Whenever we set out to make change in our lives, difficulties are inevitable. Best laid plans fall apart, we get sick, our idea doesn’t work out, we underestimate a need, we show up late, we misunderstand an instruction, we fail to sufficiently prepare, and more. Today’s quote is one we can print and hang up to keep us moving toward our goal when we encounter obstacles. It comes from licensed family and marriage therapist Dr. Debbie Grove, who said, “Accept setbacks as a natural part of the change process; they are bound to happen and are not a sign of failure.”
In other words, even when we are moving in the right direction, we will stumble. This is normal. It is a sign that we are trying, that we are stepping away from our well-trodden path toward something new. Think about the first time you travelled to a new place. You didn’t know the ins and outs of the new locale, so you took wrong turns, said wrong things, wore the wrong clothes, ate at the lousy restaurants, got stuck on crowded roads, and encountered other hiccups. However, if you return to this destination over and year, you become more adept at having a smooth and pleasant visit.
If life feels a bit bumpier than it has in the past, this might be an indicator that you are simply operating in a new sphere. Maybe your children are older, and you are facing new challenges. Perhaps you have taken on a new role and are still trying to figure out what you should be doing. Or maybe a new person has entered your life and you are navigating the best way to relate. Setbacks will enter new situations; however, if we can stay humble, extend grace to ourselves, and seek clarity on why things went wrong, we can then adapt our approach for a better experience in the future.
Have you ever tried to make a change and hit a roadblock? Are you facing something similar right now? How can you encourage yourself to pivot and keep trying?