How to overcome a setback and make a major comeback

Comeback 1
There is nothing as exciting as a comeback—seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance. (Rachel Griffiths)

Parties are really nice, especially when you are familiar with the host and some of the invited guests.  But if you happen to be one of the invited guest’s ‘plus 1’, then things can be a bit tricky.  This is because the main guests in most cases know one another, which means that the ‘plus 1” mostly ends up being in the midst of strangers.

Well, recently, I happened to be a ‘plus 1’ guest at a house party to mark the 50th birthday of the wife of a friend—to my friend (who had invited me).  After greeting Joe, the host, and the birthday lady and a few guests, I was abandoned by my friend who as expected, went to mingle with others.

It was not long before I realized that I was in the middle of the crowded room, gazing at nothing and no one in particular, with a slight grin on my face.  For some strange reasons, it felt like I did not know what to do with my hands, so I held them suspended mid-air, and just stood like a sculptured statue.  “Woiiii!” I said to myself.  “I   f-e-e-l   a-w-k-w-a-r-d.”

At this juncture, I quickly started scanning the environment, when my eyes landed on a lady who was dressed in a bright red blouse, and from the way she stood, I immediately knew that she too was a ‘plus 1’ guest, so I walked over to her.

My new found friend known as Violet, tuned out to be the cousin of one of the guests.  She was very chatty.  A good thing, because there were no awkward silence moments for us in between sentences, and so we ended up talking about this-and-that.

“Have I told you that Joe had once lost everything, when fire gutted down the building where he used to run his business?”, Violet said, in a loud whisper and leaning towards my face.  No, I replied.  She then went on to say that because Joe did not have an insurance cover, he was not compensated for the loss, and things were so rough on him and his family, that they ended up being homeless and had to take refuge at a relative’s place for some time.  She further said that what I was seeing of him that day was his comeback, after close to five years of toiling in hardship to rebuild his empire of a successful business and life.

According to Violet, Joe had to start from scratch, and this meant that he had to find new ways of doing business.  For him, failure was not final, but the start of his comeback.  He strongly believed that whatever happened, his comeback had to outshine his setback.  Joe believed in himself.  He knew that he had the necessary skills to succeed, and to do this, he had to invest his time and efforts to make a major comeback.  It was a lot of hard work.

Out of Violet’s story about Joe I learned that if you want to overcome a setback and make a major comeback, you need to:

  • Go through the emotions of feeling disappointed, defeated, frustrated and disconnected—BUT only for a short time. Whatever you do, do not get trapped in self-pity.  Joe knew that because he did not insure his business property, he had lost everything.  He admitted this fact and started all over again.
  • Forget past failures, learn the lesson, and move on. This may not be an easy thing to do, but you must realize that the past cannot be altered.  It is what it is.  The good news is that your future certainly can be changed.  Joe knew that he could not make a comeback by dragging around his past mistakes of not getting an insurance cover for his business property, so he left his past where it belonged—in the past, and moved on to rebuild his life.
  • Make the change. You have to take action, otherwise there will be no comeback. Change happens when you gain new knowledge, and you begin to see things from a new perspective.  Joe was able to pursue new opportunities, and no matter how difficult the situation was, he stayed committed to the process, and this enabled him to make a major comeback.

When making a comeback, you must be prepared to face new challenges.  Out of these challenges, you will gain new wisdom that will turn your past failures into something great.  All the best!