25 Ways to Bounce Back From Setbacks and Disappointments

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have, or who you know. Everybody has setbacks and disappointments in life. It’s just a part of growth. Yet, your setbacks don’t have to determine your level of happiness and joy in life. In fact, they don’t even have to affect your ability to still make progress in life in light of them. They also don’t have to take your peace of mind. Don’t let your challenges in life hold you back from living the life you were designed to live. Here are 25 ways to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments.

1. Pray. Sometimes your connection with God has to be reestablished. Your relationship with Him is like an Internet connection. You can lose your ‘signal’ for any number of reasons. For example, with the Internet there might be a storm that emerged, a microwave that interferes with the signal, or you may simply be out of range of the router. Likewise, with God you may have lost the connection through sin, lack of pursuit of Him, mediocre commitment to Him and His will, or by putting other things and people in this life before Him. Sometimes that signal ‘interference’ is caused by the devil, who loves to disrupt your connection with God. Prayer, especially with repentance of your sins, helps you reestablish that connection with God, and walk once again in God’s love, peace, grace, favor, protection, deliverance, and provision.

2. Meditate. I used to have this room a while ago that I called my Power Chamber. It was actually my bedroom, but I turned it into something else. I made about 30 pieces of (3X5) paper and wrote on each one an encouraging word or phrase. I then taped each piece of paper to my wall, littering my entire room with these empowering words. I had things on them like “Conqueror in Christ”, “Child of the Most High God”, “Victory lies ahead”, “Never give up”, “Surely His mercy shall follow me… “, and more. This was essentially my meditation room. I went there to think, be inspired, look at those words and Power Up each day! Each morning I woke up seeing those words on the wall. And let me tell you, each day I was motivated and positive about life in spite of my negative situation. It changed my thoughts, feelings, and actions… and eventually improved my life. You can do the same thing. Go make you a meditation room, and reflect on your life. Or simply just go out somewhere and meditate. Think, reflect, imagine, feel, transform. You will feel better afterwards. I promise!

3. Talk to others. You’d be surprised to see how many people are probably going through what you’re going through, or who may have already gone through it. Look at the book of Job in the Bible. Job may not have altogether found comfort in his friends, but he sure found some people to lean on during his trials. Go talk to some close family, friends, colleagues, and associates about your problems. I am sure they will encourage you, and maybe even offer you some real solutions to help you get out of your situation. ‘A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ -Proverbs 17:17

4. Go take a walk or enjoy nature. Walk around the neighborhood. Talk to some people outside. Go take a hike on a nature trail in your area. Go walk the mall. Take the dog out. Get outside. Get some fresh air. Do something. You will more than likely have a fresh perspective on your circumstances, or possibly even some ideas to change them when you get back. Walks and getting outside helps to clear your mind of your challenges. Sometimes you just have to break away from the problems for a while before you can begin devising solutions. Go take a walk!

5. Go do something you like. What’s your favorite past time? Shopping? Eating at different restaurants? Sports? Fishing? Exercise? Running? Driving? Painting? Washing your car? Fixing up your car? Getting a spa treatment? Watching a movie? Traveling? Going on vacation? Well whatever it is, provided it’s reasonable and won’t land you broke or in jail, do it! Go have some fun doing something you like. It will ease your mind and make you feel better.

6. “Forget about it”. It’s out of your hand anyway. Just let nature take its course. Often times, things are of God and He takes you through them to try your faith, patience, and commitment to Him. It’s part of the spiritual growth process. Just man-up, or woman-up and take it. Trust that all things work for your good, and God will see you through: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ -Romans 8:28

As Jesus said, if you can’t fix it anyway through the arm of the flesh (your hands and your own strength), why even worry? ‘Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?’ -Matthew 6:27

7. Laugh. When was the last time you just had a hard belly laugh? I had one in my sleep the other day. God gave me the funniest dream [He made me some sort of superhero and I had super powers like my "Banana-Cream Beam". "What is that?" you ask. It's when I shoot a powerful stream of banana-cream at all my enemies and defeat them. I literally shot banana cream beams at my enemies in the dream, and it stunned them so I could get away. "Huh?" Exactly! God has the most amazing sense of humor and His imagination is far beyond ours.] He is a funny God, and He made laughter for a reason. He wants you to laugh! So find something to laugh about and enjoy the life that God gave you. ‘A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.’ -Proverbs 15:13;

‘A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.’ -Proverbs 17:22 ‘Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.’ -Luke 6:21

8. Trust God. Lose track of your abilities and know that God is your supply. Consider how big and powerful He is. Your problems are small to Him, and He can help you through them. If He so made the universe and everything that exists, He can most certainly get you out of your situation.

9. Praise God. I subscribe to the belief that “when praise goes up, blessings come down”. I’ve personally experienced this, and the first thing I do every morning is praise God. You should do the same. Praise Him for what you have and what He’s already given you. Be specific in your praise: thank Him for exactly what you had for breakfast. Thank him for the car He gets you around in. Thank him for the exact amount of money He gave you last week. Be specific in your praise like the Israelites were when they came out of Egypt (See Exodus 15). Specific praise focuses all your victories and breakthroughs in life, and shows you that God is the source of all supply-the small things AND the big things!

10. Think positive. Think positive about the present and the future. If you focus on the negative you will attract more problems. Focus instead on a good outcome and you will find good solutions to your problems. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: -Proverbs 23:7

11. Speak positive words. Instead of saying things like, “I can’t”, say things like “I will” or “I can”. Here are some other words or phrases to replace:

Replace: If with How: Example: “If I can do this, I can get X.” Instead, ask “How should I do this?” (The word How is more positive, confident, faithful, proactive, and solution-based).

Replace: “I don’t know… ” with “I’m going to find the answer… ” or “I’m going to find out how… “: Example: “I don’t know how to pay my bills this month.” Instead, say “I’m going to find a way to pay my bills. It’s definitely out there somewhere. I am trusting God to give me the solutions.” Speak positive, and positive actions will soon follow to improve your life.

12. Rejoice in the day. This is the day that the Lord has made. Be grateful for the good and bad. It’s all good because God made it. And He will use both the good and bad things to bring about good results in your life. He will develop you spiritually. He will bring you into closer relationship with Him. He will show you His grace. He will teach you an important life lesson in all your trials and triumphs.

‘This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it’. -Psalms 118:24; ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.’ -Philippians 4:4 13. Look at the trials of others. Look at others around you in the world and count your blessings. Consider how blessed you are as compared to the vast majority of the world who may not have what you have. Food, water, shelter, clothing-these are all luxuries in many cases-that many people do not have.

14. Go back to the vision that God gave you. Did God give you a vision for your life? Do you have a vision of success, of breakthrough, of victory? Well, go back to it. See the big picture. Know that your life is leading you to it. Even during the bad times, you’re en route to your destiny. Let that vision of your life success empower you-the vision of joy, peace, happiness, power, provision, God’s grace and favor upon you, your influence on others, financial overflow, and more things. Bring the vision of your future into your now. Know that you are living it because it will be. It’s a vision of your future, so you might as well live like you are already there. You know you will be there, so live like you are there now; and you will attract it to your present.

15. Keep your mind on your goals. If things get tough for you, go back to your life goals. What’s your life mission? What are your values? What ministries or social causes do you want to support? Where do you want to live? What interests do you have? Where do you want to travel? Who is your ideal husband or wife? How many kids do you want to have? What does your dream house look like? How much money do you want to make each year? Keep your goals in mind during your setbacks, and you will be able to persevere to make progress toward them.

16. Listen to some music. OK. Get out your favorite music playlist of artists and rock away! Find some encouraging music. Find something that inspires you. Find something that puts you in a zone. Make your own custom playlist on YouTube and share it with others who may benefit from it. Download your favorite MP3s and listen to them in your car or while you’re exercising. You can even listen to some inspiring talk radio on your way to work. Music is a joy in life. Use it to help you through your battles.

17. Watch some television. What’s your favorite television program? Do you like comedies, dramas, reality TV, educational TV, the news? Find something on the tube that inspires you or makes you feel better and watch a bit of it. Don’t spend too much time here. A few hours should suffice. I love educational programs, and shows I can learn from such as National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the Travel Channel. I’m also a huge fan of some of those documentaries and reality TV shows on cable that take you behind the scenes of certain businesses. Shark Tank is also one of my faves. Find your faves and kickback to watch some TV.

18. Get around some positive minds. Go to a networking event with some other positive minded people. “When iron sharpens iron, sparks fly”, according to one of my friends on LinkedIn. Are there any conferences, conventions, or meetups in your area? Meetups.com is a great place to try to find some positive networking events worth attending. You can also check your local news, especially when they mention the upcoming events during the week or weekend.

19. Attend a spiritual function. Go to a church or some other spiritual environments where you can receive God’s Word and connect with other believers. Here is a great way to find churches in your area.

20. Go help somebody else who’s less fortunate than you. Feed the homeless. Volunteer for a charity like Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, or United Way. Give some money to a charitable organization. You will feel better afterward. And giving is always reciprocated by God. You will get blessed by it.

21. Watch some motivational speeches on the internet. Check out these Top 100 Free Motivational Speeches, Lectures, and Podcasts featuring speeches from people like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, Zig Ziglar, John Wooden, and more.

22. Check out some empowering websites on the internet. TED Talks is one of my personal favorites empowering websites. Can you think of any? Well, check them out. You never know what type of content there will lift your spirits.

23. Join some uplifting groups and forums online. The Empowerment Zone, my own personal group on LinkedIn, is one of them. You can find countless other groups and forums to join through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and various online forums.

24. Follow some encouraging people online. Here are a few people that have inspired me. They may do the same for you: Rod Parsley, John Maxwell, Joyce Meyer, Apostle Colette Toach, Dani Johnson, Sandi Krakowski, Les Brown, TD Jakes, Toni Robbins, Brian Tracy, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Hillsong United, Casting Crowns, Kathleen Gage, Denise Wakeman, and many others. Want to know how to find some encouraging people? See who you’re already connected to and browse their friends list. Birds of a feather flock together. See if you can connect with a few of their friends as well.

25. Go to sleep on it. Take a nap. Jesus slept during a storm; you can too. Just rest like a baby. Even if you don’t literally go to sleep, you can still rest in God. Let the problems escape from your mind, and rest in God. Think about peace and comforts and the blessings of this day (like the weather, or the health you have, or the people you meet, or that meal you had, or that drive you took, or those two butterflies you just saw, or that beautiful view you just saw, or your favorite cup of coffee you just had, or you relationship with God you’re blessed with, or that husband or wife that you love, or that vacation you just took, or anything). Rest in the peace and stillness of God. Hear His still, small voice, and just go to sleep. Your situation will turn around.

Conclusion

Though I only listed 25 ways to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments, there are so many others. You just have to explore, and see what types of things in life pick you up. Start with what you already know and enjoy. Then, be open-minded to trying new things. Life is full of ups and downs. And it never takes long to get up when things have you down. Your primary job is to keep positive and know that your situation will change for the better if you take on a positive mindset.