Setbacks are a fact of life. Disappointed dreams, loss and obstacles are common to everyone. The way we handle each of these says something about our character and perspective. Although it is very difficult sometimes to understand why things happen, we can choose why and how we will respond. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused when the going gets rough.

Focus on the process, not the results. Learning is a process. Growth is a process. Both shape our character in ways that don’t always translate quickly into tangible results like promotions, awards or recognition. A process refines who we are and ultimately refines the goals we are working towards. The process of growth often changes our goals and we don’t always see things the same way. Adversity and setbacks happen. If we are too worried about the results, we will miss the growth that comes through rejection and the tenacity and endurance that we build through it.

It’s okay to get upset, but get over it quickly. Setbacks can be discouraging. It’s normal to be upset when things don’t work out. But anger and bitterness only keep us from moving forward. When doors close or you face obstacles, don’t dwell on whose fault it is or how the situation came to be. Instead, get over it so you can get moving again. Disappointment always hurts for a while. The pain is real. But there are other great opportunities out there that you just haven’t seen yet. Getting over the hurt will allow you to move forward and get on with the next thing.

Understand that big goals invite big obstacles. Anything worth doing will require a measure of perseverance. The more challenging your goals are, the more you can expect to meet resistance and obstacles. Don’t expect to climb Mount Everest in a day or without lack of oxygen or food or the danger of freezing. Big goals have big risk and big challenge. The hill in the local park is an easy climb, on the other hand, but has little reward. Most of us will have goals somewhere in between to varying degrees. Whatever yours is, remember that there will be challenge. Don’t give up just because it hurts or gets hard.

Don’t take rejection personally. No one likes to be told no. It hurts. We often think we are better than that or deserve more. However, sometimes there is a legitimate reason we are turned down. We all have blind spots and can’t always see clearly how others perceive us. Keep an open mind toward rejection and learn from it. But also learn to take it with a grain of salt. Learn how to brush it off and realize there will be a better fit elsewhere. Don’t let it keep you from learning, growing and exploring.

Monarch Executives is passionate about helping its associates learn how to manage themselves while also managing a company. Those interested in professional growth and managerial responsibilities should contact our recruiters for more information and to schedule an interview.