Things Are Setbacks Only if We Allow Them to Set Us Back

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readNov 6, 2021

The obstacles we face are just part of our journey.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill

It happens to everybody. We fall into a groove and align all of our resources and efforts. Posied for success, we begin a project, diet, novel, workout, online class, or side hustle with sky-high energy and unabashed optimism.

Nothing will stop our positive momentum. Until…something does.

Sometimes barriers in life force us to slam on the brakes. A problem, lack of experience, or unforeseen issue can wedge its way between our fast start and paydirt. What seemed like a sprint turns into an endurance run that we failed to train for or envision.

It becomes frustrating to watch minor setbacks and tough luck siphon away our hard-earned progress and personal growth.

But here is a secret — those roadblocks in our path are not there to prevent our success. They are just part of the journey that we must experience and overcome to chase down our dreams.

We decide whether a setback will prevent us from obtaining what we desire. If we remain focused on our goals and not the current difficulty, we will find ways to jump over, sidestep around, tunnel under, or plow through the impediments in front of us.

By concentrating on the prize, we will recognize that the purpose is not just circumventing the latest difficulty that life has hurled at us. Our mission is to complete the entire marathon, and whatever hindrance is only one hill along the way.

It’s okay if the journey takes longer than planned or if we need to recalibrate and change course. If we keep our view wide-angled yet pinpointed on our end objectives, minor setbacks and wrong turns will not matter as much as the larger picture.

We will work through our problems and mistakes. We can hustle and make it happen.

Remember, every hurdle we leap over and clear still propels us a few steps closer to our ambitions. Keep moving forward, and the hardships we drive past will begin to look tiny in our rearview.

Adrian S. Potter — the antisocial extrovert — is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. He writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on various subjects, including creativity and personal growth. He is the author of the forthcoming book Fractured Epiphanies (Stillhouse Press) and Everything Wrong Feels Right (Portage Press). Visit him at

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·