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Turning Setbacks Into Success

By Joanne H Garroway

From the time we are babies, we have setbacks: we don’t get fed fast enough or have a wet diaper changed promptly, our frustrations leading to crying and tantrums. Setbacks, disappointments, and obstacles are unavoidable as we progress through life. It is how we handle our setbacks that will determine the results we create. Will they stop us from being successful or are there ways to turn them around to our benefit?

Quitting or Winning
In my office I have the following quote prominently displayed: Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win. How true! When we move out into the world and begin taking risks such as starting relationships or jobs, we may come face to face with obstacles. The intimacy of a growing relationship or the challenges of a new job may force us to examine our fears and “stopping points.” Do we plunge ahead despite our perceived limitations or do we take the easy road and stop? What if we want and choose to continue only to find our self up against a big roadblock that we’re not sure we can overcome? What we do next can influence the whole course of our life to come.

When my husband and I opened our travel agency ten years ago, we were completely gung ho. We knocked on doors, made many phone calls, advertised here and there, and generally threw ourselves into sales and marketing to drum up business. In many ways, we had more “misses” than “hits” like the time we invested a few hundred dollars to host a travel club meeting only to receive one booking, resulting in a financial and emotional loss, or the many times we advertised in different places and never received one phone call.

Sure, we had our bubble burst a lot in those early years of growing a new business. The setbacks were numerous. We both became quite discouraged and frankly, it would have been easy to quit. We came to a crossroad: we could walk away from our financial investment in this business and look for another career or we could learn from our miscues, plot a different approach, and patiently trust we WOULD make a success out of this venture. It took a few years – as many new business owners are told to expect- and happily we went on to build a thriving travel agency.

Setbacks are opportunities to reassess our position. They can be viewed as “tests” to see how committed we are to the end game we’ve planned for. Perhaps we do need to stop and see if the path we’ve chosen is truly the best one for us and it is okay to admit that it may no longer be viable. An honest assessment and decision to stop is not necessarily quitting. On the other hand, a setback can signal that we’ve reached a plateau in our own growth and that to move forward, we need a new approach.

This attitude provides us with a great opportunity. What can I learn or do differently to be successful? You can turn setbacks into success: it comes down to how you choose to view the situation and what actions you take (or don’t take) next.

To learn more about Joanne’s Breakthrough-Coaching programs and to Sign-up for her Free Report, 5 Quick Steps to Greater Abundance, and her Bonus List, 57 Tips for Creating Wealth Today, visit

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