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Overcoming Setbacks

You know it’s going to be a challenging week when you start it out by Googling, “What to do when you’ve taken a blow to your ego?” followed closely by, “Is ego one of the seven deadly sins?” and ending with, “Are ego and pride the same thing?” For those of you wondering, the answers to questions two and three are “No.”

Question one is a bit more complicated. It’s tough when you’ve been diligently working on a project and consider yourself skilled in that arena and then someone communicates something to you that shakes your confidence to the core.

An e-mail I got this week did just that. I’d written a short story for an anthology that will be coming out next year and an evaluator sent me back a four-page, single-spaced critique. The story itself is only 28 pages long (that’s 14 pages single spaced). Ouch.

Have you taken a blow to your ego lately? Maybe gotten a lower final grade in a class than you’d anticipated? Your significant other dumped you just as summer’s beginning? Didn’t get that part-time job that you were banking on?

After getting over that initial sting from the feedback that I’d been given:

  • I took a step back

  • I went over the critique when I was in a better frame of mind

  • I looked for the positives in the situation

  • Then determined I was going to tackle that project with renewed vigor to make it the best story it possibly could be.

If you’ve been faced with a setback in your life recently, maybe you can use some of those steps to help in your situation. If nothing else, you can always invest in some book therapy. Whether it’s reading just to get your mind off your situation or to learn from some stellar role models, Catholic Teen Books can be a valuable resource. You can see how our teen heroes and heroines deal with challenges in their lives, plus you can get a deeper perspective on life — particularly from a spiritual viewpoint.

My Heaven Intended Civil War series (A World Such as Heaven Intended, A Life Such as Heaven Intended, A Love Such as Heaven Intended, A Freedom Such as Heaven Intended) and other books at may help you realize that everyone has challenges in their lives, but if you have friends, family, and a personal relationship with God, you can get through anything.

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