The past two years have been hard on everyone. Regardless of who you are or where you live, some area of your life has been challenged.
So how do you move forward when you can barely get through your day? How do you gain momentum when obstacles always seem to arise?
Perhaps, you want to expand your business but you ‘can’t’ do business development because you’re too busy working ‘in’ your business. You may want to improve your relationships and increase your quality time with your spouse and kids but you ‘can’t’ because of their extracurricular activities and your company’s latest initiatives. You want to pursue your dream career, but you’re too busy in the fog today to see your bright dream for tomorrow.
You’re frustrated because you feel like you’re trying, but you’re getting nowhere and have little confidence of things changing. Who has experienced any of these situations before?
The following five steps will help you when life has served you the proverbial lemons, and you are ready to make some lemonade!
1. Get real. Stop hoping for it to change, and stop trying to outrun your noticeable problem or to-do list. If you’ve been operating under the guise that your day is a race to be won like many highly functioning, driven individuals, this is a sign you’re working from desperation versus inspiration. The problem with this approach is it never yields a high return on investment. It’s time for a change. Next…
2. Slow it way down. This may feel counter-intuitive. It is. Just when you think you need to speed up, it’s really time to slow way down and answer the important questions. Are you in line with where you want to go? Are you clear of what is truly not working or are you mis-diagnosing the problem completely? Slow down to observe what is “really” happening. So that you can…
3. Diagnose the problem. Seth Godin identifies four reasons we are stuck. 1. We don’t know what to do. 2. We don’t know how to do it 3. We don’t have the authority or resources to do it or 4. We are afraid. Once we figure out what’s getting in the way, it’s far easier to find the answer. “Stuck is a state of mind, and it’s curable.”
4. Rid yourself of vampires. To what drama and minutiae are you attaching yourself that is unneeded, unwarranted and unnecessary? Vampires may take the form of people, old thoughts, negative patterns of behavior, or judgment of self and others. Be courageous. Change what you have control over and let go of the rest. Drop the list of have-to-do’s you never complete, the employee with no desire to change, the client who is less than your ideal, your criticism of where you haven’t gotten to yet, and any negativity you’ve chosen to hold onto until now.
5. Step away. Whenever I find I am in “too deep” to see what is not working, or I’m looking for the five-star answer when life throws me a curve ball, I step away. I often say “you’re not going to be able to think your way out of this one.” The problem is not going to be solved by continuing to stare at it and think it through. Rent a space, go to a spa, find a retreat in the woods, or borrow a friend’s cabin for a day. There you’ll be able to hear your inspired, wise self speak rather than your desperate, critical ego which has been leading you astray.
6. Make a courageous bold move. When we’re driving and we need to make a detour, we don’t turn the wheel slightly. We boldly and courageously make a sharp pull. What bold move do you need to make to course correct? For me, it was to take an additional day off work each week for the summer. The answer was not what my logical thinking mind would have said to do, but as soon as I said it out loud, I knew it was EXACTLY what was required for myself and family.
Bottom line: Don’t wait to find the answer: create it.
Here’s to a chilled glass of lemonade, hot summer-fun and a sizzling life!