Episode 49: Going Through a Setback? Try This! | Amy Shoenthal

May 24, 2024
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In this episode of Thriving Together, Nitika Chopra interviews Amy Shoenthal, author of The Setback Cycle. They discuss the different phases of setbacks and how to navigate them. Amy shares the story of fashion designer Norma Kamali as an example of someone who went through the setback cycle and emerged stronger. They also talk about the importance of embracing discomfort and creating a counter argument to self-doubt narratives. Thriving for Amy looks like taking a beat, relaxing, and finding balance after the whirlwind of her book launch.


Amy Shoenthal is a USA Today bestselling author, journalist and marketing consultant. Throughout her career, she has worked with some of the world’s largest brands, from Procter & Gamble to Google, providing strategic marketing guidance and helping shape their brand narratives.

Blending her marketing expertise with her formal journalism training, Amy approaches storytelling as sense making. As a top contributor to ForbesWomen and Harvard Business Review, she shines the spotlight on those who have been historically underestimated yet are doing the work to solve society’s biggest problems.

Years of interviewing hundreds of leaders, from politicians to Peloton instructors, fashion icons to founders just starting their journeys inspired her bestselling book, The Setback Cycle, which offers a framework to help people persevere through and triumph over setbacks.

Amy is also a sought-after speaker, with her first TEDx talk scheduled for this spring. She frequently leads professional development trainings, workshops and fireside chats for organizations, and has spoken at companies like Google, Royal Bank of Canada, KeyBank, Luminary and more.

Amy has given keynotes and spoken on panels at conferences from Social Media Week to Weekend @The Pitch Club, the Mom 2 Summit, NFT Week, Advertising Week and more.

She wrote a local children’s book about the independent-owned businesses in her own beloved neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

The Topics We Explore In This Episode

  • Setbacks are a natural part of life and can lead to personal and professional growth.
  • The setback cycle consists of four phases: establish, embrace, explore, and emerge.
  • It's important to acknowledge and embrace setbacks rather than ignore or deny them.
  • Exploring new possibilities and seeking support from your community can help you navigate setbacks.
  • Creating a counter argument to self-doubt narratives can help you thrive.
  • Thriving looks different for everyone and can involve taking time to relax and find balance.


  • 00:00 - Introduction and Background
  • 05:50 - Exploring "The Setback Cycle" and it's Inspiration
  • 10:15 - Defining Setbacks
  • 19:29 - Four Phases of the Setback Cycle
  • 31:15 - Surpassing Self-Doubt to Craft Your Own Narrative
  • 35:02 - Thriving through Quality Time

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