Dealing With Setbacks

03/28/2006 | 1 Comment

Since we’ve been talking about conditioning the habit of effectiveness it’s a good idea to address what to do when you slip and revert back to your non-productive ways.

Central to dealing with setbacks are three terms:

Lapse ——- Relapse ——- Collapse

When establishing a new habit that requires a behavior change, quite often there are a number of setbacks along the way.

How you react to these setbacks will ultimately determine your success or failure.

Listen, everyone makes mistakes. Some bounce back and use the slip as a signal to increase their commitment. Sadly, it is common though for a slip to cause a negative reaction which feeds upon itself until the desired behavior is totally given up.

There are two paths to success.

The first is to realize the importance of consistency when establishing any habit and commit to avoid and prevent slips all together.

The second is to respond to a slip by immediately returning to the desired behavior.

A lapse is a slight error or slip, it’s the first instance of backsliding to your former habit. It’s a discreet event like not recording your time in your time log all morning.

A Relapse occurs when lapses string together for a continued period of time.

A Collapse is when the relapse becomes permanent, and all hope of getting back into the grove are given up.

The important point to always remember is this:


You see, for some people, when they experience a lapse they feel as if they have nothing to shoot for – all they can do is start over. But the truth is far from that. And I want you to understand this point because it will make conditioning the habit of effectiveness easier over the long haul.

When you lapse, instead of thinking all hope is lost, consider it a challenge, can you keep it as just a lapse and immediately recommit yourself so your lapse doesn’t turn into a relapse or a collapse?

Of course you can. And obviously you should.

The point is this – even when you’ve slipped, you are still in control. Only you will decide the impact of that lapse – you
can get right back on track, or, postpone your re-commitment and have your entire effort collapse. The choice is yours.

Commit to yourself – that if your lapse or slip, you’ll remind yourself that you are still in control and immediately get back on track. This way you don’t risk ruining the hard work you’ve already extended.

To bring this point home – keep your time logs up to date – and if you slip and go some time without using your time log – just recommit as soon as possible (immediately as opposed to tomorrow). If you do you’ll be that much closer to becoming an effective entrepreneur.

To Your Effectiveness,

Rich Schefren