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"I could build a castle; Out of all the bricks they threw at me."
At face value on social media, I’m unfailingly positive and happy. Pretty laidback. Fairly driven yet self-deprecating in that expected British manner. I’m often told how well I’m doing and how much so and so envies how I do this and that. By default I tend not to chat about setbacks and drawbacks and negatives online. I save that for the Aisling's and Sarah's of the world. ;)

It’s a perfectly normal thing to come across setbacks. Who hasn’t experienced the heartbreak of brewing a cup of tea, opening the fridge and realising someone used all of the milk for their monster bowl of cereal, for example? But as I progress through my twenties, there are plenty more. You could work for months upon months on your brainchild project and have it crushed to the ground by people you helped on the way up. You could build up trust and have it shaken and crumbled again. You could present new ideas and have them glossed over. It happens.

For me, the first part is working out what happened. Was it two-sided? What could you have done differently, if anything? More often than not, no, you did the best you could. Pick yourself up little lady, dust yourself off and go again. Also, don’t be ashamed or scared to admit that you had that setback. Things don’t always go to plan but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t meant to be. I’m also a forever-advocate of not letting setbacks affect your future plans. So that boy was a dbag, not every single one will be. Don’t let setbacks knock your confidence either: it’s better to stand for what you want and can have than wonder ‘what if’.

What’s a setback you’ve had and how did you deal with it?

16 comments

  1. Great post, Mish! I wish more people would feel comfortable with discussing setbacks, particularly career wise.


    And by the way, I think your nose is cuter than cute.

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  2. Absolutely agree Michelle, life is not about living a perfectly mapped out course. I find any set backs I've had, is really a blessing in disguise - you'll always end up where you're suppose to be.

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

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  3. I've had so many setbacks in the past two years, but I just keep looking ahead, because every single setback is making stronger and leading me to where I'm actually supposed to be. But hey, just like Holly Golightly, I have the mean reds sometimes... ; )

    - Elodie x

    www.elle-yeah.com

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  4. PREACH. Mish you talk so much sense.
    Sophie
    x

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  5. Ah, I'm appreciating this post on an unreal level at the moment. I'm not quite as good at keeping my social media positive as you are, I have to say, but I definitely try and see every setback as a lesson. I completely agree with you about 'what ifs', too - they're far worse than the occasional hiccup.
    francesca | on-the bias | fashion, lifestyle, beauty xx

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  6. Definitely can identify with this post Mish! One major setback I've had was getting an offer for a PhD here in Australia last year, but I was unsuccessful for a scholarship meaning I couldn't accept the offer. It's been my goal to do a PhD so at the time I felt so crushed (as an international student there was no way I was going to be able to pay any of the fees- heck even if I was Australian I wouldn't be able to afford it!). Anyways, fast forward a year, I've still moved to Australia and managed to get a job as a tutor at a university which has given me so much experience and will make my application so much stronger this time! So now i'm busy applying, and have even changed my PhD project proposal slightly- and it is so much better! That initial setback has been great for me I think, and even if I don't get offered a scholarship this time, I know there wasn't much else I could have done to put myself in a stronger position that what I am now.

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

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  7. Set backs are what make you stronger as a persona and shape who you are. Sounds pretty cheesy and sometimes I need to remind myself of that too! It's what you do after the setbacks that are really important. Perfect post Mish!

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  8. I've got a personal mantra now that karma has a way of paying you back, sometimes it just takes a while to do its rounds. I've definitely had my share of highs and lows over the years, but going through the rough patches have definitely made me appreciate the good times more - as cheesy and cliche as that sounds! Much love to you m'dear, this was a fab post btw Xx

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  9. Thanks my love <3 I could write an entire dissertation on the topic! I think it's very easy to only communicate the glossy side of careers at the moment. I never want to be that guy who complains all the time but there are certainly unpretty things that I've been through that I'd love more people to realise happens, in a so-you-know way.


    ... Voldemort love child problems ;)

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  10. Thank you Hanh! Yes, that's something I'd love to continue believing in. So far I've found that setbacks put me on course for something slightly different but just as good if not better (:

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  11. Hell to the yeah, Elle Yeah ;)

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  12. Kisses to you my pretty Sophie xx

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  13. I'm so glad Francesca! But also it sucks that you're also going through a setback.


    It's part of human nature to sit and fret about the 'what ifs', in fact I think it's pretty healthy to an extent: it helps you to steer your path in a new direction for the next time. I guess I keep it off social media because it's a little taboo to look as though things are all dandy yet some aspects are still less-glossy. I could write an entire book on this but y'know ;)

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  14. Thank you Lizzy - I'm glad you enjoyed reading this!


    Ah I'm sorry to hear that, I didn't even realise that. I'm so pleased (and proud!) of you for managing to get out there. I love that we both did this moving country thing together. There's a purpose behind everything and I'm sure the experiences and experience you've gained this year will help you with the application. In fact I'm sure it'll mean you bring even more to the application and your PhD! <3

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  15. So cheesy but so true. I could probably start an entirely new blog documenting my setbacks ;)

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  16. Ahh this is definitely something I needed to hear today Ria. I completely agree that it makes you feel more gratitude for the better things! Hope you are doing good my love <3

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