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Week 20 - 5 steps to overcome setbacks

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

David Edwards here with HVASF and your Video Insights for week 20.  Your affirmation this week is: “I recover quickly from setbacks and failures because I learn from them and am wiser the next time.” We have established in prior insights, and you recognize from your own life, that setbacks are inevitable.  This affirmation confirms your capacity to recover quickly from setbacks, and I outline 5 steps that can help you learn and recover more quickly.  I wish I had known this much earlier in my own life and career and am thrilled to share with you here.  

  1. Replay the experience in your mind.  It is important to separate the experience from your emotions regarding the experience.  You may have to hash out the emotions first, then as the old TV detective used to say, “just the facts”.  

  2. Write or describe the experience out loud.  If you have someone you can trust to not judge you and to listen neutrally this is a great chance to clarify events in your own mind by involving the additional physical and verbal centers of the brain.  Remember to avoid anger or criticism, those both block your creativity and connection to the executive centers of your brain.  

  3. What can you learn from this now that you have thought and written or described it?  

  4. Imagine in your mind your ideal way that you could have responded.  The use of your imagination uses additional high-functioning areas of the brain and allows you to re-write an experience in a more positive and creative way.  Here it is useful to imagine the scene with full emotion and as many senses as you can – how did it feel?  

  5. Finally rehearse the new better response in your mind.  This reinforces the more effective response as your default response.  

Learning comes through four primary ways:

  • through formal lessons,

  • from examples of others including mentors,

  • from both formal and informal feedback,

  • and from your own lived experience.

This last way requires a certain amount of self-reflection and taking time to change the default thinking of “why me” to the forward moving thinking of “what can I learn”.

Having taken the time to learn from experience you are wiser.  Wisdom differs from knowledge in that it includes the thoughtful or intentional use of knowledge.  This should fill you with greater confidence that in the same or similar circumstances you could respond better.  The beauty of this approach is that it works in both positive and negative situations, both provide learning opportunities that build your competence and your confidence.  

Now, have fun with this week’s affirmation!  Please share any insights you might have or have gained on our Facebook page so that others in the community can benefit from your insights.  Thank you for spending these few minutes with me – have a great week!  


HVASF provides an automatic, small, daily dose of motivation that you don’t have to do anything to get except what you likely already do – turn on your phone.  With this daily "vitamin for your mind” you develop foundational concepts and skills to help you overcome setbacks and accomplish your goals.  Click here to find out more

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