If only life were so easy. We identify, evaluate and plot the most direct course to achieving our goals and then simply engage. The strategy runs like a finely oiled machine and in short order, and under budget our goal has been achieved and we are all the better for it as we move on to the next! Ah, if life were really like that!
The reality for most of us is that the best-laid plans, clearly defined objectives do not always work out the way we had hoped - in fact there can be monumental screw-ups, unforeseen changes in markets, economies, technologies, and government that can throw a great big monkey wrench into our theoretical well-oiled machine.
In many of these challenging situations we may become disillusioned, losing sight of our objective and as such become unmotivated - we may be temporarily intimidated and confounded by the obstacles thus losing sight of our goal.
Perhaps the first thing towards overcoming frustrations is to recognize that we are indeed experiencing frustration and our motivation may be waning. To recognize the symptoms will allow you to grab hold of the situation before the slide gains momentum, effecting your team and yourself to a greater degree that may be harder to recover from.
- Watch for de-motivating, negative self-talk.
- Watch for a growing sense of futility and pessimism around the goal.
- Watch for rationalizing, fault finding and blame shifting.
When you identify these things are happening, it will be important to stop and take some time to re-group. This means to revisit your goal - why you made it an actionable goal in the first place. Remind yourself of the benefits or rightness of the goal and all the benefits one will realize from it.
Identify where you are now, be honest about what is happening, has happened and their impact on your project/goal.
- identify risks
- identify fears / emotions - real or imagined - face them and proceed
- inventory strengths / assets
- identify any lacking resources - brainstorm potential sources.
In light of renewed vision, risks, needs and strength assessments formulate the next leg of the plan towards achieving your goal. Communicate with your team, seek feedback and input - incorporate as prudent to do so and then implement.
Understand that a plan is subject to change because we cannot anticipate all the potential obstacles - perhaps they don’t even exist yet. The key continues to be aware - aware of the market place or the context you operate and the kinds of situations which impact your goals. Be prepared to have to adjust the plan but always keep your eyes upon the goal. Allow your goal and its benefits to energize you and your team even through the challenges. Allow your goal to be the guiding star through the nighttime of obstacles.