Adapt to survive and thrive after setbacks

by | FearLess

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein

Everything is different. The world is not the same place today and every single person and family has had to adapt over the past few months. My hope is that this blog post will give you a handle on how to navigate setbacks and continue not only to endure but to thrive.


What a beautiful word… roll it around not only in your head but on your tongue. It’s the kind of word that needs to be said out loud. Met-uh-noi-uhAdapt

Metanoia transliterated from the Greek word to mean a transformative change of heart, a profound, usually spiritual, transformation; conversion.

If we are going to thrive in this new world, we need to change our thinking. Now, this word first appears in Mark 1, where Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of God and of repentance. A complete change of mind

Reading is something I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed. Give me a delightful book and my I’m immediately captivated. I recently read Ted Dekker’s novel, The 49th Mystic and I love this quote: “Instead, look with new eyes. Change your cognitive perception, your thinking. Yeshua called this practice metanoia as written in ancient Greek. Meta, which means ”change” or ”beyond,” and noia, meaning ”thinking” or ”knowing.” Metanoia.”

How to adapt when you face a setback.

And so with this in mind, let’s look at how to face setbacks with confidence and boldness. How can you also help your children think about their future with hope?

Recognize your disappointment

First, recognize the disappointment and uneasiness that you (or your children) are feeling. What happened? What did you hear? In life, we will all experience disappointments and setbacks in ways we cannot control, but we do have a say over our response.

Zoom calls

Online connections, meetings enable us to continue to learn, keep in touch and adapt

Then set a time limit for that disappointment. Feel it and express it (give yourself a limited time). Our emotions are meant to be felt but not lead us. I was also thrilled to read something that I’ve been saying for a while. In the 49th Mystic, Dekker writes: “All negative emotions are rooted in fear, most commonly fear of loss, my father said. The fear of losing worthiness created jealousy, fear of losing honor created anger, fear of losing security created anxiety, and so it went.” I guess another word for all of this is self-awareness.

Gather information to process it.

Secondly, get more information about what happened and process it. We see in Scripture that David when overwhelmed by disappointment and heard that his own men were talking about stoning him, he first strengthened himself in the Lord and then sought counsel. Can you take your frustration to the Lord and strengthen yourself there? After that, speak to someone. If you are a parent, consider praying with your children and help them unpack to the Lord in prayer what happened. Every conversation with your child is an opportunity for discipleship.

What question can you ask?

Thirdly, instead of dwelling in a downward spiral of ”why?” Consider asking “What now?” You can process this any number of ways. Write your options down, talk it through with a coach or mentor, or pray about it. Feel free to make a list or even take time to think about what now. This is a brilliant question to teach your children to ask when they face a setback.

Adapt is the next step.

Fourth, what do you need to do now to adapt? In adapting, we make something suitable for a new purpose or even become adjusted to new conditions.
Does it require a routine change, an alternative business plan or minor adjustment to your lifestyle? In the time of COVID-19 and when we go back to work, school, university and move around freely, how will you have adapted? What changes have you put in place in your personal life and family to thrive?

In the words of Charles F Glassman “There is only one way to survive and thrive when faced with circumstances out of our control and for which we are unprepared: ADAPT.”

Recommended by CapeTownInsider

Can you let me know what you have done to adapt and how have you handled setbacks in your life and family? I’d love to hear how you help your children process disappointments too.


Courage in the FireIf you’ve read all the way to the end and would like to know more about how to adapt, order my book, Courage in the Fire, here. The online versions are available for immediate download, but the hard copy will be on preorder till the printers return to work. To sweeten the deal, you can buy my book at a 25% discount by typing in the code:  ADAPT2020 in the coupon code box.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This