You’ve probably experienced setbacks at some point in your life. When you’re good, you’re good; but when you hit certain adversities or roadblocks, it’s easy to backtrack or struggle to find a path forward. We’ve all been there. That’s why it’s so important to consistently check-in with yourself and your body. Understanding who you are and how roadblocks impact your day, week, month or year can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.
Get to Know Yourself
Some people are taking personality assessments like the enneagram test which assigns a number 1-9 based on a questionnaire you take. This gives you some insight into how you approach the world and how you may handle adversity. Are you an Achiever, a Peacemaker, a Helper, etc.? It’s nice to take time for a personal inventory so you can really start to tune in with your internal drivers and understand how you can navigate challenges that life sends your way. If you’re not into personality tests, think though how you would answer the following questions:
- What motivates you? (a morning ritual, external recognition, the number on the scale, etc.)
- How do you tackle your day-to-day? Do you have a plan or fly by seat of your pants? There are lots of factors impacting your day – kids, schedules, work, etc. – do you plan downtime, time for rest, time for exercise, etc.?
- How do you process experiences? Are you “go-go-go”, do you work through things more methodically at your own pace, or are you somewhere in the middle? Do you take daily actions to process experiences?
- How do you react to good news? bad news? other “derailers”?
These are tough questions that deserve self-reflection. The good news is that there are tools you can use to help. Once you truly start looking at yourself on this deeper level, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of how you process experiences, information, etc. and how it makes you feel (e.g., being disorganized brings you stress). Here are some tools we recommend:
Tools for Getting There
- Journaling on a regular basis. Reflect on your day or week by taking the time to write things down. You’ll start to see things that are staying with you, and possibly affecting you emotionally more than you expected. Writing about it is a way of processing and providing insight. You’ll start to see patterns and recurring stressors, which is a wonderful opportunity for growth and change moving forward.
- Slowing down. Life is a balancing act. Your day-to-day is probably filled with work, family activities, meal prep, etc. It’s so important to schedule time to be still and quiet in order to be in tune with how you’re feeling. Meditation or deep breathing is a great place to practice and keep doing each day. Start with 2 minutes of silence in a day and build on it. This helps you tune in with your body and mind.
- Taking regular stock in the day-to-day. What are the things that impact you regularly? What are some things you appreciate? Which are the ones that are difficult? What are you grateful for? Are you where you want to be or are there things you’d change? Make an appointment with yourself on a weekly basis – literally put the meeting on your calendar – so that you plot out necessary time for yourself.
Sometimes a goal can feel too big to start. Or a roadblock can feel too big to overcome. It’s so intimidating, that it’s easier just to avoid it. But that doesn’t have to be the case. We talked about setting goals the right way in an earlier blog — in which you break down the big goal into smaller, more manageable chunks that all lead to your goal and give you positive momentum. Here are a few more tips on understanding your derailers and how to overcome them:
- First, define your derailers. One example might be the slowness of a process – when you’re not seeing progress or changes taking effect quickly enough. Or maybe you’re not getting enough positive feedback/affirmations. Check-in with yourself to find affirmations to keep you going if you’re not getting them externally. A lot of our hang-ups exist in our head and not in reality – they exist more on an emotional level than a physical level. That’s where your journaling can really come in handy.
- Once you understand where you tend to struggle, make a plan. This might be an emotional wellness plan or a structural plan (for all you non-planners), but putting some coping mechanisms in place that you can turn to each time will make a world of difference. Once you have a plan, you more easily prepare, set expectations, and navigate through the adversities.
- Make sure to address roadblocks emotionally and behaviorally. For example, if you know that you usually feel overwhelmed with work calls and meetings by lunchtime or after a certain meeting, take a lunch break and go for a walk, journal, meditate, etc. to cope, instead of going to the break room to eat a leftover donut. Again, take time out for yourself to think about why you’re stressed and take time out to shift gears and clear your head for a few minutes.
Overall, the big thing is to not let setbacks lead you down the path to giving up. Give yourself time to process and address hindrances, so you can keep momentum, and grow and change for the better.
- Take time to know and evaluate yourself (emotionally and physically)
- Start identifying your roadblocks
- Start developing a plan to face them both emotionally and behaviorally