To make progress, to get ahead, the natural assumption is that we need to keep moving forward. Take the next step, and keep going until you get there.
But like all things in leadership and life, it’s not so binary.
There are always other effective options available to us too.
Take this week. For a particular goal of mine I’ve been pushing ahead, and frankly, not really taking steps forward although I’ve put a lot of effort into it.
When I look at myself objectively I see someone who’s been going around in circles.
B for effort, D for achievement as my old school reports would put it.
Which is why I went back to one of my trusty mantras:
If it’s not working, just stop. (even if you don’t know what else to do).
And when I stopped, the path forward quickly became clear: Take Stock.
It’s funny how we forget the simple things: giving yourself time to carefully think about something in order to make a decision.
So I looked at where I am now with this goal.
I looked at the goal in depth.
I looked at all the stuff cluttered around this goal in my brain and I took some time to clear that out.
And then I did my favourite part: Purposefully Doing Nothing so I could let my brain do all it’s background processing.
Now my brain is spitting out excellent bits of insight and action items.
Motivation and inspiration is returning.
I’m getting clarity again.
Decision making and action taking are now easier.
When you get stuck sometimes you need to grind on. Sometimes you just need to stop, take stock, and let your mind do its magic.
This philosophy (is that too grand a word for this?) keeps back the imposter syndrome and inner critic. It helps keep me sane.
Give it a try.
This is part of my Thought Piece Series where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here