Wednesday, March 30, 2011


In a previous post I wrote about disappointments and how they can affect you.  Today I want to discuss setbacks.

Whew!  We all hate it when things are going along just fine and then powee! we get slapped down.  Unfortunately, things running smoothly is not the way the world works.  If we could control every aspect of our lives we might be able to keep setbacks at bay, but the reality is that we can't and they keep cropping up.

Of course there are levels of setbacks.  A minor cold that keeps you from running your errands is a small setback, a diagnosis of a major illness is another.  The one thing that's consistent for all setbacks is that they're usually out of your control.  It's very frustrating!

For years I've worked in the world of event graphic design.  This type of work requires working with a varied group of clients on all different kinds of jobs.  The one consistent thing about it is that it's inconsistent!

In order to maintain what sanity I have left, I learned a long time ago that the first thing you have to do when you experience a setback is to accept it.  The major mistake many folks make is to ignore it or get angry about it.  Neither strategy works.  It is what it is.  You have to deal with it.

In many ways it's similar to disappointment although I think setbacks are different in that there's still a chance to make things right.  Disappointment happens at the end of a road, setbacks are obstacles in that road.  How you handle the setbacks can make it possible to avoid disappointment.

I'm currently involved in a new business opportunity that has been chugging along just fine've got it.....setbacks!  I will admit that giving up crossed my mind for a moment, but I still believe in what we're doing so I'm not going to give up.  Instead, I'm going to look at the setbacks as opportunities.

It's frustrating to not be able to have things the way you want them, but sometimes I think setbacks happen for a reason.   Perhaps you didn't think something through well enough, or you fell in love with something that you are stubbornly refusing to give up, or maybe it's just not the great idea you thought it was.  It's easy to fight against the inevitable, but impossible to win.  Better to stop, think, adjust, and move on.

I've had so many setbacks in my quilting life.  My UFO stack is full of them!  Sometimes I was overly ambitious, attempting something I wasn't quite ready for.  At other times I tackled something without enough materials on hand, or fabric I didn't have enough of.  My sewing machine has broken down, I've had irons die on me, I've even mislaid important parts of a project, only to find them tucked away somewhere else years later.

Every setback has been a learning experience, and the most important lesson for me is to not let them get me down.  Setbacks are annoying, and sometimes heartbreaking, but you can't let them deny you your dreams.

So, next time something goes wrong, deal with it and move on.

Happy Stitching,


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