“Why do we fall?” – 4 Ways to Deal with Setbacks

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Dieser Tage löse ich meinen allerersten auf WordPress betriebenen Blog auf, den ich damals unter dem Namen "Batrepreneur" (Batman+Entrepreneur) im Sommer 2013 ins Leben gerufen habe. Der Blog, der sich im Kern mit den Themen Entrepreneurship, Online Marketing und Blogging befasst hat, bietet auch einige Querverweise zum Thema Sales. Meine sechs spannendsten und für die Leser wertvollsten Beiträge aus meinem alten Blog möchte ich hier noch einmal auf Sales Pitch veröffentlichen. Dieser Beitrag handelt von 4 Wegen mit Rückschlägen umzugehen:

4 Ways to deal with setbacks

Master-mind Christopher Nolan aka the reinventor of the Dark Knight, wrote fantastic dialogues throughout the whole Batman triology. One of them is going through all movies like a red string and is therefore one the most important ones.

The first time this specific dialogue appears it at Batman Begins, when in a flashback Bruce was falling as a child into a deep fountain. His father is slowly coming down with a rope to rescue his visibly scared son. He asks him:

„Why do we fall?“

On their way back up to Wayne manor, the house of the Wayne family, his father Thomas is telling him that the reason is „so we can learn to pick ourselves up.“.

[youtube height=“HEIGHT“ width=“WIDTH“]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LstIgtkEe50[/youtube]

What this quote has to do with entrepreneurship? Frankly, (almost) everybody that is an entrepreneur – or someone that is dealing with setting up a business – will go through a lot of exhausting and challenging times. Sooner or later they have to deal with personal setbacks or failure – it’s as inevitable as the AMEN in the church.

One might also say that arranging and overcoming setbacks has become part of entrepreneurial nature. You can also assume that some of them will see it as part of an enterpreneurial lifestyle. To change and to push borders forward as long as they can. Until they reach the point where they have to show mental strength and willingness in order to continue.

There may be some who enjoy this kind of suffering. That they want to feel the challenge and embrace this moment when they are turned with the back on the wall. Where their pain becomes an engine to go on and to prove that they are not willing to give up no matter what obstacles are crossing their ways.

What happend to Bruce Wayne?

There are different ways in comics and movies that describe how Bruce Wayne became Batman. Personally, I can recommend to purchase Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One that illustrates very precisely the youth of Bruce Wayne. In my opinion this displays very well how his parents were murdered and how he became the symbol that criminals fear.

The approach of Bruce Wayne on how to deal with the massive setback of trying to overcome the death of his parents is a process that is well worth giving it a closer look. Of course it is in no perspective to the „normal“ setbacks that we discuss and face in this post.

Through many years Bruce was dealing with despair, fear and the question if he could have prevented his parents death. Those adolescent years were shaping his mind into a negative spiral until he decided to deal with it, faced the truth and his fears. He fought actively against crime and injustice – sources for his former and current pain. It became his engine and spirit to save himself in form of saving others.

After all, I still owe you the answer on: How to deal with Setbacks? Here is my little guidance with 4 ways how you can overcome setbacks.

Setbacks are not Failures

First, I want to make this point clear. The reason is that people are often talking about failure and setbacks in the same breath, whereas to me it is just a matter of perspective. A setback is an uncomfortable moment that forces us to start with something all over again. Maybe to rethink issues or to do things where you have no clue how or if they work out at the end of the day.

Failure is a bit like an extreme form of a setback. Failure can be regarded as the acknowledgement to lose. To not achieved. Not accomplished. That you were not able to get the job done. Thomas Edison had over 10.000 setbacks before he succeeded in making an electric light bulb that worked. If he had described any of his setbacks as a failure, it would have been a totally different story that we would remember today.

1. Expect it

Before actual setbacks are happening you would doing good with slowing down your expectations. Do you remember that one christmas present you urgently wanted to have and then when you eventually had it you were disappointed by it? It is the same pattern.

Also as an entrepreneur you will have high expectations regarding your latest projects. Traffic, Followers, Reputation, Success. The best way to cope with those things is „baking small buns“ and give a natural room for setbacks that everyone of us has to face sooner or later.

2. Endure it

Some setbacks are heavier than others. They let you query whether this current obstacle might be to high for you. In those moments, when your patience and motivation is on the bottom-line, you have to persevere it!

Endure the setbacks and let the time pass to get the energy jumping over the border. Afterwards you will look at it and realize that you can be proud of yourself that you kept going on.

3. Maintain Perspective

It’s in the human nature that we always regard our issues as the most difficult ones we have ever faced. The truth is that we also had to deal with it in the past. Just that they looked different. Do you like to think back about exames in school? You wondered how you handled them with almost no preparation? At least that’s what it feels to me. Things have been already tough in the past – just that our mind is pushing those memories aside.

Another point is to maintain the relation between our issues and other ones. Sometimes we have no look for how good we can live and under which circumstances we were born. Acknowledging this can help to feel a bit more composed when having „meaningless“ issues.

4. Learn from Setbacks

As everything in life we can use stebacks to learn for the future. Trial and error is an integral part of the whole entrepreneurial learning process. As pointed out in the steps before we should look at setbacks as opportunities from which you can learn and strengthen yourself for future issues that are inevitable to come.

You can’t change upcoming problems. But you do can frame your mindset to stay positive. Keep moving forward when you are facing issues and take a learning effect out of every situation.


This post was published October 9, 2013.

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