Conquering setbacks: Author Amy Shoenthal has science-based fix for life’s ruts in new book

A New York-based author came up with a science-based fix in new book that took three years to write – just in time for Women's History Month.

Lee Danuff and Tara Rosenblum

Mar 18, 2024, 8:43 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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Stuck in a rut in your personal life or trying to navigate an unexpected twist in your professional career?
A New York-based author came up with a science-based fix in new book that took three years to write – just in time for Women's History Month.
Amy Shoenthal's "The Setback Cycle" offers a roadmap on how to transform one's greatest challenges into the biggest victories.
The self-help book also offers guidance on how to determine if one is going through a setback, and once a person is in one, how they can emerge even stronger.
Shoenthal says the book was sparked by her own experiences getting sidelined at a prestigious marketing agency after returning from maternity leave.
"I was removed from certain accounts and my role was slowly and subtly minimized," she says.
During her darkest hours, the former journalist and East Meadow High School graduate says she found inspiration in former interviews she had done with a wide range of powerful female leaders for ForbesWomen.
"Almost every story that they shared, the moment that they like really lit up and started getting excited to tell me about their story, was after they pulled themselves out of a setback," she says. "That almost always led to their biggest business idea, their boldest innovation or their most creative venture, and I wanted to know why this kept happening. Why I kept seeing it?"
Shoenthal says that after meeting with scholars, psychologists, neuroscientists and executive coaches, she was able to pinpoint the science that explains how setbacks set the stage for reinvention and interviewed powerful women to prove it. This included fashion icons, top chefs and famous Peleton instructors.
"So many people did not realize that they were in a setback when they entered into one. It took people years, sometimes decades to realize that 'Oh, that really major thing that happened to me, that was a setback and that's what led me down the next path," she says.
Shoenthal says releasing her book during Women's History Month was not a coincidence.
"This is a book filled with the stories of the resilience of women leaders and how they persevered through unimaginable setbacks and gender plays a role in that. But I think whether you're a woman or not you're going to read these stories and you're going to be inspired, you're going to be motivated," she says.


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