Setbacks vs. Endings, It's a Choice


Last week, I sprained my calf pretty badly. I've been going to the gym 3x a week over the past month in an effort to get out of my office, get stronger (hello 45!) and just to take good care of me.

This is not some weird pitch. I promise.

When you work for yourself, it can be easy to WORK. FOR. YOURSELF. Meaning: work all the time and get very laser focused on that goal. I tend to be pretty Type A and when I'm in, I am ALL IN. But...anyone who crosses 40 can tell you, that your body will not tolerate it for long.

So. The gym. I joined. I got a trainer. I made choices so I would not hurt myself. And to my absolute surprise, I LOVED it.

Is it an ending or merely a setback?

And then last week, on my way home from the gym I felt a sharp pain in my leg, that at first I thought was a cramp. Pro-tip: do not stretch and massage a torn muscle.

I ended up in the emergency room on Monday night in tears. And let me tell you, I am not a crier. The doctor told me I had torn a vestigial muscle in my leg. Grrrreat!

I wasn't crying because of the pain (no, I'm blessed with a very high pain threshold. Yay?), I was crying because I was worried that something I had worked really hard for was now off limits. For good. That's immediately where my brain went.

But the reality is, this is just a set back. That's it.

This is such an old fear for me. Have you felt this kind of fear? When something goes wrong you believe that's it. It's all over. Forever. When you lay it out like that, it's a bit dramatic, but it's so very real in that moment.

I've seen this in my own business and with those that I work with. When something goes wrong or doesn't work as we planned, our lizard brain kicks into over drive. Telling us everything is terrible, and it's all over, that's it! The gig is up! We're found out. Time to pack it in.

This is a self fulfilling prophecy, though.

If you believe something is not going to work, then it won't. (Cue Henry Ford quote: "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right.")

[clickToTweet tweet="It's up to us to decide when something is a make or break moment. Is it a set back or an ending? You choose." quote="It's up to us to decide when something is a make or break moment. Is it a set back or an ending? You choose."]

It's up to us to decide when something is a make or break moment. Is it a set back or an ending? You choose.

If we live in that knee jerk instinct of "this won't work" we tend to nurture failure by not doing the hard work to ensure success.

And I tell you this, because I've been there. Many times.

Today you may not have a big following online. You may not have a super engaged email list. You may not be known in your industry. You may not be making the sales you hoped for.


These are all "yets."

If you put in the work, learn from your setbacks, continue to get better, and use all of these experiences to inform your decision making, you will progress. And that's why it's so important to make plans, set goals, and really work to get a strategy in place for your business. (A great goal setting book I read recently is The 12 Week Year.)

Don't let a setback define your entire experience as a business. Acknowledge it. Learn from it. And keep moving forward.

(And btw, I went back to the gym yesterday after being away for just 2 days! Because there was no way I was going to let this new, awesome experience be an ending.)