10 things successful people do when they experience a setback in life, according to psychology

Life is full of challenges. What sets some people apart is how well they handle it.

So how do successful people bounce back from such setbacks? Do they have a secret formula?

Well, the truth is, they simply know some psychological tricks that help them handle these challenges effectively.

They tend to approach setbacks with a different mindset, viewing them as opportunities rather than obstacles.

How successful people handle setbacks

According to psychology, there are key traits that successful people exhibit when they encounter setbacks in life. Here are some of the common signs:

  1. Embracing the failure: Successful people don’t shy away from their failures. Instead, they accept them and use these experiences as lessons.
  2. Persistent optimism: Even when the chips are down, successful people maintain a positive outlook and believe in their ability to bounce back.
  3. Resilience: They have the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties without allowing setbacks to hinder their progress.
  4. Solution-focused: Instead of dwelling on the problem, successful individuals immediately start looking for solutions and ways to improve.
  5. Seeking support: They understand the value of seeking advice and support from mentors or peers when faced with challenges.
  6. Continuous learning: Every setback is viewed as an opportunity to learn something new and make better decisions in the future.
  7. Adaptable: Successful people are flexible and able to adapt to new situations or changes that come their way.
  8. Self-reflection: They take the time to reflect on what went wrong and how they can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
  9. Persistence: Even after a setback, successful individuals persist until they achieve their goals.

Setbacks, for them, are not a sign of permanent failure, but a temporary detour on the road to success. Adopting these traits can help anyone turn their setbacks into comebacks.

Understanding these traits can provide valuable insights into how you can better handle your own setbacks.

If you want to adopt these traits, read more for an in-depth explanation of how you can do just that!

1) They embrace failure

Successful people perceive failure differently.

Instead of seeing it as a dead end, they view it as an integral part of the journey towards success. They understand that setbacks are not a reflection of their abilities but rather an opportunity to learn and grow.

This approach allows them to face challenges head-on, learn from their mistakes, and use these experiences to fuel their future endeavors.

2) They adopt a growth mindset

Perhaps one of the most significant psychological concepts that successful people adopt is the ‘Growth Mindset,’ a term coined by psychologist Carol Dweck.

This mindset is characterized by the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, hard work, and the right strategy.

When faced with a setback, individuals with a growth mindset don’t see it as a limit to their potential but rather an opportunity to learn, adapt, and grow.

They understand that progress involves setbacks and that these challenges are steppingstones to becoming better at what they do.

3) They become resilient

Successful people are resilient. They have the ability to quickly recover from difficulties and setbacks.

They don’t dwell on problems; instead, they focus on solutions and move forward with determination and tenacity.

4) They seek help

Contrary to the belief that successful people do everything on their own, they often reach out to others for support during setbacks.

They understand the value of diverse perspectives and aren’t too proud to seek advice or assistance.

This willingness to learn from others is a key factor in their ability to overcome challenges and continue moving forward.

5) They acknowledge pain

pic3414 10 things successful people do when they experience a setback in life, according to psychology

Success doesn’t numb the sting of setbacks.

Even the most accomplished individuals feel the blow of failure deeply. They don’t sugarcoat their disappointment or pretend it’s all fine.

They allow themselves to feel the pain, process it, and then use it as fuel to push harder and strive for success with even greater determination.

6) They practice self-compassion

Successful people practice self-compassion, especially during setbacks.

They don’t berate themselves for mistakes or failures; instead, they treat themselves with kindness, understanding that everyone stumbles at times.

This attitude helps them maintain their self-esteem during tough times and encourages them to keep striving for their goals without being too hard on themselves.

7) They persist

Just like anyone else, successful people face moments of doubt and uncertainty.

However, what sets them apart is their unwavering persistence. Even when things don’t go their way, they continue to push forward, knowing that setbacks are just temporary roadblocks on the path to achieving their dreams.

This determination is something we can all aspire to emulate in our own lives.

8) They celebrate the small wins

Successful people understand the importance of celebrating small victories, especially during challenging times.

They know that setbacks can be disheartening, so they make it a point to acknowledge every little progress or success, no matter how small.

This not only boosts their morale but also keeps them motivated and ready to tackle bigger challenges with a smile.

After all, every cloud has a silver lining!

9) Taking responsibility

Successful people don’t play the blame game. When they experience setbacks, they take full responsibility for their actions and the subsequent results.

It’s not about self-punishment, but about owning their mistakes and learning from them. They understand that pointing fingers and making excuses won’t get them any closer to their goals.

In the end, you’re the captain of your own ship, and it’s up to you to steer it in the right direction.

10) Never giving up

Above all, the most crucial trait that successful people exhibit when faced with setbacks is their undying determination to never give up.

They understand that the path to success is often littered with obstacles, but they remain steadfast in their pursuit of their goals.

They keep trying, learning, and improving, regardless of the challenges they face.

This relentless spirit is what ultimately leads them to success. 

Embracing setbacks as stepping stones

As we’ve explored, setbacks are not roadblocks but stepping stones on the path to success.

Each of these points is a testament to the strength, resilience, and determination that successful people demonstrate when faced with challenges.

Remember, setbacks are not indicators of permanent failure. They are simply detours that provide an opportunity for growth and learning.

The journey might be tough and filled with obstacles, but as long as you never give up, success will always be within reach.

Because success is not just about reaching your goals, it’s also about how you handle the bumps along the way.

So the next time you face a setback, remember that it’s not a roadblock, but a steppingstone.

Keep trying, keep learning, and, most importantly, never give up.

Picture of Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling

Ethan Sterling has a background in entrepreneurship, having started and managed several small businesses. His journey through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship provides him with practical insights into personal resilience, strategic thinking, and the value of persistence. Ethan’s articles offer real-world advice for those looking to grow personally and professionally.

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