How to Bounce Back from Anything

How to recover from any setback life may throw at you.   

By Henry Adeleye on December 5, 2014 


Not even the most successful and well-off people can go through life without some sort of setback.  Bad relationships, loss of loved ones, or even falling short of expectations can make some of the strongest people become weak in the knees.  People are not judged by what they encounter, however.  They are judged by how they react to what they encounter.  That's a famous quote from somewhere, in case you were wondering.  So, how do you get back on track to achieve incredible happiness?  Funny you should ask.  The following steps are just what may help.     


1.  Take away the emotion.   

Don’t amplify your situation into something it isn't.  Things are never as bad as they seem.  One way to do this is to ask yourself, "Did I survive?".  9 times out of 10, if you can read this, the answer is, "yes".  Once you've come to that point, you can accept the problem for what it is and hit it head on.   


2.  Throw away wishful thinking. 

While you don't want to make something more than what it is, you still want to accept that the problem does in fact exist.  Wishful thinking never really got anyone anywhere.  Problems don't go away on their own.  We often think happiness is something that is supposed to fall out of the sky.  In reality, we have to make an effort to be a happy and positive thinker.  Identify the issue and you can more easily move forward to crafting a solution.   


3.  Focus on the positive. 

Now that you've pulled yourself up by seeking happiness, focus on the good of the situation.  Figure out everything you've gained from this situation and eliminate thinking about what you've lost.  Maybe you gained wisdom and understanding.  Maybe you figured out that guys who only want to "chill" aren't likely to commit and you can more easily spot a setup in the future.  Maybe you realized your strengths having to cope with the loss of a loved one.  Or maybe you've figured out that a career in underwater basket weaving wasn't as feasible as your advisor made it sound, so now you can quit while you're still ahead.    


4.  Realize you're not alone. 

Let's face it, everybody messes up at some point.  And some people who haven't messed up yet will mess up in the future.  Just be glad that you're messing up now when you can do something about it.  Be lucky that you're not one of those other people.   


5.  Find a support system. 

It may seem like the grown up and mature thing to tackle everything on your own, but having a support system of friends and loved ones to help talk through things is a better decision.  Seek the help of trusted people to help give you a different perspective.  Tap into your spirituality if you're a spiritual person.  Find a mentor who's gone through what you're going through and came out on top to let you know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  If all else fails, find professional help to get you out of your rut.   


6.  Be your own best friend. 

While a support system is very important in helping you bounce back, you also need to believe in yourself.  What would you tell a best friend going through the same situation as you?  Whatever that is, tell it to yourself.   


7.  Find a new plan A. 

When all else fails, sometimes you may have to make a change.  If you've exhausted all your energy into a relationship that doesn't work, move on.  There are always new and better opportunities to partake in.  When your plan A fails, don't go for plan B.  Find a new plan A.  Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, didn't realize her calling until she couldn't get into law school.  Now she runs a company that single-handedly changed women's fashion.  Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and the first major investor of Facebook, didn't realize his calling until he was rejected for a Supreme Court clerkship he worked his whole life trying to get.  Take your hardships as a blessing, and press on.