Setbacks teach us and develop our core strengths.

Setbacks teach us what we can’t learn any other way.

Setbacks not only teach us about our limitations, but they also help us better delineate our duties within the team.

As the early part of a campaign wears on, one person will emerge as the one who’s good with media, another is great with spreadsheets, analysis and building budgets. Learn to play to your group’s strengths, but be prepared to “crosstrain.” Sometimes an opportunity will fall into the lap of someone, and you have to just roll with it. That’s fine. Perfect execution is not required, only consistent effort is. Your group is implacable, resolute, determined. You’ve had setbacks, but you’ve learned to take them in stride. Even the ones that really hurt, you heal. You move through them. You find a way forward.

The more setbacks you work through, the more you learn to see them in perspective. What seems like the end of the world early on, will seem more like a mild annoyance later on.

After all, you’ve seen it before.

Actors in the drama will seem smaller later on in much the same way an elementary school seems smaller to the returning high school junior. When your effort is newer, you are more likely to be lectured by supposed experts. Sometimes this is helpful advice… actually there’s always something you can glean. In most cases, that person is truly trying to be helpful, but they may also fear that you will succeed where they failed, using tactics they never thought to use. Who are you, after all, to take on a problem and win the day when I, someone more seasoned in this realm, “found” this cause years ago, but let it “sit there.” They “found” the cause but, seeing it as too hard, set it back down. Take all advice with respect and humility, and assume positive intent, but realize that the person may also be trying to come to terms with their own regret for failing to take action. Don’t dismiss these people, because at their core, they are likely good people who care about their community and want to do what is right. Besides what you may learn, listening respectfully also may enlist that person in your cause in a peripheral way. If nothing else, they will appreciate the dialogue and be more likely to cheer your group on in social media or within their social circle.

All of this puts points on the board and, as a bonus, serves as an encouragement to that person, who has his or her own work and sphere of influence.