Recovering from a setback



A few weeks ago, I hit a roadblock and it was ugly, dark, and suffocating. I had been working on programming for a *specific client and from what I could tell, all was well. Then the bottom fell out. The client bailed – just disappeared without explanation.


In all of that – I lost my shit – mentally.


I was moody, down, and no fun to be around. I could not get out of my head. I kept replaying a “woe is me” pity tape in my brain. I told myself that I should have done better, done more, and been more discerning on this business project. Self-doubt took all the wind out of my sails and I did not know if I would make it out with my bold mindset intact.


I was a mess.


After two full days of drowning in this cesspool of bleak self-loathing, I stopped. I was done with belly flopping in my over the top mental drama. It was not what I wanted and it definitely did not fit my needs.


Day 1 – of recovery

I exercised. Went to lunch with some friends. Dedicated an hour to writing about anything that crossed my mind. Played with my family, and went to bed early.

Day 2 – of recovery

I got up two hours earlier than usual. I exercised. Wrote some love letters. Dedicated an hour to writing. Cooked dinner with my kids. Went to a program at the library. Had a long talk with my mom.

Day 3 – of recovery

I exercised. Went to a park and wrote for two hours. Bought a new erotic novel and read a bunch of it. Had a picnic dinner with my family. Went to bed early.

Day 4 – I was back to myself


Setbacks are no fun. For the most part, they are messy, distracting, and a complete downer.




If you find yourself blindsided or overcome by a setback, try this process to give yourself some relief:

Acknowledge your feelings and what is happening

You do not have to deny what is going on and how you feel about it. Let those feelings and thoughts flow. If you use a journal, write this information down. If you work with a coach, let her know what is going on. Sharing this information will allow you to expand your perspective about what is happening within and around you. It will also help you let go of constantly blaming yourself.


Take some time to recover

As adults, we are often told to buck up, move on, and get over things. It is important to keep your pity party to a minimum, but giving yourself time to heal and recover allows you to release harmful thoughts and unnecessary stories. This reduces the possibility of these smoothing thoughts showing up later. Give yourself the time you need to recover so you can get back to yourself.


Put your self-love practices into overdrive

When a setback has you feeling down, sad, and unworthy – it is especially important to ramp up your self-love practices. Keep yourself physically healthy, while working on your mental health, by feeding yourself good foods. It is easy to grab the comfort foods, but try to keep this to a minimum. Keep your body moving in a way that is comfortable for you. As you recover from your setback, you do you want to be upset about forgoing your self-love routine, so keep your self-love practices as a high priority.


Spend time with positive people

Setbacks can dampen positive energy. Sometimes it is difficult to reignite our inner flame of positivity. When this happens, it is important to spend time with people who love, support, and encourage you. You do not have to share every detail of the setback, unless you want to, but being with positive people (along with your self-love practices) will help give you the right boost to continue your setback recovery process.


Try again

Go back and look at the goals you set for yourself. Adjust them as necessary and create an updated action plan. Use what you learned from the setback to remain focused and ready to make more informed decisions.

How do you cope with dealing with a setback?

Grab the worksheet for the recovery process.


*Update on the business situation. I spent two full days being down on myself, without any external information. About 6 days after my setback recovery process, the client was back in touch and felt horribly about the lack of communication and stress around the situation. Turns out they had a funding setback and were too embarrassed to share this. Now, we are back working well, and more open with communication on both sides.

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