Setbacks Suck: 10 Simple Ways to Bounce Back
They say there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.
I’d like to add one more to that: failure.
Like death and taxes, failure is guaranteed in your life. Some people experience few, if any, set backs. Others experience enough failures for ten people. Setbacks may come sooner than later, and they may come fast and furious.
You might be the type of person where failure rolls right off your back. In no time you are back in the ring. For others, setbacks may cause a different reaction–one that is painful and hard to get over.
Well, real estate is full of setbacks. From something minor, like the rejection in cold calling, to something major, like the entire collapse of your greatest deal ever, you will suffer setbacks.
So the question is not when will setbacks occur? But how will you respond when they occur? With that in mind I want to share 9 techniques that have helped me in my 20 plus career to deal with both minor and major setbacks.
1. Accept it.
Your first reaction when a deal falls apart might be to fight tooth and nail to keep it together. You may resort to screaming, cussing or throwing things. You might not sleep that night and even skip a meal or two.
That’s fine: you are in the fight mode.
But if things aren’t coming together after a day or two, then determine when you can wave the white flag and just accept the fact that this is a setback.
Why is it important to do this? Simple: nothing in this life is worth losing your peace over. Sure, it sucks to lose a deal, lose a client or lose money. But it will happen to everyone. Even you. Don’t let the setback eat you alive.
2. Think about people in a worse situation.
My wife and I have gotten into the habit of reminding each other of what is truly important in the world: each other, our children, family and friends. If I’ve suffered a severe business setback she’s quick to point out that it could be worse: one or both of our children could have a life threatening disease.
That’s a sobering thought, especially since there are thousands of parents who’s children are threatened by a disease. Just visit any children’s hospital.
In order to keep things in perspective, Tim Tebow will spend time after every game with a child or teenager with a disability. That can certainly take the sting off a loss, but it also grounds the QB from getting a big head when he gets a win.
3. Relish it.
Failures are great opportunities to learn. They are the only moment in your real estate career that will allow you to look back and carefully examine what went wrong–and then to figure out how to make it better.
Besides, when was the last time you learned anything from a success? Chance is probably low.
Furthermore, some people have said that ten failures equals one success. In other words, you’ll experience ten setbacks before each success. That means it’s better to hurry up and get all the failures out of the way so you can get to your success.
There certainly isn’t any scientific evidence to back this up, but there is some truth in it. It’s another way of saying “you can make your own luck.”
4. Read something inspiring.
Bouncing back isn’t always that easy, though. And even when we do get ourselves out of the pit, we can find our minds wandering back into an hour later.
To help combat negative thoughts that creep back in, and the havoc they can create, keep a book of inspirational quotes near by. Or read a book about how somebody overcame a truly difficult challenge. Most biographies these days are in this category.
5. Talk to someone positive.
Another way to pull yourself back from a failure is to get around positive people.
Invite them out for a dinner and drink. Ask them if it is okay if you tell them what is bothering you. If they give you the go ahead (good friends always will) spend no more than five minutes dumping.
Once you’ve purged that, then don’t return to that topic. It helps getting that out of your system. But it gets toxic if you keep revisiting it. Ask your friends to hold you accountable for not re-visiting it.
6. Watch something funny.
If circumstances don’t allow you to get around someone positive, jump online and watch a couple of funny videos. Go to sites like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Funny or Die or Saturday Night Live. Laughing is a great way to help shift you out of a dark mood and into a more light-hearted mood.
7. Never live with regrets.
Sometimes failure is in our control…other times it is out of our control. If you are at fault–or at least partly at fault–then it helps to know and recognize that so you can improve and hopefully not fail again.
Sometimes, though, there is nothing you could’ve done, so the failure is not your fault.
Either way, don’t live with regrets. If you committed a royally stupid mistake, accept it, relish it and don’t regret it. Laugh at it if you can. It was a great learning lesson. Be grateful you got to learn and nothing worse happened (something worse can always happen).
8. Move on.
Financial setbacks send me into a black hole. I don’t know what it is, but all my wife needs to do turn my bright day into a dark day is to say we don’t have enough money for something.
Now, I’m talking about essential stuff. This doesn’t happen when I wish for a new moped and she says, nope, cash is not available. It happens when we get the bill for the emergency room visit. Or even when a client drops me.
I go dark.
One lesson that I’ve learned in my nearly 50 years of life is that I have to literally get up and change my situation. If someone emails me and says they don’t need me anymore, then I have to get up and engage one of the activities above, namely accepting.
9. View it as an opportunity.
Today’s setbacks are tomorrow’s opportunities.
Do you remember those opportunities that you had to decline because you were too busy? Follow up on them. Perhaps you can now use the time to pursue another project.
10. Create a worst-case scenario plan.
Expect it. Good planning and goal-selecting always includes a portion of worst-case scenario thinking. This is a tactic that corporations use [probably not nearly as much as they should], and that we can use, too.
A worst-case scenario plan is preemptive. You are not waiting for the setback to occur. You are planning for it. That kind of thinking will get far because when you are blindsided, you can respond with a set of rules in place once you get your bearings.
In other words, a worst case scenario plan will soften the blow. You saw it coming. It came. Now you are responding.
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