When things go wrong, or just aren’t moving forward the way we’d like, it’s easy to point fingers. That guy didn’t do what he was supposed to. I was waiting for her to go first. I just didn’t have time. Yet in most cases, the obstacle to our success is pretty clear-cut: it’s us.
Here are five ways to stay productive and succeed.
1. Tackle Your Work Immediately
Procrastinating is so easy—it can be hidden under the guise of “prioritizing.” Human nature being what it is, tasks put off for “later” will always be theoretical, just out of the reach of the to-do list. Going ahead and doing something, even if it’s not terribly convenient or enjoyable, brings it back to being a tangible achievement. Think how satisfying it’ll be to check it off.
2. Embrace The Possibility of Failure
Sure, you might fail. Guess what? If you do, the world doesn’t stop. Don’t let your fear of failure or your intimidation dictate your next move, because you will absolutely miss growth and opportunities if you can’t even get started.
3. Own Your Ideas
You had the great idea to begin with, so steer it confidently as you bring it to life. You bring skills and a unique perspective to the table—so even if others are having trouble sharing your vision, that doesn’t mean stop. It means keep moving, adapt if necessary, and know that your instincts are valid. It’s okay to be confident in your abilities.
4. Turn Fault Into an Opportunity
Analysis is good, finger-pointing is not. Figuring out how things went wrong should be part of any development process, but find ways to make that a constructive session. Ask how things can be fixed and what specifically you or a colleague can do to improve the result moving forward.
5. Continue Learning
“I didn’t know” isn’t an excuse…it’s a cop-out. If you don’t actively learn from everything going around you, don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly feeling left behind as others around you grow and change and move forward. Similarly, learning from the past can keep you from making mistakes over and over or getting disappointing results…again.
The good news is that if you’re blocking your own success, you can also be the hero for removing that obstacle. No super-strength necessary, just a willingness to keep your head up and be proactive.