10 Things to Do When You Take a Step Back

Image Courtesy of Ginther @ Flickr

In the process of any form of achievement there will be times where you take a step back – where things don’t go as planned and you fall into a bit of a slump. These moments can hurt, sometimes even enough to make you quite altogether. But don’t quit.

Persistence is an aspect of success that many people struggle with because it is difficult to keep working, fly past the tipping point point. I hope these strategies make the road towards your goals simpler, with less interference from steps backwards.

Identify the cause. Any solution requires a clear problem. What is it specifically that you’ve deemed to be a step away from your goals? When you break things down like this instead of responding immediately with “Everything’s gone wrong, I’m doomed!” you’re able to think logically without the interference of emotion. Smart decisions can be made in response.

Remember where you’re going. Have a clear direction, an end goal. This is a key tool for motivating yourself through times where everything feels to be going against you. Every day visualise the exact outcome you want from your goals.

Realize it’s just a pot hole, not a canyon. It’s a scrape not a flesh wound. Any step back is reversible and rarely requires any major shift in actions or thoughts. Be mindful of what went wrong, acknowledge it, and move on.

Inspire yourself. What is your inspiration? Music, good books and the videos from Gary Vaynerchuk rarely fail to get me back in my groove. Discover your muses and then exploit the hell out of them in your down times.
Stop doing anything. Be still and relax. Taking a step back can be spurred from burning out and you can’t recover from that by running your engines even hotter. Don’t feel guilty for purposeful unproductiveness. Enjoy it.

Blast some music. Nothing gets me pumped up more than playing some Ben Harper at a most likely unhealthily loud volume. Get some good speakers (fan of the Logitech Z-10 system myself) and get lost in the melodies.
Get something done. Make some form of progress. Whatever it is doesn’t particularly matter, just kick your mind into gear by realizing that the step back was only temporary.

Hang out with friends. This is essentially “Stop doing anything” but with the added distraction of your buddies to help take your mind off your step back. If you want to take a more active approach consider joining a mastermind group. Then you can hang out with like-minded individuals and take steps forward at the same time.

Solidify your plan. What is your current plan of action? Run through it, slowly, and begin revising or removing any weak links. Make your plan a flawless sequence of events to take action on – there’s no room for mediocrity.

Smile. Force one if you have to. Just smile. It’s proven that the physical act of smiling has the same effect as being genuinely happy. Sit, smile and breath.

Step forward. Don’t live in the past. Take action that takes your forward towards your goals. Stepping back is an inevitable part of life – make sure it doesn’t become he only part of life.

David Turnbull is a Guest Blogger For PickTheBrain and is the founder of DavidTurnbull.com.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

One Response to 10 Things to Do When You Take a Step Back

  1. Pingback: Creating a Calmness Around You A Good Majority of The Time | Alviesmarts

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