04/09/2014 11:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Setbacks: Turning the Negative Into a Positive

Throughout our lives, we are constantly faced with setbacks and roadblocks. This is simply a part of life, regardless of who you are, where you live or how much money you make. What truly matters is how you choose to handle these setbacks. By focusing on positivity and recognizing that those who you trust the most may disappoint you at some point, you may move on and learn from these life lessons.

I have been very blessed thus far in my life and I can honestly say that I have very little to complain about in the scheme of things. However, this does not mean that my life is perfect in any way, as I have been no stranger to disappointments and setbacks along the road. Just recently I was betrayed by a long-term friend who had offered to help with a project within my non-profit organization. I depended on this person to keep their commitment and what was most surprising was the fact that this benefited him in a huge way. I could have easily allowed this bump in the road to discourage me from continuing down my path, but I am using his betrayal as motivation to not only continue the project but to never treat someone the way he has treated me. The positive side to this situation is that now I know what type of person he is and I can continue to surround myself only with individuals who will raise my confidence and support me.

Was I upset? You bet! I have found it's good to let your emotions out. It's natural that you may feel upset or even heartbroken. Some doctors say that dealing with the fact that a key life goal is suddenly closed to you is not different from dealing with sorrow, so you may really feel that you are in grief, even if it's over the fact that your book deal did not work out or that your boyfriend broke up with you instead of proposing. It's perfectly natural to feel very distressed and pained, so acknowledging this and accepting the setback in the beginning has allowed me to quickly move on.

Have you ever had that first gut reaction to post away on social media? I admit, I've probably had the thought from time to time but seeing this trend from my peers and the negativity that goes along with it reminds me to be cautious when it comes to writing about exposing disappointment on social media. Instead, my go-to confidants are my best friends and family. They instantly make me feel better and I haven't lowered myself to negative standards. I like to call this "Winning!"

Be thankful. You may be scoffing and pondering to yourself, "Thankful??? How can I be thankful at a time like this?" which is just why you should stop sulking about whatever it is that went wrong and start thinking about all of the situations that are "going right" in your life. Odds are you have a lot to be thankful for, a nice home, an amazing support system, a promising career, your health or even your favorite pet. You might be so focused on the tangible items you don't have that you haven't had a moment to step back and feel blessed for the positive aspects that you do have.

One of my favorite ways to turn around a setback is to count your blessings. Try making a list of all of the characteristics of your life you have to be thankful for. You will see that there is a lot more positive aspects to your life than bad. Typically, what you have is more significant to you than whatever disappointment you are facing. Be grateful for your difficulties and turn your frustration inside-out. Sure, it is disappointing that you didn't get into your first-choice college but look at it this way, you have the opportunity to go to college and not everyone has that. Maybe you did not get that job you wanted so badly... that opens the door to apply to other jobs that you may have overlooked. Finding out you have diabetes is unlucky but you have the opportunity to live a healthy life thanks to modern drugs, something a person 100 years ago did not have.

Whatever setback or disappointment you are facing in life, remember this. It could ALWAYS be worse, there is always a silver lining and you will be even better prepared to handle these types of setbacks in the future. One thing I have learned is to NEVER let anyone detour you from your dreams and always look forward. Looking back at those who have betrayed you or at your past disappointments, is like driving backwards which results in never reaching your destination. By facing adversity head-on, you will always succeed, even when it seems as if failure is inevitable.

My last advice: Never let a setback keep you from "Rocking the World!"