From Setback to Comeback: How to Embrace Failure and Live Forward

Do you know someone who seems to be bulletproof? You know, that friend who takes failures in stride and is always smiling and moving forward in life. How do they do it? You know they’re not immune to setbacks or hardship. But they seem to bounce back so quickly! Life’s inevitable difficulties don’t seem to keep them from living the life they desire.

How does that make you feel? Are you able to do that quick bounce?

That person can be you. Mental resilience is something that can be developed. It’s not a character trait you have to be born with. Every time you suffer some type of loss or failure, you have an opportunity to respond with resilience and emotional control.

Granted, if you have experienced some sort of trauma in your past, this may be harder for you than others, but what you must remember is, it is possible for you! You’re just going to have to do some hard work. Aren’t you used to that?

If that seems impossible for you, here’s something you need to start doing. Never look at a failure as the final result. Don’t let some hardship or difficulty be the final chapter in your story. Or, as famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald said …

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”

That is such a powerful reminder that your outlook is everything. The person with resilience chooses a positive outlook. They understand that negative things will happen in their life. They just don’t allow that to be the end of their journey. My husband often greets people with, “It’s such a beautiful day!” And just as often, people will look at him quizzically. He will go on to explain the reasons why it’s a great day — they’re alive, they’re inside (or outside), and they have a job (he says this to folks at their workplace a lot). He will ask if they have family, or other questions that lead them to see that it truly is a beautiful day. Outlook makes the difference.

The resilient person doesn’t embrace any single failure or loss as the final declaration of who they are.

Just Take One More Step

Resilience means persisting. You keep going. You keep living forward and you view life’s difficulties as nothing more than challenges. You can either become stronger and more capable or allow a defeat or failure to be a statement of who you are. One embraces truth, the other a lie — only you get to choose.

This can seem like simple advice, but in reality, sometimes, the hardship we encounter in life can be truly debilitating. We simply don’t see a way out. The worst of all possible things has happened, and there’s simply no way that we see any good coming from this. You’re in the pit of despair and there’s no ladder.

When this happens, as it inevitably will in life, just take one step forward.

Don’t worry about the end result. Don’t dwell on the outcome or what-ifs. You may be in a terrible situation. If you are, just make one positive movement. Maybe it’s getting dressed for the day. Maybe it’s putting on real shoes. Maybe it’s taking a walk outside. Maybe it’s making that phone call or visiting that person. There’s something positive you can do. You simply have to be determined enough to do it.

Have one positive thought. Move in the direction of the positive outcome. Even if that outcome is miles away, don’t worry about the end result. Just focus on the first step that moves you a little further away from the difficulty you encountered.

Friend, never let any single defeat be your final defeat. The instant you decide to relentlessly live forward, you show the world and yourself that you are a resilient human being. You won’t be kept down for long because your unbreakable mental resolve won’t allow you to be defined by defeat.

Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!