The Misunderstanding: Setback, Not Failure

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

I had a poem posted up on my wall throughout my teenage years that my father had given to me. I read it every day and it helped me to conquer so many challenges and silence my self-doubt.

It's strange how powerful words can be and how they can stir the rivers of emotion. Words can heal, they can break and they can reflect the wonders of the soul. As a story-teller and poet myself, I know that the best writing comes from within and through self-experience.

Edgar A, Guest wrote this beautiful portrait in 1921 and I hope that through is own writing he was able to overcome the obstacle he was facing. One thing sticks out to me though, it has been constantly popping up everywhere I look. A misinterpreted and misused word.


People have a misunderstanding of the word. If they get fired from a job, get denied a promotion or their new venture doesn’t go as planned they consider it a failure. When in reality it is merely a setback.

A setback is defined as a reversal or a check in progress, while failure is a lack of success.

Success does not happen overnight. It's early mornings, late nights, long hours and constant planning.

The only time failure will occur and be considered a true failure is when you decide to give up. So the next time you have a setback, verbalize it,

”This is just a setback, not a failure and not the end of my story.”

Give yourself time to blossom and plan for the vision you see for your life. There is nothing you can't conquer, so believe in yourself and lead your life!

Often the goal is nearer than It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up When he might have captured the victor’s cup, And he learned too late, when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out— The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems afar; So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit— It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.”

– Edgar A. Guest

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