Monday, August 20, 2012

Setback not Set Aside

When planning for success, we all have a plan. Follow those steps and we succeed, or so we think. Yet every plan has unforeseen events and obstacles. They affect our timeline. They alter our moods. They can shake us to the core and leave us in doubt and despair. When it gets really bad, we begin to question if we should still pursue our goal at all.

There is a difference between a setback and setting aside a goal all together. A setback is an obstacle  you can get around. It requires rethinking, regrouping and altering your plan. Setting aside your goal requires giving it up and making the decision not to pursue it at all, or to put it on hold for a while. Only you know how you can proceed because every situation is difficult.

The key is not to set it aside unnecessarily. Many times, people who don't share your vision will encourage you to set your goal aside. They will tell you it's not worth pursuing. I choose not to listen to people who never believed in me or my goal in the first place. Instead, I seek the advice of those who know me and what it is I'm trying to do. People who can be honest and balanced. Maybe the timing isn't right and I should put it aside for a minute. Maybe my approach was wrong. Regardless, I have to figure it out before I move on, if I decide to move on.

There are other times when setting a goal aside is the best approach. There have been times when a plan hasn't come together and I look at it and see the frustration, the challenges, the effort. In a couple of cases, I realized that I was doing what I thought I should do and my heart was never in it or that my actions were motivated by fear. In those cases, it is best to put the goal aside... permanently.

Other times, I have looked at my goal and realized that, right now, I didn't have the knowledge, the resources or the money to make it happen. In those cases, I might put my goal aside ... temporarily,  while I work through my issues. When I have gotten the knowledge, the resources and/or the money, I'll try again.

Setbacks are part of success. The key to overcoming a setback is to have the ability to bounce back. Surround  yourself with people who believe in you, read books and listen to music that encourages you and, for goodness sake, be gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up or putting your mistakes on an endless loop never helps. Once you are over the initial disappointment and the waves of frustration begin to ebb, you can start planning your comeback.

If you decide to set your goal aside, realize that there will be a period of mourning. The death of a goal or dream is a death and should be treated as such. Give yourself time and don't immediately go out and try to replace the dream with another. Also, remember your decision to set your dream aside is your decision. It isn't your spouse's, your friend's, your business partner's but yours. Do not set your dream aside because someone else thinks you should. Do it because you think it is best for you. Once you let yourself mourn and come to peace with your decision, you can begin searching for a new dream. Most of the time, one will come to you.

Setback or set aside, it's up to you.

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