What do you do with setbacks?

Life is never a straight line from A to Z and progress is not linear. In fact, life is full of ups and downs and very often it’s one step forward and two steps back.

Life is filled with setbacks, but what are you going to do about them? Do you let them drag you back to the very beginning; do you use them as a place to pause, a time to reflect and determine if you are on the right path; or what about a springboard to push you forward towards that dream of yours?

As a mum, a setback can look like the kids being sick and being off school. As an alcohol free mum, a setback could look like a blip, a slip or having a drink. And as someone with big goals and big dreams, a setback can be something that stops you in your tracks altogether.

Times like this are frustrating at best and we can even feel angry. As busy mums we always have a list of things to do and a setback can get right in the way of us achieving even the smallest of our endless list of tasks.

And of course it can pave the way for all the negative self-talk: you would never have done it anyway; you’re never good enough to achieve that; why did you even think that was possible? This is where the really dangerous stuff happens and we can talk ourselves down and talk ourselves out of hopes and dreams. At times, we can decide to throw the towel in altogether.

Very recently I had an accident and hurt my arm. That has put a big pause in my plans. It is a big setback in my workout plans. I really had big dreams for this year. I was going to be the strongest I’ve ever been, the healthiest I’ve ever been and I was going to look the best I’ve ever looked. But this accident has put a major pause in that plan.

I have to admit, I felt the frustration, I felt that anger. My to-do list was thrown right in the air and I can’t achieve even the smallest of tasks. The negative talk was rampant: who did I think I was to dream big like that; I will never be strong; I’ll never look that good; it’s all a waste of time. But then I took the time to stop, to breathe, to journal, to reflect and I’ve realised that this is just a bump in the road. I’ve allowed myself to feel the anger and to feel the frustration, but I’m not allowing myself to wallow in it.

I’ve used my coach, I’ve used the journal and I’ve taken the time to gather up the tools that I have learned along the way and now I’m back. I’ve used this experience to learn, to learn about myself, to recognise I need support and now I am so grateful to realise that I have that in abundance.

If anything, now I see this accident as an experience, not a setback. Yes, there’s still things I can’t do and it’ll be a long time before I’m lifting weights in the gym again, but I am now so much more grateful for what I have. I have a family who have been able to help me and support me. As difficult as it was, I have learned to ask for help and support. I’ve learned that there are things on the to-do list that actually don’t need doing right now or don’t need doing as perfectly as I thought only I could do. I’ve learned to listen to my body, to allow it to heal and I am now so much more grateful for the health and body that I have.

And only with this type of gratitude for myself and for my health do I realise that I AM the strongest I’ve ever been. I AM the healthiest I’ve ever been and I DO look the best I ever have.

If you are on an alcohol free journey and want support, join our free masterclass designed to help you to better understand and navigate your triggers and cravings and take control of your alcohol-free journey. You will also have the opportunity to meet a supportive community of like-minded individuals, engage in open discussions and share insights.

– Gillian

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