Conventional wisdom says if you work hard, success will come, but this isn’t always the case – especially in business. Sometimes, we’re simply stuck.
A lack of tangible progress can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you consciously dedicate energy and capital towards a venture. When you repeatedly run into roadblocks that prevent you from moving forward, you might start to look for out-of-the-box approaches to get yourself or your business unstuck.
“Using tools to short-circuit the thinking that prevents momentum can also help to offer the confidence and confirmation needed for a decision to be made,” says Australia-based entrepreneur Samantha Rush, the creator of Marvellous Women Cards. Rush offers the following decision-making strategies she has used to get herself unstuck and into a position where she can move forward.
Assume full accountability for your actions
Use self-reflection to identify the pain points that prevent you from moving forward. Self-reflection allows you to gather data about yourself to understand more about what’s going on. In the same way that you can gather personalized data through apps, such as phone screen time, introspection can inform where you spend your time and how it serves you.
It might seem tedious, but keep a notepad on hand to keep track of where you spend your time, and which tasks and thought patterns occupy your precious time and energy. This enables you to become accountable for every bit of energy you expend.
Consider another viewpoint
Unpack your feelings and engage others to gain a new perspective. Get a fresh set of eyes on your situation by leveraging support from external sources (e.g., prompt cards, friends, colleagues, and mentors) that can help you see another side of the story.
When we’re deep into a problem, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. As result, we can be too hard on ourselves. A fresh set of eyes can inject a new view and help you pivot your approach in the right direction. Sometimes, the smallest adjustment will help you to get better results.
Take ownership of your time
Time is your most valuable resource. It is finite. Yet we tend to only focus on how much time we have left when time is almost up, for example, a deadline. Every day, you only have 1660 minutes, 480 of which are spent asleep. How do you want to spend the remaining 1180 minutes?
Time is money. Everything you buy has been paid for with your time. Every dollar you spend represents the number of minutes you dedicate to earning it. Manage your time like you manage your money.
Create some space between yourself and the challenge
To get clarity, it helps to seek assistance or input from someone else. Talk to people about other things and distract your mind. One of the most powerful tools for getting clarity is a simple walk. The exercise (and the chemical changes it causes in your brain), the change in scenery, and the rhythm of stepping forwards repeatedly, combined with fresh air hit the restart button on your brain. It doesn’t have to be a 7 km hike, the goal is to simply move your body. You can also get clarity and distance by using tools such as prompt cards to inject different thinking and new perspectives on the issue to break your current thought pattern.
Improve your decision-making skills
Sometimes, a big decision is what’s delaying progress. Feeling overwhelmed can be a major mental block. For women who struggle with decision-making, over-analyzing situations and trying to predict the worst-case scenario in every possibility is the only way they know how to be safe.
Big decisions can be scary. However, being brave and addressing the struggle to make decisions is an investment in yourself and your business. Delaying the decision-making process can lead to missed opportunities, even the decisions with poor outcomes are teachable and also add to your growth.
Find ways that support your decision-making processes, whether you turn to a friend, colleague, or loved one for advice, or harness the wisdom and insight of others by looking at their inspirational quotes and sayings.
Samantha Rush is the creator behind the beautiful and empowering deck of decision inspiration cards known as Marvellous Women Cards. It contains the wisdom of 52 women, ranging from Cleopatra to Kate Bush and Lady Gaga. Samantha created this deck because she felt there was a gap in the market to help women make decisions by drawing on the wisdom of some of the most inspiring ladies throughout history.
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