Dealing with life’s little setbacks – what’s really important?

04 May 2017 | Naomi Marshall

Life’s little setbacks are part of life. How we pull through is often what we can learn from and grow from. Recently I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. It’s a condition in which the immune system attacks your own thyroid. There are a host of symptoms, none of which I even got except for a bit of weight gain.
Now you might be wondering why on earth I would share this with you? Well firstly, it’s apparently quite common so I doubt I’m delivering any earth shattering news and it’s also very treatable. There are probably quite a few of you reading now who either have it too or another autoimmune disease.

The reason I’m opening up about this is to discuss how one manages life’s little setbacks. Whether it’s with your heath, your work, relationships or simply a bad string of events.
Now I know that everyone is different, and of course there are setbacks that can literally drop you to the ground however, I believe that there are a couple of things that you do to help pull you through.

1. Get educated! In my case I needed to read – and read I did. I knew absolutely nothing about the condition and that in itself was dangerous. I spoke to my doctor, asked friends if they knew other people with it and also booked myself into see a few health professionals who could give me the facts.
The same goes for recruitment. If you are looking for a job, then educate yourself in terms of how to run the process, how to interview, clean up your CV, buy a new outfit and get a haircut. If you don’t know the good things about ‘you’ and why an employer should hire you then how are they supposed to know?! You are your own brand ambassador. Be ready with your answers – practice with a friend if you feel the need.
2. Stay positive and be grateful – Yes initially I’ll be honest in saying I freaked out a bit ‘what?? I need to go onto medication?! For life?! I need to give up a tonne of foods and change my lifestyle (apparently I rush too much – the life of a driven recruiter is a constant state of rush – goodness knows how I’m going to change that!). But when that settled down I stopped and drew breath – I realised that it could be a whole lot worse. I’m not dying. I can manage this. I must continue to be grateful for the good things and not focus on the negative.

In the land of trying to find a new job, the same applies. Yes it might be tough and there are many setbacks for some but if you arrive at an interview with a negative snipe for every question then trust me, that attitude will show. No employer wants to hire the desperate person. They are looking to hire the motivated, driven, capable and energetic person who will add value to their business. Hiring staff is expensive. They want solutions – provide them with one.

3. Keep moving forward – If there is one thing I’ve learnt in business (and in life in general) it’s that time does not stop and you can only keep moving forward. Things simply do not stay the same (even though we often want them to). You must keep putting one foot forward and as an old personal trainer used to say as I panted my way around the block ‘chip away, chip away’. He was so right.

They might be small steps but they need to still be forward steps. Do not simply stand still in life. Develop yourself. Ask questions. Ask for feedback. Know who you are and what you are good at. Use your strengths and develop on the areas that you know you can improve on. Do not bury your head in the sand and put things off that you know you must do today. Revel in the satisfaction of being good at some things, and further developing at others. You are never terrible at something, you’re simply going through a training period.
Surround yourself with people who care about you, it really does make the world of difference.
Life might throw some curve balls at you but if you’re mentally ready then you’ll catch them head on. Be ready, stay active and gain excitement from being alert. A little setback is simply a way to force you to acknowledge all the good things in your life that we often take for granted.

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