I find it disheartening to see people who, when faced with life’s battles, decide to give up and retreat when I know that despite all that is happening, no matter how painful it feels, they can prevail. When confronted with the toughest moments in your life, you can’t afford to succumb to fear, anger, or self-pity, yet it is easy to do so. You just want it to be over, and you wonder why this terrible setback had to happen to you. But you have to put those thoughts and feelings aside and re-focus your mind and your efforts on creating success. There’s really no other option if you want to succeed.

Rarely do people become successful painlessly and quickly, although there are the occasional exceptions. Perhaps you’re acquainted with some of these individuals. They’re accepted into the right schools. Doors open to high-paying jobs. Soon after starting a job, they become a top performer, or are promoted to a senior position. Their company rockets to success. They start a business and it booms. But for most people, it doesn’t happen that way. It takes time to figure out what direction to move in, whether working toward a personal, career, or business goal. There’s a learning curve. Usually it’s only after years of effort that there’s finally an understanding of what it takes to achieve your goals. There are many, many attempts to do the right things and make the right connections. In the interim, there are missteps, setbacks, and times where it doesn’t look like it will happen at all. Sometimes the setbacks are big and hard to recover from – but you can recover. Trust me.

I have recovered time and time again. Whenever I start to feel down about the challenges I face, I remind myself that I am playing in the greatest sporting event of all time. It’s called life. There’s no place where there is greater action or suspense. And there’s no limit to the potential rewards. Like the sporting events we watch on television or at the stadium, it’s the team or person who has the best vision, the most thorough preparation, the best skills, and the greatest determination that will win. In some of life’s contests, you may only need one of these elements to be the winner.

There may be something you’re working on, some achievement that isn’t yet happening. You may be pursuing a career and find that you’re receiving rejection after rejection. You may have a business that you haven’t figured out yet. You may have a small operation and find yourself competing in a field of giants. You may have a sales job that you enjoy, yet your performance is not up to par. You may encounter a number of problems, downturns, and difficult circumstances. You may be relying on savings, credit, or the generosity of family and friends to keep yourself afloat. You may be behind in your bill payments, or facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, or eviction. Here’s what I want you to understand, regardless of your circumstances:

Your situation is not a sign of incompetence.
Your situation is not a sign of irresponsibility.
Your situation is not a sign of destiny.
Your situation does not deserve punishment.
Your situation does not deserve pity.
Your situation is not fatal.
Your situation is definitely not final.

Setbacks and challenges may be uncomfortable — sometimes very uncomfortable — but setbacks and challenges don’t have to be the last word. I am not trained as a psychologist, but I do know a thing or two about problems and setbacks – I’ve had hundreds. And I can tell you that you have the ability to change your situation.

As someone with a life full of challenges, I consider myself in great company. Each day, millions face difficult moments. Some stay there. Others learn, develop, make change, and improve their results. I have always been and will always be one of the latter.

You have to be honest with yourself and say, “No I didn’t get where I want,” No I’m on the wrong track,” “No I have a distance to travel.” If you do, and take the right actions, you will get where you want to go, because “You Can Still Win!”

Author's Bio: 

Andre Taylor is the author of You Can Still Win!: Break Through, Bounce Back, Come From Behind And Flourish. He’s the chief executive of Taylor Insight a New York-based leadership development firm helping individuals, growing businesses and other organizations lead and win. He's held executive positions on Wall Street, led the marketing activities of multi-national organizations, and built successful entrepreneurial companies. Get You Can Still Win! and free newsletter at ww.andretaylor.com or download You Can Still Win! audio at iTunes.