How do you keep your head in the game when an opportunity that you hoped for meets a roadblock? How can you still get some value from it?

Regardless of your hustle or your determination, some opportunities are going to meet resistance. 

It's a frustrating fact of life.  When met with a roadblock, it can be tempting to scratch and start something else.  At the very least, you are likely to become discouraged.  

Before you throw in the towel, allow me to recommend the following steps.  I've found them to be useful in keeping my head in the game and finding value---even when I've met with resistance.

Take a break

 When I was a kid and was getting frustrated while looking for something that was lost, my mother would wisely encourage me to take a break and come back to look for it later.  Almost magically, every time I took a break and left the task for a moment, I had fresh eyes and attention when I returned to find the item.  

When you meet a roadblock, depending on your personality type, you may be tempted to push harder.  May I encourage you to not do this?  Take a break; go do something fun.  Try to get some distance from the frustration (I realize this will be easier for some than others).  For me, I like to exercise...or take a nap.

When you come back, you'll be better positioned to go on to the next step.

Revisit the outcomes that were important to you

When you are in the middle of moving an opportunity forward, it can be all too easy to forget why you were pursuing the opportunity in the first place.  What was it that this opportunity was supposed to offer in the end?  Do you remember?

I've found that when I go back and look at my reasons for doing something, it can re-center me and prepare me for the next crucial step.

Determine if any adjustments can be made

Once you are clear on why you thought this opportunity was a good idea in the first place, look for adjustments in your approach that might still get you to your outcome.  It may be that you can get there if you get some help, reinvest, or stretch your expected timeline. 

Remember, contrary to popular belief, there are no silver bullet fixes, and conversely, there are no silver bullet answers to why the project is meeting resistance.  So, be wary of the tendency to make blanket statements about the situation.  Instead, tease apart the situation.  It may be that only a few things need to be altered (when your emotions may be saying to start over).

Remember, the end is what is important.  The steps to get there can be altered if you meet resistance.  Change course, re-equip and press forward again.

Once you’ve determined if any adjustments can be made, you are finally ready for the last step.

Be realistic about whether you should quit.

There, I said it.

The dreaded four letter word....."quit."  Yes, there are times when you should quit. I don't advocate it as a first action.  It's part of the sequence.  However, if after you have taken a break, gone back over the outcomes that were important to you, determined if any adjustments could be made, you find no reasonable path forward, move on to the next opportunity. 

Stop wasting energy, time and resources attempting to move something forward that may simply have not found its time yet.  The sooner you can recognize that something is not working and shift accordingly, the sooner you will arrive at the success you are looking for.

Over the past couple years I have used this process to cut through a number of projects. Some I dropped, and others I reinvested in.  The great thing is that I know why I cut the ones I cut, and I know why I reinvested in the ones that I kept.  

Josh leverages creativity, innovation, and collaboration in organizations working strategically for the betterment of humanity. He specializes in helping people find meaningful direction.

Josh leverages creativity, innovation, and collaboration in organizations working strategically for the betterment of humanity. He specializes in helping people find meaningful direction.

So, what roadblocks are you facing?  What approach are you taking to either move the roadblock out of the way, or go down another road altogether? Hopefully, you'll find these steps useful.

Go get ‘em.  We’re rooting for ya!