Going through difficulties? Keep going!

04/08/2017 | Eclectic |

We have all experienced it at least once in our lifetime yet. We have a goal, we work hard for it, but somehow we simply don’t seem to be able to reach it. Circumstances just seem to not let us achieve what we have in mind and focus for a long time already. We think we’ve done everything possible to make it happen. And still…

At a certain point people think about giving up. Sometimes that is the right thing to do considering all time, effort and often enough money that went into the project. The economic point of view typically is the strongest decision maker. No dream, plan, project or whatever is worth it to be financially ruined in the end. However, the financial aspect might also be the ultimate boost to all efforts taken before a final decision is made. It puts a lot of pressure on the project and ultimately determines the timeline.

To stop or to continue –
one of hardest decisions to make…

Why is it so difficult to determine the right moment? This question is not only about wrapping up things. You can experience the same difficulties while determining when and if to start an endeavor. It is the constant struggle between head and heart, rational thinking and sentiment, conviction and doubt. And – let’s be honest – there will always be arguments for both sides. It is never a totally clear picture. The ‘what if’ and ‘but maybe’ thinking will always make us doubt. What if suddenly we meet the one person that is really interested and grants us a huge amount of orders? OR But maybe the market changes all of a sudden and our service is needed more than ever? Imagine we stopped too early and in a few years from now others will earn a lot of money with our idea… A classical catch-22.

All these thoughts are right in a way. In theory everything is possible and sometimes things do become reality. But in the meanwhile… what to do?

Well, first of all it is important to really DO something. Don’t sit still and wait until others or the situation as such take the decision for you. Keep going! Be active in thinking through all scenario’s, talk to people, listen to their opinions, try to seek advice and get a clear picture of the situation. The most important thing is to switch off the pure emotional part even if that has been the most powerful driver so far. Make sure to focus on the facts and try to not make them better or worse by looking at the ‘if’s’ and ‘possibly’s’.

Secondly, come up with a plan. Set a realistic timeline and determine what actions you are going to start in order to make the project fly in the meanwhile. Write down to whom you will speak, what communication channels you are going to use and what you didn’t do so far to make it happen. Work with a hard stop in mind, i.e. take the decision that you will stop your efforts and wrap up the project when you’ve done all you planned and there is still no success.

Thirdly, determine how long you will need to wait in order to be sure that the project succeeded or failed. Some actions don’t have an immediate effect, but need a few weeks or even months in order to show results. If the period of time you need is a longer one, think about the financial impact this waiting period will have for you and determine if that is an option at all.

Last but not least draw the worst case scenario. Make sure that you are prepared in case all your efforts don’t pay off. Don’t be afraid to focus on failure by doing that. It can be very relieving to know what will happen and needs to be done in case of. Make sure you are aware of all obligations you have but also all new chances this will generate. Free up your mind by preparing for all scenario’s. It will take a very heavy weight from your shoulders.

Sometimes you win,
sometimes you learn…

The most important thing to remember is that it has all been worth it. No matter if you win or lose, succeed or fail, break through or break down – it has always been for good. Even if you don’t see the immediate benefit, you might realize at a later stage that it has been a tremendous experience. The learning factor is even bigger with things that don’t run smoothly. So make sure you regard it as a positive thing. You will always be able to say: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…