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SOS – Setbacks or Speed-bumps

SOS – Setbacks or Speed-bumps

We probably all know what SOS stands for don’t we? Help! Save Our Souls! An acronym, abbreviation or slang word; an international code signal of extreme distress, used mainly by ships at sea.

However, this isn’t the SOS that I’m referring to, but setbacks or speed-bumps.


  • How do you deal with them?
  • How do you recover from them?
  • How do you regain control afterwards?

If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have setbacks; we might not shout them from the rooftops, but we may share them with close friends or family.

It’s because we don’t share them and ask for help, we need to find our own strategies and have a comprehensive toolbox to help us manage them.

Here’s some tips:

  1. Take time out – so what, something went wrong, or you made a mistake; but you are not perfect and so take some time out to reflect on what’s happened, put it into perspective and consider your options going forward
  2. Give yourself a break – and by this, I mean, don’t be harsh on yourself; you’ve probably heard of the saying ‘cut yourself some slack, but don’t let go of the rope’ – don’t beat yourself up, instead think about how you can fix or change things
  3. Regaining control – now you need to pick yourself up, shake yourself down and begin again; you are in control so dig out your leadership skills and develop a plan – acknowledge what’s happened, own it and move on – as the saying goes ‘setbacks are progress in disguise’ – par for the course!
  4. Learning from mistakes – everything that happens to us goes in our ‘experience’ kit-bag of goodies; these provide us with strength, resilience and awareness of further setbacks that may and will fall upon us – see it as a learning experience


Typically, these are designed for roads to slow cars down as we know.

How can we use this analogy for us after a setback?

  • Put speed-bumps in our way after a setback
  • When we slow down, we can see things clearer
  • Watch out for ‘pedestrians’ or obstacles that may still be lurking

Building in regular speed-bumps and watching our ‘speed’ will help us ‘see’ potential setbacks earlier giving us the opportunity to deal with things sooner rather than later.

What is your SOS?

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