How To Turn a Set-Back into a Comeback (Part 2) - Christine Kane

Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series. To read Part 1, click here.

Paula worked in a hospital emergency room. By the time she enrolled in my Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program, she was burnt out and addicted to the stress of an intense career that consumed her life.

She was ready to make changes, but it seemed impossible for her to take proactive measures on a consistent basis. After all, she had gotten used to being told what to do. Emergencies forced Paula to react in the moment with efficiency – but they never required her to come face to face with her own proactive choices.  She had gotten out of the practice of asking herself, “What’s next? What do I want? How will I create that?”

Learning to respond in our lives is a necessary part of being human. However, when we perpetually live in the energy of reaction, we can become addicted to it. It becomes a daily habit.

The same is true when you’ve gone through a set-back in your life – whether a divorce, an illness, extensive travel or a financial hit.  Like Paula, you might feel unfamiliar with yourself as a creative woman. After all, for so long, it has been all about survival.

When you’re ready to turn a set-back into a comeback – it’s good to remember that a certain amount of your comeback is about “training” yourself to move away from reacting. You must re-introduce the energy of Creativity and Proactivity to your daily rounds. This might be unfamiliar territory at first and can almost feel impossible.

So, here are nine steps for turning a set-back into a comeback. Recognize that these steps combine the four energies of our human power: The mind, the body, the heart and the spirit. All are important elements of your comeback!

1. Decide.

Your decision is crucial and powerful. You can share the decision with a friend or a coach or your journal, but you have to make the decision to begin your comeback. Be deliberate. Only you can know that you are ready.

2. Become a Guardian of your Mind.

After a long set-back, your mind is often frazzled – from obsession, from the drama of the situation, from the stories of well-meaning friends. The mind then searches for more of this same energy – and can easily find it in our culture and in the media.

No mas!

After you take step one – it’s time to commit to becoming what the late Jim Rohn called “a guardian of your mind.”
This means you stand at the gates of your mind and monitor what goes into it as if you were protecting a valuable treasure. It means you walk away from conversations that are negative and gossipy. It means you don’t engage other people in the drama.

It means you stay away from media and fear-based headlines.

3. Set a monthly intention.

It’s tempting to announce: “I intend to never feel pain about this again!”

However, I encourage you to start slowly. Chunk it down month by month. Set do-able goals. “During March, I intend to get back into a work-out routine.” Go slow and be gentle with yourself!

4. Create an MHR.

MHR stands for “Minimum Habit Requirement.”

Instead of trying to change everything at once, pick one small new habit and make that your Minimum Habit Requirement each day. A 30-minute work out, for example.

Your MHR is the starting point of your newfound proactivity. The goal is to simply experience the creative energy of choosing a habit and sticking with it.

5. Carry with you at all times: One Gentle affirmation, and one Power affirmation.

Arm yourself with two affirmations at the start of each week.

The first affirmation is for the days and moments when you’re feeling vulnerable and scared. This affirmation is designed as a reminder. The language is gentle and nurturing. “I am learning to create my life.” “Every day I get stronger and stronger.” “I am loved. I am safe. I am blessed.”

The other affirmation is for the days when your energy is high, and you’re feeling stronger. “I create and attract wealth, happiness and success everywhere I go!”

On bad days, affirmations can feel like weapons, not tools. They feel abusive. Gentle affirmations are a necessity for our vulnerable days. That way, on our kick-butt days, we can really crank it up.

6. Get in your body.

Knowing something in your mind is one thing. Moving that understanding into your body is another thing altogether.

As you awaken to new truths, it will be important for you to stay in touch with your body – not just your mind. Your whole being must be engaged in this healing process. It’s imperative that you consistently experience your body.

This means that exercise is your friend! Good, hard, sweaty exercise! Massage, too. Or a yoga class. Sit down to your meals and really taste your food. Hike in the woods. Your body will help you orchestrate your comeback. But you must actively engage it!

7. Immerse yourself in higher voices.

You’re blessed to be living in a time when you can access any spiritual teacher or success guru in the world. Audiobooks, downloads, articles, books and blogs. Give yourself time each day to renew your mind and get stoked by higher voices. It will train you to think yourself into your comeback.

8. Allow space for emotional moments.

Look. There will be emotional moments. It doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to be a drama-queen forever. It simply means that there’s still stuff to deal with. That’s fine. Be very careful because your mind will tell you, “See? This will never go away.”

It WILL go away.  Your mind is impatient, that’s all.

Give yourself space to grieve and let the energies of loss and sadness be there when they need to. If you give them space and let them move through you, then you might be surprised to find they move pretty quickly.

If, however, you try to stuff them down, they’ll probably stick around.

9. Journal Exercise: If I tell this story five years from now…

I have one of the worst break-up stories ever. I traveled all the way to South Africa to be with my boyfriend – only to get dumped in the Johannesburg airport. (And mind you – everyone in my life heard about it, knew about it, and talked about it! It was really embarrassing.)

My translation of it, however, has nothing to do with me being a victim.

About six months before it happened, I started intending a different life. I started writing letters to God in my journal about how I didn’t know how to make any of these desired changes.

Well, here’s how I see it:

A big band of angels heard my intentions, and then visited my boyfriend in South Africa. They found a beautiful blonde Afrikaner woman and placed her in front of him. They said, “Dude. Go for it.”

And then they turned back to me and said, “Here’s your chance. Make the most of it, pal.”

Looking back, it was the most amazing thing that could’ve happened. It was hard and awful. But I was ultimately able to make the most of it by translating it differently.

(It also later became a stage-story that literally launched a new level of my music career because it was one of my funniest and most requested stories.)

So – let’s pretend it’s five years from now: How will you translate this event? How can you milk it for all it’s worth?

How you translate a situation IS the situation. It’s all in your hands. Let yourself have fun with this!


A comeback is all in your energy. You never lose momentum. You simply have to learn how to move slowly and recognize the progress you make and celebrate your a-ha moments as if they were weddings!

Now, go forth and comeback!

  • Johannesburg Massage

    Thank you so much – I’ve looked everywhere for this! You’ve inspired me Christine! 🙂

  • Patricia Daley

    This comes to me at the PERFECT time. Have been divorced since August last year and picking up the pieces is hit-and-miss. Some days I feel totally empowered, and other days I am in ‘reaction’ mode feeling the vibes of the victim still hanging about. And that surprises me when it happens. This will help me get out of my own way, toward higher creativity. Thanks!

  • puregoldlady

    This series is absolutely inspirational for me! I’ve linked to it from my blog so I can revisit this when I need a booster.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Jadyn

    This is powerful stuff! Thanks for writing this. I love it that your allow for life not being linear! So often when reading advice on becoming successful I feel like I should be pushing forward from now on and forevermore. And that can be discouraging when things happen that get in the way. Or when you simply get tired! So I’m gonna put this up in a place where I will be reminded frequently that it really isn’t that hard to get back into things.

  • Michelle

    Despite its succinctness, this article is full of great ideas that are expressed well.
    You connect with the reader through sharing your own stories, and you understand that there must be allowance and strategies for future low points / backsliding.
    Of all your posts that I’ve read, this is my favourite!

  • Susan Atwell

    Thanks again Christine!
    It has been almost a year and the recorded part of the UYL program has helped me almost everday .I just gave my notice at my dead end job( finally!!) and am completely stoked and inspired about creating the second half of my life in the most authentic and artistic ways!
    This time I have the right tools for the process!!

  • Sydney

    Thanks, Christine! This article came at just the right time. My story is similar to Jill’s in part 1. I’m starting to get back on track but I’m not quite there yet, so these tools will come in handy. I especially like the idea of a gentle affirmation and a power affirmation. I’m going to write mine right now.

  • Alexis

    Thank You.
    I have ready many of your posts in the last two years. This post speaks to me today. I am at a place where I know that I am coming back but I am not quite there yet. And recently I have been trying to implement exercising in my life. I recently kicked the habit of smoking. Basically I am working on bring me back. So your advise fell on welcoming ears. I love your stories, your enthusiasm and courage to be open and be you.
    Thank You for being you.

  • DawnS

    I just wanted to tell you that I loved your break-up story (“Dude. Go for it” made me laugh out loud)!
    It reminded me of a quote that I like…

    “Sometimes the best helping hand you can get is a good, firm push”. ~J. Thomas

  • Joy Tanksley

    OOOH! I LOVE the suggestion of both a gentle and powerful affirmation. And your take on the break-up gave me chills. We choose how we tell our stories, don’t we? What an amazing ability we have to create our lives. I have found, so many times, that a personal melt-down is a prelude to a crazy good breakthrough in my life. I actually use this as a mantra when I get hit with negative emotions, “I am on the verge of a personal breakthorugh.”

    Thank you for giving us such great content on a continual basis. I am deeply grateful, Christine. By the way – I made a vision board during a series of snow days in January and my life is taking so many exciting twists and turns…

  • Laura

    What a wonderful post to start off the week! Like Sam, my kids preview movies for me. I really liked suggestion #9 and recently got to use it in a set back featuring a criminal mastermind toy poodle and a significant investment in a brand spankin’ new guard to keep me from grinding my teeth at night. (Note, there are Major Setbacks and there are pain-in-the-butt setbacks.) When I was really feeling the pain, I kept telling myself, “this is going to make an awesome story to share!” And it has. One affirmation that I use is “*Everything* is working out for my best.” Thanks, Christine.

  • Sam

    I LOVE the Guardian of My Mind! I had a long, tough emotional setback several years ago, and 911 happened about halfway through it. To this day, I see myself as the perfect guardian of my own mind. And I have the support of my husband and children, too! My husband will preview books or news stories for me. My grown kids will not expect me to view a movie that isn’t “Mom safe”. While there are still people out there that will try to tell me that I probably need more therapy so I can subject myself to this trash, I just keep moving forward. I choose what to read and watch, and I know who to turn to when things get “past” the guardian, like the school bus full of skeletons this past October! Thank you for affirming my right to decide!

  • rachel

    I am going to save this to refer back to next time I get a set-back (because we know it won’t be too long before the next one!)
    I especially love the idea of how you retell the story in five years’ time…so much of what we experience can be “re wreitten” if we choose to tell ourselves a different version of it (like your epic dumping/angel freeing story)
    Wonderful! Thankyou xx

  • pati


    I’ll say this: you have perfect timing . . . an amazing list . . . and a terrific spirit.

    Thank you,