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Setbacks make you stronger

19 August 2020

In every career there are going to be setbacks.  Times when things don't go according to plan.

Sometimes these setbacks are big - you don't get a job you wanted; you get a terrible new boss; your job is made redundant. 

More often the setbacks you will face in your career are smaller - a project you wanted to work on doesn't go ahead; a great boss moves to a different department; a meeting you lead is a waste of time.

These smaller setbacks are an ideal opportunity to develop your skill at better dealing with the bigger ones, not just in a resilient fashion, but in an anti-fragile way that makes you stronger as a result of the setback.

There are three great questions to ask yourself every time a challenge occurs.  These questions can help you view any setback as a growth opportunity. 

  • What did I do well in this situation?  List at least 3 things.
  • What did I learn as a result of this situation?  There is always learning...
  • What will I now do to get better?  List at least 3 things, then determine the #1 thing to do.

In fact, don't just wait for something to go wrong.  To be super anti-fragile use these questions to reflect on your performance on an ongoing basis.

Practice with the little things because bigger setbacks are a natural part of any normal career.

As always wishing you a flourishing career.


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