How to Overcome Failures and Setbacks in Life

Any person who is trying to consciously navigate through life will know that nothing goes according to a plan no matter how good it sounds. That is the beauty of life and our human experience. Setting those goals in the first place is the first key to success, but the second more important key to success is learning how to overcome failures and setbacks.

Fall down seven times, get up eight 

Japanese proverb

Reasons for Failures and Setbacks

There are many reasons for failures and setbacks. Some of them are caused by ourselves and some are not. In the following section, we will list the most important ones:


Life tends to reward people who are consistent. A person who hasn’t failed enough times will not understand that the main cause of failure is inconsistency and impatience.

During New Year’s Eve, the majority set goals for the next year. Most of those goals will die in March or April due to impatience and inconsistency. We expect results fast and believe that the universe owes us results just because we scratched the surface for a couple of months.

That is unfortunately not the case.

The only way to overcome failures and setbacks caused by this is to take action, commit and remain consistent in efforts until the wall crack open.

Timing and Luck

Every flower has a season.

You need to accept the fact that there is a possibility to fail, even if you pour a lot of efforts and hard work. The journey towards those goals might teach you and give you a lot of things that could be more valuable than reaching the goal itself.

I like to use the German football manager called Jürgen Klopp as a good example of this. This coach started his managing career with small football teams in the German football league Bundesliga 20 years ago.

Klopp at Borussia Dortmund

In 2008, he was assigned as a football manager for an iconic German football team who has been experiencing one of the worst periods in its history called Borussia Dortmund.

Jürgen klopp experienced failures and setbacks at LIverpool but managed to overcome them
Photo Source: Wikipedia

Klopp managed to resurrect this team and helped it win the German league twice in 2011 and 2012. He also managed in 2013 to help it reach the final of the UEFA Champions League, which is the most prestigious football championship in Europe. His team lost in the final.

Klopp at Liverpool F.C.

In 2015, he was assigned to train another iconic football team in England called Liverpool F.C, which plays in the English football league, the Premier League. By the end of his second season there, he found himself playing in the final of the second most prestigious European championship in Europe called the UEFA Europa League. His new team lost in this final too.

Jürgen klopp experienced failures and setbacks at LIverpool but managed to overcome them
Photo Source: Wikipedia

During the 2017/2018 season, he managed to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League for the 2nd time personally with his new team Liverpool F.C. but also lost again in the final match.

He didn’t give up.

During the current season of 2018/2019, his team has managed to reach the UEFA Champions League final again and this means that he reached the final of a major European championship for the 4th time within a timeframe of 5 years. The final match will be played on the 1st of June 2019.

A person with a negative mental attitude would have given up if he was put in a similar situation. I bet that even if Klopp fails another time to achieve his goal this season, he will try again next year with full commitment and focus.

If you really want to achieve your goals, then you need to be like Klopp.

No matter how often you experience failures or setbacks, you should always come back and try to overcome them.

Although he has failed to win titles, he is currently considered one of the best football managers in the world. His current yearly salary at Liverpool FC is around 7 million British pounds (9 Million dollars).

Update: Klopp won the final. He can finally add a UEFA Champions League winner to his CV

Become an Expert

Trying hard is not enough, but rather trying hard using the right strategy and techniques.

If you work super hard on something using the wrong strategy and techniques, then you will be absolutely unbeatable in doing that thing incorrectly and will eventually be beaten by someone else working as hard as you but using better strategies and techniques. You do not want to put yourself in such a vulnerable position.

The key to avoiding this is to become an expert in your field through further education and research. You need to know everything possible about the environment in which you are trying to succeed in.

Furthermore, you have to find role models in your field that have already achieved what you are trying to do and maybe even try to model their success to a certain extent.

By studying your role models, you will also be inspired by the way they overcome their failures and setbacks.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

You will not succeed by thinking you could work on more than one project at once. Every successful person focuses on one single thing at a time during a certain time period. You too should pour your focus completely into one single cast until you at least possess a strong foundation.

Many think that if a person throws 10 things at the wall, then eventually one of them will stick. This is a terrible fallacy.

During your lifetime, you will have the chance to work on different things and projects and eventually be able to succeed in them, if you want to. The trick is to build them one at a time.

Testing and Improving

The way you try to achieve your goals in life should be adjustable.

You have to test different techniques and strategies to achieve them. Remember that this doesn’t mean changing your goals, but rather adjusting the way you get to them.

If you notice small signs of success using a certain strategy and a combination of techniques, then put more efforts using them.

You have to be patient and not jump around every time you feel discouraged because you didn’t get the results you were anticipating.

Everything needs time.

Commit and work hard but stay open for improvements and changes.

Strive for A+ Quality

If you are not performing at an A+ level, then you are trying to get things done the hard way. You will not be able to last long and overcome failures or setbacks if you are performing physically at a low level.

People at the top do their best to maintain their mental and physical states at its peak. This means eating well, sleeping well, exercising their body and allowing it to recover as often as needed. They have routines that they follow daily and diets that suit their body’s chemistry. They also avoid harmful habits, toxic people and wasting their time on useless things.

A person performing at an A+ level will eventually create results that have an A+ quality.

If you are creating results that have an A+ quality consistently using the right strategy and techniques, then your chances to succeed are high.

Belief and Positivity

You will always experience negative critique, haters, accidents, failures, and tragedies as long as you live. There is no way to avoid them because they are part of the script.

The real war takes place inside of your head and it is all about how do you react.

You might lose a battle every once a while and feel crushed.

But in no way, shape or form shall you allow yourself to be defeated on your own ground. The way you react to failures and setbacks defines you who you are.

Anticipate them and decide upfront to stay positive and to persevere no matter what happens.

You can check this other blog post we have written on how to stay positive in life.

Will You Overcome Your Failures and Setbacks?

With the right attitude, you can overcome failures and setbacks no matter how severe they may seem to be.

Remember the following formula:

Goal + Consistency + Strategy and Techniques + Quality = Success

Are you ready to stand up and try again?

Let us know by sharing your story below in the comments section and help inspire other fighters like you.

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