4 thoughts on “Starting Over: 10 Helpful Tips to Overcome Setbacks or Failures

  • August 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I work in a music instrument manufacturing business. Recently, I learned that an important supplier of raw materials made a huge error, resulting in a recall of many items that I had worked very hard over to the summer to make–by hand. It could have been worse: none of our products had shipped to customers yet, and we will be reimbursed for our time in re-manufacture of the correct items. However, the tracking of that time and re-making them will fall to one person–me. During the entire summer, I have taken only two days’ vacation, making these highly specialized and expensive instruments, in order to meet a deadline. I am feeling very upset because 1.)everyone at my company is breathing a sigh of relief but I am under pressure to make the necessary corrections (customers will be waiting) and 2.) I don’t think I can ever trust the supplier again; there are not many in this country who can produce these particular raw materials. What do I do with my feelings of resentment and distrust?

    • August 24, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I think you must first acknowledge your feelings are valid. It is only natural to feel angry and overwhelmed when you have put so much time and effort into your work only to have to start over again. Based upon your comment most of your resentment appears to stem from feelings of being isolated and abandoned during the process of having to redo the work. As you stated in your comment “while everyone at the company is breathing a sigh of relief” you now have the sole responsibility of having to correct the initial problem and re-manufacture the items. In my experience, re-channeling these emotions can be very effective. I would use this experience as a motivator to push myself further, challenging myself to both improve upon my previous work and develop ways to identify potential problems in the future. With regards to losing trust in your supplier I think it would be helpful to express your feelings, letting the supplier know how errors in manufacturing has created a delay in your work, inconvenienced you, and could potentially damage your customer relationships. I think having open, honest, and thoughtful conversations can be helpful to everyone involved. Discussions held in an open, non-combative environment can be used to improve work performance, establish healthy communication, and ensures no one feels misunderstood and abandoned during a work crisis.

      • August 31, 2016 at 11:40 am

        I am familiar with these situations as I work in a creative production position and many times feel very overworked, a bit cheated by people who depend on me and say thanks but do nothing to diminish my workload. I think you should spend some time looking for another source of materials, look internationally. Supply chains these days are easier and easier to fulfill through DHL, UPS etc. Many instrument makers are not national. You got screwed, would be foolish to blindly trust your supplier again – it could have been worse and could be worse once again with them.

      • August 31, 2016 at 11:57 am

        Thank you for your comment and your suggestions. I think exploring additional options to overcome, limit, and prevent future issues is an essential process in moving forward.


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