we’re wired for connection, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need.

And, remember that you can experience joy along the journey too. When we get so focused on the end goals, we can get in striving mode. We can get up and fly through the days carrying huge amounts of stress, tying our happiness level to the end goal.

Try to enjoy the journey. Take some time to unwind, rest, and play.  You can keep momentum moving forward in all your endeavors, and learn to enjoy the whole process and journey.

That’s a wonderful goal, so no matter what, go for that kind of life journey.


Photo by Анна Рыжкова from Pexels


5 comments on “How To Regain Momentum After Setbacks Or Failures”

  1. depression
    It sounds great, however, when you are depressed the main you lack is the ability to sometimes even move. I just sit and in despear watch the hours pass.

  2. (No subject)
    I find this page very motivational and I decided to save it so I can go thru it again.

    1. Thank you Coach! Sometimes we all need a little reminder that we are being too hard on ourselves. The trick is not to fall off the horse, but to keep getting back up on it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.