SUCCESSFUL COMEBACKS: 5 Rules For Measuring Your Progress.

One of the biggest challenges for successful comebacks is the assurance that one is making progress on the right path. This knowledge alone, ultimately makes the whole process easier as we progress from pain to gain. But all too often, I’ve been asked: how do I know I’m on the right path and that I’m making progress? The following 5 rules will help you to measure your progress.

Now, these are entirely my rules. However, anyone can relate to them and apply them in any area of life.

But first of all, what do we mean by ‘successful comebacks’ and ‘making progress on a right path’? A successful comeback is a journey from pain to gain. It is the process of turning setbacks, failures and losses to our advantage. Atheletes often have accidents and suffer losses from games they missed. Yet, they return after months or even years to win a championship.

In the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympics, we witnessed Mo Farah ‘s successful comeback after he fell during the 10,000meter race and still won the race.

What was meant to hurt him and end a career, automatically turned into a blessing – #frompaintogain.

Making progress therefore, is creating positive advances towards the gains we seek from our pain. It could be gaining from financial, health, emotional, academic or social losses.

Steve Harvey holds up the card showing the winners after he incorrectly announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the winner at the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was named Miss Universe. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

In 2015, Steve Harvey had one of the greatest successful comebacks of the century after his public embarrassment at the Miss World Beauty Pageant. What was meant to be the end of a career has turned into a trademark.

In fact, his advert for T-Mobile, from which he gained financially too, was built around his trademark for “I apologize” now dubbed as “Ballogize”.

The funny thing is that sometimes, we rarely see the physical differences from our actions on this path towards a successful comeback. The rewards don’t come overnight and our status rarely change quickly.

Read: You Messed Up! So What?

So, while we workout at the gym, work at a career, read and study hard for exams, struggle to rebuild relationships, heal physically and psychologically after a fall and build new careers, how do we know we’re making progress?

Rule No.1:


Remember like Farah before the fall, you started your journey #frompaintogain with a clear difference between where you were (in pain) and where you desire to be (your gains). That was why you were inspired to try again, fight for your life and become better with the situation.

Now, if you still have these gains and motivation for moving forward somewhere in your mind, no matter how little it appears, you’re still on track.

This knowledge was the fire that set you on track. It’ll still sustain you.

Rule No.2:


Every time we feel pain, we’re expected to react. But we all react differently. However, there are two groups: the Winners and then, the Losers. Winners want something better from the situation. So the pain hurts them so much as to inspire them towards their freedom.

Losers on the other hand, are hurt so much that they melt with the pain. They succumb to the pain and imprison themselves within the walls of their pain. They say, “I’ve been hurt so much that I don’t want to move on from here”.

If by any means the pain hurts you so much so that YOU CROSS OUT YOUR FEARS and all you see are more reasons to escape from the pain, hey! You’re still on track.

Rule No.3:


You’ll always have naysayers in your life. But I’ve discovered a second breed of naysayers: the compassionate naysayers. They’re friends and family members with good intentions, which practically stall your successful comeback.

They’ll always say “you’ve tried enough”. They say this when they know by all standards that you’ve laboured relentlessly, yet, with little or no results.

Don’t judge them as fools. No!

They’re quite compassionate and want the best for you, one of which is that you don’t deserve the pains.

What’s missing here is their understanding of pain. To some of your friends and well-wishers, pain is wrong for you. They just can’t bear to watch you suffer. But what they fail to recognise is that without pain, there’s no gain. The pain, with the right attitude will bring out the best is you.

Therefore, if against all odds and pressure from your friends and well-wishers to quit, you still find reasons to try again, no matter how flimsy they appear, you’re absolutely making progress.

Rule No.4:


As a follow-up to the 3rd rule, the recurring failures should discourage you. But winners only find more strength and passion to win from the many failures they have.

If these failures only make you more impatient and eager to get back on your feet, IF YOU’RE STILL BOTHERED, then, you’re on track.

Do you remember Thomas Edison’s popular 1000 times failure? He never accepted failure but said that all he learnt were 1000 ways it couldn’t be done. Each failure pushed him closer towards his goal.

If you ever have this feeling on this journey, then, there are chances that your naysayers who are apparently judging you based on your numerous failures are wrong. You’re certainly on track!

Rule No.5:

You must have heard it severally:





Like Farah, if you keep believing and never give up, if you keep working on your dream

  • Constantly thinking about your goals
  • Generating new reasons to try again
  • Remain undaunted by naysayers
  • Still bothered and impatient with the delays
  • If you’re still willing to pay more, try again, repeat a class, start all over, and walk the mile again even after numerous failed attempts, then, you’re the man/woman for the job. You’re absolutely on track.

One of the greatest secrets of successful people is they know that what we see in them as success is the last attempt of many failed attempts.

It was not the last stroke that cut the tree. It’s the combination of 99 failed attempts, celebrated by the last stroke that fell the tree.

I may not know where you are at the moment, but if for some reasons you took up the challenge to have a successful comeback, you’re bound to have some doubts along the way. However, if any of these five rules appear anywhere in your narratives, then,

You’re on track and absolutely making progress.

Wake Up! Dress Up! and Show Up!

That’s how successful comebacks are made.

I hope to celebrate more with you. Feel free to share more reasons to believe you’re on the right track with me. I’m open to learn from you too, and invite a friend to gain from these comeback tips by sharing and liking this post.

I wish you a Successful Comeback! Just Keep Moving Forward. The Best Is Yet To Come!!!




  1. Hi Nnanna,

    You have a well thought out article on achieving your goals. I like how you took 5 rules and described what most people feel when going through pain, a setback, heartbreak or even starting an online business.

    Your rules talk about overcoming and not stopping for no one. You have to be your own cheerleader. No one else will do that for you.

    I like how you incorporated sports videos along with good solid content. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom.



    • Hello Tim,

      It’s so nice to hear from you. I’m pleased you were able to connect with the thoughts I shared above. I understand the feelings of disgust and despair from delayed results of sacrificial efforts towards a successful comeback and have shared these to help just about anyone to have a clear understanding of how to measure his/her progress.

      I look forward to hearing from you again on these thoughts and, helping more people to move from pain to gain.



  2. Hi Nnanna, Your article has a lot of substance, the kind of read one should get when in the path of development, the part where you describe a second breed of naysayers is so right on, I guess in this journey one has to learn how to deal with people, even the ones that want the best for you, sometimes they invite you to quit without realizing that’s not the best for you.

    If I may, I want to share an experience. In the past, I have always had trouble finishing what I started, because results didn’t come when I wanted them. Now, what I do, is make the daily activity my goal, It doesn’t matter the final achievement, just the daily practice, the plateau sometimes is really long, and when results are not at sight one is tempted to do something else, and by being the jack of all trades you can miss being really good in one.

    Do you have any recommended reading for self development? I really enjoy , Slight Edge, The Way of the Peacefull Warrior, As a MAn Thinketh, maybe you could recommend something.

    Great article

    • Hello Javier, your comment brought a lot of spark to my day. Seriously, it was quite engaging reading through your comment. I’m glad you connected with the 2nd breed of naysayers. Apparently, they’re the hardest to deal with as you’re naturally so careful not to hurt them. Yet like you pointed out, while they Care about you, they still invite you to quit even in a good course.

      Many people struggle with getting stuff done. Yes, the magnitude of the tasks can be so overwhelming. But like you said, we can only succeed by taking one day at a time. I watched a movie, “the peaceful warrior”. It suggests living in the ‘now’ and making the most of the moment. This not only releases the pressure but opens us up to the commitment we need to achieve much more from the day.

      I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing inspires me more than a deep revelation from the scriptures with such reassuring promises of God’s faithfulness and commitment to finish what He started in our lives. I also recommend for anyone Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Saleman in the World. It’s revolutionary.

      I’m deeply inspired by sermons and motivational messages from T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, John Mason and John Maxwell. Steve Harvey’s Early morning inspiration is also great. I’m inspired by many other humbly passionate mentors who are not ashamed to share their pain with us. What’s amazing about these men and women are their simplicity to life and sincerity.

      There’s a lot of pain in the world and while we offer faith in Jesus Christ as the solution to everlasting life and peace, we meet men and women where they hurt the most, especially by sharing our experiences. That’s why for me, moving from pain to gain is so real as I’ve hit the lowest points of my life and God’s just been so merciful.

      Therefore, with the mercy and comfort I received from Him, I comfort and encourage many others.

      Javier, the best is yet to come and I look forward to celebrating more days with you. Have a lovely day.


  3. Insightful article! I really like the examples you have given on setbacks and comebacks. They are really inspiring. The rules are also very useful as well to remind ourselves that failures are temporary and we can always choose to bounce back up. Overall, a really good read, and really open my eyes to new perspectives, Thanks!

    • Hello Liliwong, it’s my pleasure you found the post worth the read. What more can I say? Successful Comebacks are a great delight and the world is happier with it. Yes, there are tons of examples but most times, we are surrounded by all those who tell us it’s impossible more than those who inspire us to do the impossible. I look forward to helping more people get through the trying moments of despair, to find strength to become their very best. God bless you and I look forward to seeing you again.



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