As much as we try to avoid them, setbacks are an inevitable part of life. These difficulties are universally experienced, whether they be a failed exam, a job interview that didn’t go so well, or a relationship that unfortunately went south.
It’s in our nature to hate these setbacks, mainly because they make our lives more challenging and more painful than it already is. How many times have you cried yourself to sleep after being turned for a role that you applied for? Or after being rejected by someone that you saw a future with?
Setbacks are undoubtedly one of the most heartbreaking things that we’ll ever experience. But they’re also necessary and are the only way to get through life.
Here are three reasons why experiencing setbacks is important.
1. Setbacks Instill Resilience and Determination
More often than not, going through setbacks instills in us resilience and determination, both of which will come in handy when we’re pursuing our goals. In particular, these values would be incredibly helpful when things in life don’t go our way, as they so often do.
When a person is resilient, it means that rather than dwell on failure, they perceive it as a fresh opportunity instead. After acknowledging the situation and figuring out what went wrong, they charge ahead learning from their mistakes but not allowing these to hold them back from confidently moving forward.
2. Setbacks Give Valuable Insight
It may be painful to reflect on setbacks; however, these provide clues and give valuable insight into why things aren’t working out the way we want them to be. For instance, failing an exam may mean that we didn’t study hard enough or not landing the job may mean that our interview skills should be improved.
Human nature spurs us to ignore setbacks and pretend like they never happened, but analyzing them actually ensures that they never occur again. Only through acknowledging what went wrong will we learn from our mistakes, which, in turn, guarantees that we won’t go through the same thing twice.
3. Setbacks Teach You Patience
Accepting rejection isn’t easy, especially if we genuinely wanted whatever it was that we were aiming for. But just because we didn’t get what we want now doesn’t mean that our future no longer has it in store for us. Setbacks are often mere chances for us to step back and re-evaluate the situation so that we can come back to it stronger and better prepared.
“No doesn’t mean ‘never,’ it means ‘not now,’” says Dambisa Moyo, the renowned global economist and author. “Young women and men get heavily discouraged by someone telling them ‘no’ and I think we don’t do a good job as a society at giving constructive feedback to different people so that they’re not discouraged forever.”
She further explained that “People should not be discouraged because they got a ‘no.’ It just means that they might have to work harder or differently to build the skill base so that they are much more competitive when they are considered for the next role or the next opportunity that they are pursuing.”
It can be tempting to ignore setbacks, given how difficult and painful they are. However, they’re incredibly important – without them, we wouldn’t be able to learn valuable lessons that will ultimately help us get through life and reach success.