6 Ways to Train Your Mind to Stay Positive in a Setback

It’s easy to become discouraged when we encounter setbacks on the way to our goals.  When we fall off the horse, it can often be hard to stay positive and try again.  However, the only way we will ever finish the race is by getting back on and moving forward.

Here are a few ways to deal with setbacks optimistically when you feel doubt start to creep in.  By training your mind to focus on these thoughts, you will begin to give yourself the motivation you need to keep taking steps toward your goal: 

1. Remember the payoff:

In times where you feel particularly down about your obstacles and setbacks, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of why you are reaching for this goal in the first place.

Why do you want it? How will you feel when you finally achieve it? Giving up on a dream is harder to do when you take a moment to remind yourself of the payoff.

2. See your setback as a lesson:

Life is full of twists and turns, and you can rest assured that whatever setback you are experiencing in the moment is preparing you for another bend ahead in the road.  Don’t see your setback as a failure, but rather as an opportunity to learn something you need to know to be successful in the future.

To really internalize this idea, look back into your past for old setbacks and see if you can identify how those struggles ultimately helped you get to where you are today.

3. Play the odds game:

When you start to feel like your dream might not come true, look for evidence in the world that dreams come true all of the time!

How many people in history do you think have reached a goal that at first seemed impossible? How many times have you or someone you’ve known achieved a goal that was at first a long shot?

Before you chalk up a dream to be “impossible,” remind yourself of just how possible it is for any of us to achieve one.

4. Remember that all the fun is in the journey:

Sure, you may really want to get that new job/home/relationship right this minute, but the excitement of getting it will start to die down once you have it!  The process of getting to where you want to be (the searching, the dreaming and the planning) is really where the fun is.

For example, if you’re enjoying a good book, once you’re done with it the fun will be gone!  The real excitement is always in the process, rather than the end game.

When you encounter a setback, tell yourself that this is the universe’s way of giving you more time to enjoy the journey.

5. Remind yourself that the longer it takes, the better it will be:

Although we may think that we would like for all of our dreams to manifest right now, life would be pretty boring if everything we wanted materialized instantly.  Without a challenge there is no feeling of victory.

When you are up against some hard obstacles, pat yourself on the back.  You are working towards something that will make you feel like you are on top of the world when you finally achieve it!

6. Take ownership of your dream:

Remember, this is YOUR dream.  If anyone can achieve it, it’s you.  You thought it up, and you’ve started moving in the direction of it.  If it wasn’t possible, you never would have dreamt it up in the first place.

Remind yourself of this quote when you feel your confidence slipping: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Staying optimistic is the only way you will ever achieve a big dream.  In times when you are feeling discouraged, you can gain a little perspective by focusing on these thoughts.  By thinking positive, you will continue to move forward.  Success will be imminent.

Remember, we all have dreams and we all experience setbacks.  There’s nothing wrong with you and there’s no reason why you can’t get what you want out of life.  Train your mind to face adversity with optimism, and you will become a person who can make any dream come true. 

XO, Andrea

(Law of Attraction Educator)

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Photo Credit: “Brain Power” by Allan Ajifo. Some Rights Reserved.  This image has been cropped and resized.



  • Aaditi
    Posted February 21, 2015 2:28 pm 0Likes

    Thanku for sharing this with me. I’m greatful (Specially the owner ship of your dreams ) 🙂

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted February 22, 2015 1:38 pm 0Likes

    Thank you Aaditi! Best wishes to you on your journey 🙂

  • Nick.
    Posted November 5, 2016 11:13 am 0Likes

    Hey Andrea! I recently discovered your blog and I am so grateful to the Universe that it lead me to you. I was in a rut since such a long time and was feeling awful and then yesterday when I read your posts for the first time I felt hopeful after a long time. I feel like every post that you write, you write for me. Lol. Your words give me enormous strength and positivity. And I hope you continue writing such awesome stuff. Also, I have a query. I used the law of attraction to come out of a very tough place in my life, and I conquered that phase. However, after some time I retraced back to the negative thought patterns. Now, I am struggling to come out of that phase and fulfill the biggest dream of my life but this fear has harboured my mind that even if I succeed, I’d return back to my old habits. I would also love if you’d make a post about time and law of attraction. Like sometimes we feel that we don’t have enough time to manifest our desires and they seem impossible, then how do we cope with that.
    All the love to you. x

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted November 5, 2016 12:48 pm 0Likes

    Hi Nick! Thank you for this lovely comment-it was a joy for me to read.

    Big dreams ARE the most challenging, mostly because we identify them as “big” (and therefore “far away!”). Here are is another article you may appreciate for your situation: “How to Manifest Big Things in 4 Steps”.

    I also like the idea of writing about time and the LOA. Let me think on that for a bit and see if inspiration strikes on how best to convey that information.

    XO, Andrea

  • Xeeshan Naveed
    Posted November 8, 2016 3:36 pm 0Likes

    I really enjoyed this article. Simple changes anyone can make.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted November 9, 2016 10:47 am 0Likes

    Thanks Xeeshan! 🙂

  • Chisem
    Posted March 1, 2017 2:16 pm 0Likes

    Amazing Website, Keep up the great job. Thanks!

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted March 1, 2017 6:18 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Chisem! I really appreciate that <3

  • kandina
    Posted October 5, 2018 3:19 am 0Likes

    thank you so much for this encouraging advices, I’ve experienced setbacks many times and I was at the point giving up.

  • Andrea Schulman
    Posted October 5, 2018 12:45 pm 0Likes

    My pleasure Kandina 🙂

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