Setbacks are a natural propensity in leadership and business development. It would be great if a vaccine provided immunity from potential failures. Until then, we all face challenges that can shake us at our core. Rather than allowing setbacks to halt professional growth, use such experiences as a springboard to manifest influential outcomes. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Failure is not the end, but rather provides an opportunity for significant transformation.


  1. Create a vision board.When obstacles present themselves we often feel stuck, not knowing which direction to take to best support our career aspirations. Vision boards are a good starting point when brainstorming business goals and career aspirations. Vision boards contain images, color, textures, motivational quotes, and other creative imagery. The idea is to create a visual point of reference that can aide decision making and provide motivation.
  2. Outline strengths and weakness. Writing down your current and potential strengths as well as weaknesses that can impact future career endeavors. Doing so outlines areas in your career that may need refinement before setting out to new professional ventures.
  3. Examine what you learned. Not all setbacks are detrimental, yet they all offer an opportunity for growth with experiences to be gained. Determine a particular setback that you overcame in the past. Study how that experience served you, and how a new challenge can again be used as a springboard for personal or professional growth.
  4. What can be done differently? If presented in like circumstances how can things be done differently to yield more positive outcomes? Experience can be a catalyst when faced with challenging situations. Gather positives and negatives lessons learned, determining how they each serve you in reaching career aspirations.

5. Accept outcomes with a positive attitude. It’s not simple to keep a positive attitude after losing a job or being demoted. Yet, it’s crucial to reach a level of acceptance and be receptive to new career opportunities. Sometimes setbacks must occur for business or career leaps to emerge. It is under those difficult circumstances that untapped potentials often surface to light.

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