How to Overcome Setbacks In Life – Hang In There!

In this post I will be explaining to you  how to overcome setbacks in life.

You will also learn what setbacks are, my experiences with them and what to do when the going gets tough. We all go through setbacks in life, but we can all learn some amazing lessons from them. I trust you will enjoy the information I’m sharing about setbacks here.

What are setbacks?

Setbacks are when we fall back into unwanted habits of thoughts, behaviours, actions and attitudes. If perceived “wrongly” they can seem to be insurmountable obstacles which make our lives very difficult. So that’s why I’m going to help you see setbacks in a new light,

How to perceive temporary hitches in a way which will help you overcome them

Instead of seeing these reversals as a problem, we can look at them as if they’re teachers and that’s because they are. They are trying to show us lessons which we haven’t learn’t yet. They will continue to happen until you finally learn from them. Having a negative perception towards setbacks will only prolong them.


Let me give you a example of how we can learn from them.

Let’s say you are focusing on improving your health. You start to eat healthy foods and exercise more regularly, in the first few weeks of this new discipline, it’s running quite smoothly and nothing seems to be getting in the way.

Let’s say that you start to have a few unhealthy meals and skip some sessions at the gym which you know you should be doing. You notice the weight creeping back on, you notice that you’re getting a little bit more out of breath on the treadmill or you cannot lift that extra weight on the bench press.

This annoys you because you know that you should be able to do these things, so you sit down and think about why you have put on weight and are becoming more unfit by the day.

You get it! – It’s the unhealthy eating and the once occasionally but now frequent skips you’re making in regards of going to the gym. So you decide on a plan of action and start to reduce the intake of junk food and up the time you spend exercising.

You now can see that setbacks are just signs showing you of what you’re doing wrong. They’re not out to get you in any way. They are just valuable teachers.

My experience with setbacks

In my experience with setbacks, they happened quite frequently and this was when I was experiencing high anxiety during the road to recovery.

One thing which prolonged my anxiety was the ignorance I had around setbacks, I honestly didn’t know setbacks were expected and because of this I stressed over them and felt guilty for relapsing.

As you can imagine, this only fueled my issues and the lesson kept presenting itself to me in different ways until I learnt that setbacks are expected and sometimes even necessary.

I used an anxiety elimination program called The Linden Method – see my review about it here, to overcome my problems.

Please take note – this is not just about overcoming anxiety dis-order setbacks, it’s setbacks in every area of life.

But you can use the information outlined in this post to help you overcome setbacks and adversity in whatever way it manifests for you.

But for this post, we will use anxiety setbacks as an example and because I as the writer, experienced high levels of anxiety for years and many setbacks, felt defeated but never gave in and overcame it.

This is where I had setbacks during the recovery process. When you have setbacks, it can seem like you have gone back to square one again and at times, it really is easy to believe this.

However, if you see setbacks in a way which can remind you of what you’ve yet to learn about yourself and how they can actually help you then you really do become stronger every time you relapse… if you allow yourself to.

This was definitely true in my journey towards anxiety recovery.

How to overcome them

The way to overcome setbacks really is to just hang in there and push through them. There are many things which you can implement into your life which will help you overcome them.

Image result for accept setbacks

The first thing you can do is just accept that you’re experiencing a setback rather than feeling guilty and frustrated that you have done so. You can also see setbacks in a way that life is telling you to question what is going on, what you’re actually doing, how you’re approaching the challenges of life.

Remember – Feeling guilty and frustrated for allowing yourself to slip back, is completely useless and will only prolong whatever it is you’re trying to overcome.

Again I will remind you that I did this so many times until I learnt the lesson that fighting against setbacks to obstacles is futile.

Another way you can help yourself tackle roadblocks is just to keep chipping away at whatever it is you want to do, become, achieve, overcome, etc.

I like to be as rational as possible when it comes to helping people and the obvious reason is because it’s the most effective. It would be very irrational to give up on what you’re tying to master, overcome, do etc and expect to just overcome issues.

However, it could also mean that you are just trying far too hard in life and by trying hard to overcome issues might actually cause you to fall back into old limited, negative behaviors.

So, it would be very ideal to allow yourself to accept what is, take a break or a rest and then when you have restored your energy, you attempt to overcome the obstacle again but this time without that grim determination, and haste but instead with an understanding, intelligence and a rational approach.

When the going gets tough – Just keep going

Trust me, this is the only rational way to completely move beyond setbacks.

I remember when I was at a very low point in my life and my dad said to me, “just hang in there” – this really resonated with me and I honestly think that this was a trigger which helped me to regain momentum, carry on with The Linden Method and recover.

Keep pushing through and think about the reason WHY you want to push through, what is that driving force of yours aiming for?

There has to be some sort of meaning or purpose as for why you want to overcome your issues or roadblocks.

I had a burning desire, a ridiculous obsession with overcoming my emotional difficulties and I eventually did… you just have to KEEP GOING.

We as humans are very vigilant creatures, we do not give up easily or if we appear to do so on the surface level, we know deep down that we cannot afford to give up and so we push through,.. WE HAVE TO!

We might temporarily give up, but then we soon get back on our two feet and try again, and keep going until we have the breakthrough.

Here’s a classic example – When we were babies, we learnt to walk… can you remember how the walking process went?

I’m sure you can’t but we can understand how it goes when we see other babies attempting to walk for the first time.

It’s a challenging process isn’t it! First they try, then they stumble around and fall over, they might even bump into things and cause themselves to feel pain.

However this doesn’t stop them, they pick themselves up and try again, and keep doing it until they can walk.

They had that vision, they understood that walking is something they must do and they persisted with the practice until they mastered it.

Somehow along the way, we lost our natural ability to handle obstacles. It is as if we have allowed ourselves to be programmed with the mentality of  “Well I must give up now that I have had a setback”.

It is that natural ability we had as infants which we need to relearn in the faces of life’s challenges.

I am certain that you have gained some helpful insight from this post and you now have the knowledge of what to do and what to expect during relapses.

Please feel free to leave a comment in the section below if you have any questions or experiences about dealing with adversity. I would love to hear them.

Don’t forget to share this article with anyone who you think would benefit from it. Until next time =)

Peace & Love



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Lawrence Gregory

Hi I'm Lawrence. I write about what has helped me overcome anxiety, remove negativity, deal with obstacles, experience more happiness and build empowering habits! I write with honesty and with readers in mind so you'll never see me share something I don't think is helpful. If it has benefited my life then you'll see that information on here. If it hasn't then you won't see it on here, it's as simple as that!

Reader Comments

  1. Chiqui

    Hi there! This is a really wonderful post and I think I can relate to what you used to feel, because I’m a perfectionist (still am quite a bit!) and whenever something doesn’t go my way I beat myself up pretty hard. I’ve never heard of the Linden Method before, I might just try checking this out.

    I think I’m getting a bit better in taking things easy and not letting setbacks get in my way nowadays, and what you said about looking at setbacks as a hint of what you’re doing not so well makes a lot of sense. Wonderful post!

  2. Chase

    Wow man, this post is honestly very helpful to those who may need a little extra pushing to get through their issues. I enjoyed hearing about your experiences because let’s be honest, it’s much better when you can relate with someone, especially the person giving help.

  3. Kenny Lee

    When life pushes down, and it certainly will, it’s up to us to stay down or stand up stronger. Setbacks are signs that there are lessons that we have yet to learn or refuse to learn. We can do a self-reflection and take the appropriate action. Staying down is not an option.

  4. Helen Doyle

    Lawrence, I am not a negative person and am usually bursting with energy, pursuing my goals in life. Lately I am getting a bit down at times because my partner has become extremely negative and his vibes are affecting the atmosphere in the whole house. I support him as much as possible but he is doing nothing to help himself. And unfortunately he won’t expend any energy to read this post.

    But I have read it and I am going to rethink how I look at things and get my sunny disposition back. So thanks a great deal for this post.


    • Lawrence Gregory

      Hey Helen

      I understand what you mean, unfortunately the only way your partner can change is if he decides to help himself.

      Nothing else will work. I remember people telling me to just get a grip and stop the negativity, but it didn’t make any difference until I had a realization that I was the one who could change things.

      You could start telling him that if he really wants to change for the better, then only he can do it.

      Thanks =)

  5. Billy

    Great website. Many people need to see your site Lawrence.

    I love this quote:l

    When something bad happens you have three choices:
    1. Let it define you.
    2. Let it destroy you.
    3. Let is strengthen you.

    I always choose number 3.

    I also have a tattoo of the serenity prayer. Words to live by.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. John

    Definitely have a bunch of setbacks man and it’s almost like you don’t realize it until you hear it from someone else. Thanks to the world wide web, I found this post and thanks to you, I can see what I’m doing wrong. Thanks for this man!

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