Poster With Quote “Sometimes It Is Smarter To Step Back”

Take A Step Back

Because I am a life coach, most of my articles are focused on moving forward and making progress. So, I am usually writing about how to get “unstuck” and keep moving ahead. But, recently, I have noticed that sometimes when we are speeding forward at a fast pace, we need to take a step back. We might seem to be making a lot of progress. We are busy, busy, busy! But then, we start to run into roadblocks. Or, what we thought was going to be easy, all of a sudden isn’t that easy. It might even be really hard.

What happened? We thought we were focused, and taking action, but things just aren’t falling into place the way we thought they were going to. Several things could have happened. Maybe we were busy, but not focused on the end goal. Or, we were busy focusing on the big steps, and letting the small ones fall through the cracks. Sometimes, we start working “in” something instead of “on” something. That’s a sure sign we have lost our real focus. Have you ever been so absorbed on taking action that you kind of forgot what the big picture was supposed to look like?

How do you get back on track without feeling like you are spinning your wheels?

  1. When you run into a big unexpected roadblock, ask yourself ‘how can I fix or resolve this?’ and then set a plan in motion. Many of us immediately wonder if the situation can be fixed, then start going down the wrong path. Think in “solution mode” instead of “fear mode” and see what a difference it can make.
  2. Don’t lose momentum. Stop what you are doing. Give yourself permission to take a day or two off. Get a different perspective. Oftentimes, when you aren’t thinking or focusing on something you are struggling with, a solution for that challenge will pop into your head. So, do something else for a while and you might be surprised.
  3. Step back and look up. If you don’t look up and take notice of what is going on around you, you might fail to see opportunities that have opened up. Don’t get tunnel vision. There’s a balance to healthy focus and tunnel vision. Keep an open mind and perspective.
  4. Adjust your attitude. Does your attitude need a tune-up? Sometimes we get into a negative mindset when things seem to be going wrong. Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones.
  5. What happens if whatever you are doing takes a whole lot longer than you thought it would? Is it something that you could hire someone else to do? How valuable is your time? Remember, you can always make more money, but you can’t get your time back!
  6. Remember why you are doing this. Take a step back and write down your reasons for wanting this goal or project completed. Write down how you will you feel when you are finished. How will you look and what difference will it make in your life? Keep that list around to refer to when you need to stay motivated.
  7. When it seems like you are really getting nowhere, take a long step back. Look at how much you have already accomplished, and pat yourself on the back. Even if you haven’t gotten many steps finished, look at the big ones you already completed. Think about how much closer you are from where you started.