4 Steps to Overcome Setbacks: How to Be an Overcomer Quickly!
We have all heard LIFE happens! Yet, not all of life that happens is desired or pleasant. How I wish life was always a rainbow experience. Instead, we all face difficulties at some point. Situations that arise when we least expect them. The question is: How do we overcome setbacks?
Setbacks can feel overwhelming and seem to control our whole life.
Have you ever had a setback? In…
- weight loss
- you job
- personal plans
- your children
The list of possibilities is endless.
How do we overcome setbacks that hinder progress without letting them hold us back, or worse – spiral out of control?
Today, I’m going to share with you 4 important steps to overcome setbacks, including how to be an overcomer quickly and even be glad they happened!
We’re going to learn how to overcome setbacks quickly and without regret!
Yes – setbacks can be the greatest gift in your life. And I will show you why.
What is a Setback?
What is a setback? It’s an interruption or a reverse in progress.
Moreover, they usually come unannounced or unappreciated. But they can be the best learning opportunities in life – IF we know how to learn from them.
I have had many setbacks in life:
- Physically – when my weight was going up again and I felt helpless
- Professionally – when we experienced job loss
- Personally – when our house burned and we lost our precious keepsakes
- Emotionally – when my mom died, when I was depressed
- Spiritually – when our church imploded with hate
- Relationally – when we had cancer in our family
Some of these were in my control, but most of them weren’t.
Why me? Why me Again!
This may be the first question we ask when difficulties occur. While some are within our control, often setbacks are the fault of someone else or even circumstances out of any human being’s control.
We have spiritual enemies of the cross of Christ, whose god is their appetite and whose end is destruction. (See Philippians 3:18-19) That destruction and overflow of devastation can affect your life as well. Sometimes we get rained on when we least expect it.
Check out this video on how I was able to overcome setbacks – and how you, too, can do it!
Pity or Praise?
When I first started this ministry, I had the most incredible friend that helped me digitally. She was a great asset to putting together videos and graphic design. She was such an important person in my ministry and a tremendous blessing.
However, all of a sudden, she had to end her career working with me because of family obligations. I understood her decision, but it slammed me with a huge blow spiritually and financially. I pretty much vanished off the scene. I didn’t think I could even continue and make the ministry successful without her expert design work and, most importantly, her friendship.
After several years of struggling with this business and ministry, I was ready to give up and end the constant battle. To my great surprise, God sent a new person in my life. This gifted new friend helped breathe life back into the possibilities of how God was calling me to move forward at that time!
God showed me there are other people He wants to use in this ministry. He showed me I needed to pick myself up and get back in the game.
As I teach around the globe, I share the verse Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
This verse actually means to discover and experience the Lord. I couldn’t justify sitting on the sidelines feeling sorry for myself. I can’t experience Him when I am throwing a pity party for myself. Pity and Praise cannot coexist.
Thus, with new vigor, I started this ministry again. God had provided exactly what and who I needed at exactly the right time… He helped me to overcome setbacks.
He provided an important element for me to live and lead a vibrant ministry aimed at bringing good to people and glory to Him.
Another Setback – Not Again!
In only 17 months, this new marketing agent helped me catapult my business. I went from:
- 10 followers to thousands
- 4 blogs to over 80
- very few ideas to my head exploding with possibilities
- ready to give up on the vision God gave me to see it bigger and larger than I thought possible
Unfortunately, the next setback happened…
My husband and I had just finished our dinner and were sharing about our day when I glanced at my email to read.
“I am giving my 30-day notice.”
My ministry’s biggest asset was leaving me.
WOW – one email, 6 words – can be a huge setback.
How to Respond to and Overcome Setbacks
How did I respond?
I went for a 3-mile walk and talked to God. I needed fresh air and a fresh spirit.
The speed in which I responded shows proof I have traveled this road before. And learned many lessons on the worst way to respond…and the best.
Whether a setback is because of a choice we make or the choices of someone else, the outcome depends on my response.
When I choose to overeat beyond satisfied, that’s a choice and will cause a reversal in my physical health journey.
When I choose to dwell in the negative, that’s a choice and will cause a reversal in my emotional/spiritual health journey.
When someone else does something that interferes with my life, that’s their choice. Yes, it’s a setback for me, but I still hold the power of how I respond.
Physically and spiritually, setbacks are the VERY best time to see God at work! It is a prime opportunity.
My response – and yours – will determine if we allow the enemy to jump in and get us to stew in negative thoughts (which lead to cellular disease and increasing setbacks), OR if we allow God to show us not only His grace but His purpose.
When you’re slammed with a setback, remember: success isn’t defined by how many times you get knocked down, but by how many times you get back up.
4 Powerful Steps on How to Overcome Setbacks
Through all these journeys, not the least this last stumbling block, I’ve learned important keys to moving forward and gaining victory. Here’s how I’m currently overcoming this setback and being successful as I move forward. And how I’m not just overcoming, but doing so quickly.
The foundation of each step is remembering what God says in His Word.
Paul teaches us while he was imprisoned the guards were accepting Jesus and becoming bold in their witness (Philippians 1:12-14). Moreover, Paul chose to continue his assignment wherever God planted him.
I am sure prison was an obstacle in his mind at first, even though he was warned his life would not be easy.
Step 1: Revisit your purpose.
Seek the Lord and ask, “Is the vision you gave me still to move forward or is this setback for me to change course?”
When my husband was let go at St. Louis University after the Y2K project that he’d orchestrated, we had no income. We responded with lots of prayer and fasting and were led to relocating to Richmond, Virginia. From that relocation, God showed me a new purpose in my life: to learn more about His love and desire for us to be healthy and teach these concepts to others.
We had to revisit our purpose. What did God have in mind for us? Should we stay where we were or change course? God chose to move us over 800 miles from my son and now his family. But He showed us amazing grace along the journey, which we wouldn’t have enjoyed if we’d stayed stewing in our troubles.
Is God changing your course in life or is He wanting you to trust Him more for the things you need?
Remember, your purpose is always to include forgiveness, especially if it was or appears to be caused by someone else.
Ask yourself: Am I willing to let go of bitterness so God can speak to me? This decision needs to be made quickly – immediately – or the enemy will gain a foothold that will have a spiraling down effect.
Choose quickly to let God know: I will not be shaken. My trust is in you!
After you revisit your purpose and choose joy, take the next step. When your purpose is God led, He’ll provide guidance every step along the way.
Step 2: Re-frame your mindset.
Philippians 4:6 says: Be anxious for nothing.
Now that I am moving forward, I choose to face each moment without anxiety.
I’ve had to remind myself of this verse continually.
I’m reframing my mindset that He who began a good work in me will continue till it’s completed. I know my God will supply all my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
How I choose my thoughts will determine my progress.
Remember, a setback is an interruption in progress. See it as a pause not a retreat. My mindset will keep me moving forward in my purpose so I won’t get stuck.
One day, I watched my grandson Landon try to climb up the slippery side of a slide. His foot kept slipping, so I’d put my hand under his foot till he gained traction and moved up another step. I see God doing the same – helping my feet get traction so I don’t slip into a pit of pity or bitterness.
What we pour into our minds and choose to rehearse in our thoughts makes a huge difference in being victorious despite setbacks.
Reframe your mindset with these powerful verses:
- Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8
- If in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you. Philippians 3:15
- For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Philippians 2:13-14
Step 3: Re-energize your mission
Now that God has shown you the purpose of your mission, move forward with boldness and energy. Don’t spend time lingering in the defeat, delay, or difficulty. Wave goodbye and look forward. There is nothing to gain by wallowing in your own self-pity.
As a response to my latest challenge, I did not follow my customary habit and share this with my prayer team. I wanted God to show me His purpose. I desired to only hear from him. Sometimes well-meaning people can interrupt the voice of God and I needed clarity. Getting that clarity from the Lord was most important.
I heard and now I’m moving forward energized with new vigor and fresh commitment. As Paul says, I’m standing firm in the Lord. You can’t stand firm when you are wavering.
If your setback was caused by someone else, move quickly, and honestly to this step.
Your mission can be caring for your family, working at a difficult job, getting back on a healthy eating plan, or getting back into exercise. No matter your mission, the quicker you move on, the more energy you will have to complete the mission!
What about delays and distractions?
They exist and can zap your energy. Maybe you’re thinking, “Annette, I just don’t have the energy to keep going.”
If this is where you are, most likely you’re not clear on your purpose and haven’t reframed your mind. Only God can show you your true purpose that will bring joy beyond what your mind can imagine.
To overcome setbacks, you need to press forward.
Set your mind. Make a goal.
Additionally, you should write out overcoming statements. Below are examples of weight loss goals:
– I will feel amazing as God teaches me how much food I really need and how much He loves me.
– I will feel horrible if I eat that donut with all that sugar. It will cause more medication and more mental fog.
– I will feel amazing as I am able to wear smaller clothes.
– I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, doing so best in optimal health.
Step 4: Rejoice always
What can you rejoice about?
- The God of peace shall be with you. Shall is one of the most powerful words in the Bible. It means God will do it! God can never go against His Word. What He promises shall happen.
How do we get that peace?
- With praise and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6b-7
Praise and thanksgiving are to always be on our lips. We are to bring all our cares to Him because He cares for us.
One of the greatest things that can happen in your life – both physically and spiritually – are SETBACKS!
Yes, setbacks can be devastating. They can also be the best opportunity that can happen. When we learn to praise God in the midst of a roadblock or muddy chasm, we access power we can’t access when life runs smoothly.
Setbacks provide the opportunity for clarity of:
Recognize the obstacle for what it is: an opportunity.
Then quickly – move into these 4 steps.
Revisit your purpose.
Re-frame your mindset.
Re-energize your mission.
I’d love to hear your story of overcoming a setback. How have these steps blessed you?