5 Types of Ordinary Setbacks that Can Lead to Life Lessons.

Life isn’t always peaches and cream. At one point or another everyone experiences frustration when things don’t pan out the way they intended. Instead of letting ordinary setbacks derail your confidence in your decision-making process, take this as an opportunity to dig a little deeper.

Life lessons can be gleaned from everyday road bumps. Frustration is normal, it’s how you handle it that strengthens your character and lets you move forward without repeating past mistakes.

  1. Not Receiving a Job Offer

In any type of situation, rejection is painful, and the professional world is no exception. Not landing a position when you tirelessly prepared for the interview is upsetting. It feels very personal to have been denied an opportunity to prove your worth. Often, the lack of a job offer stems from a fundamental difference identified by the company that precludes you from being the best choice. This is not to say you will not crush it in a similar position, but this one isn’t for you.

Rather than getting bogged down by this rejection, use it as an experience to learn humility from. There is considerable strength in being able to identify professional weaknesses. Projecting strength and confidence will assist you in landing the job of your dreams in the future. Sure, this particular position did not work out, but that isn’t to say no position will. Remember that arrogance should not be mistaken for confidence, and a healthy dose of humility is an admirable trait that’ll make you highly desirable and hirable.

Life Setbacks

  1. Losing a Game of Poker

Poker is never going to go your way 100% of the time. Losing a game can wound your pride, your wallet and your confidence. It’s easy to dismiss the loss as bad luck, but you’re doing yourself a disservice by not re-examining the strategies that lead to this loss. Go back over the game in detail and figure out where you went wrong. This is the difference between professionals and amateurs at the gaming table, the ability to self-reflect. Lee Jones provides a perfect example about how to dig into your poker loss and learn from your mistakes.

The upside of being able to look back at your playing and reflect, is better future performances. Losing teaches inventiveness and creativity. Creativity is what allows you to level up your game and approach each new opportunity with renewed vigor. With this attitude and a desire to learn better gaming habits, a loss becomes a learning experience and not a reason to get upset.

  1. End of a Relationship

Everyone’s been in this less-than-ideal position. Whether you’re the one doing the dumping or you’re on the receiving end, finishing a relationship is painful and often embarrassing. It’s simpler to pretend that you have no culpability, but often this isn’t the case. Whether it was ignoring red flags or refusing to compromise, there is usually something that you did to contribute to the end. Instead of putting your head in the sand, recovering and moving on to the next relationship, examine the specifics of what went wrong.

Don’t let this setback discourage you, embrace the mantra of everything happens for a reason. It ended because this person is not your person. When you do find the love of your life it will be so worth the previous heartbreak. The process of getting to this point will be easier if you can look at the relationship that ended as a stepping stone to better things to come. It’s over, it was meant to happen and now you can move on to a better one.

  1. Failing a Test

Chances are, just like being on the wrong end of a breakup, most of us have taken a test and been slightly horrified by the score. It happens, it’s frustrating and all you can do is move forward. Maybe you blew off studying to catch a game or tried but couldn’t pull through. Regardless, it stinks and puts quite the damper on your self-esteem. Yet there are nuggets of wisdom to be found in even this normal life event.

Hindsight is truly 20/20 and whether or not you knew this would not be your best performance, looking back on your preparedness is the only way to gauge effective study habits. The life lesson to be learned here is to shake off the negative thoughts and start over fresh. Fresh eyes for your next test will help improve your score and a fresh attitude will keep this one exam from bringing you down. Don’t allow this one thing to hinder your happiness any further, release the negativity and move forward with a game plan.

  1. Getting a Speeding Ticket

Another small displeasure one dreads is receiving a speeding ticket. You were late or not paying attention and far surpassed the posted speed limit of the road. Next comes the dreaded red and blue flashers in your review mirror and the mortifying crawl to the side of the road while other luckier commuters continue on their merry way. Then there’s the inevitable interaction with an officer that culminates in a written warning or ticket. Not pleasant and certainly not ideal.

Again, unless you are extremely aware at all times, most will experience this interaction at one point in their life. It’s socially embarrassing and painful to have to pay a fine on top of an already crappy situation. A lesson to be learned here is to remember to slow down and breathe. Saving an extra five minutes on your commute is not worth the pain and suffering of a crash, or even the inconvenience of a ticket. Take your time, learn your lesson and move forward as a more centered and safer individual.

When things don’t go your way, look for the bigger picture takeaway and don’t let one event drag you down. Yes, stuff happens, it doesn’t have to ruin your day or week. If you find the underlying life messages in any situation, and apply them in the future, you’ll be all the better for it.

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