Perhaps you had a brilliant idea but the reality isn’t matching up. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as a starting place:
1. What’s different from your vision and your reality?
2. Did you have more support?
3. Did you have more authority?
4. Were people more willing to get on board?
Think back to your vision and see what’s different. Did you run into unexpected circumstances? Do you even know what’s making your efforts futile? This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself.
In times like these we tend to sense that our superiors are concerned, but in reality how do you know? Do you have factual evidence of such:
1. What conversations are you having with them?
2. Have you asked them for their guidance or advice?
When you get stuck it’s time to look at the situation through different perspectives. Asking your boss their perspective is an excellent place to start.
I get it, I know what it’s like to feel the pressure from not making progress as fast as I want or think I should. Chances are you are putting a ton of pressure on yourself and you may even be making up stories or interpreting things incorrectly.
If you're stepping out of your comfort zone or trying to solve a major problem, it’s only natural that your confidence is wavering. Here’s what they don’t tell you in business school:
Every time you uplevel, your confidence will waver.
It’s important to build and nurture a strong support network that you can rely on during these times of leveling up your leadership. The stronger your support, the less you waver.
Here’s the secret of being great — learn how to handle pressure in ways that don’t derail you.
When you don’t know where to start, here’s the perfect place to start: Start with your why. Why did you want to take on this challenge in the first place? It’s time to find that spark that got you started on this path.
Let’s take several steps back and look at your perceived "Fail" from a higher-level perspective: Perhaps you had a brilliant idea. Your boss thought you had something and encouraged you to pursue your brilliant idea, which may or may not have included giving you a team and a budget to accomplish your vision.
1. Where did it start to go off the rails?
2. Did you set appropriate expectations?
3. Do you need to go back and re-establish those expectations or promises?
4. Have you taken accountability and ownership when things didn’t go as planned?
5. Were you realistic with yourself about what it was going to take and how long to till you get there?
6. What about your team—are they working as effectively and efficiently as possible?
7. Do they feel empowered to bring solutions forward?
8. Have you considered sitting down with them and brainstorming a solution together?
Great leaders know that they aren’t the only ones with great ideas. Get your team(s) together to come up with the best possible solution to your problem.
Darling, you haven’t failed, you are simply in the messy middle. It’s uncomfortable AF, that’s for sure, and it’s totally survivable. Every great leader has found themselves exactly where you are – in the unknown.
If you are a woman of faith or spirituality, this is the perfect place to ask for Divine guidance and follow the breadcrumbs. It isn’t about knowing all the answers yourself. It’s about using all your tools and resources. You may need to use your resources to help you develop more tools.
Don’t forget—you believed you could do this. Your boss believed you could do this. You believed in your team that they could do this. It’s time to rise into your greatness and inspire your team to do the same.
Remember what Einstein said “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Be sure that you are thinking differently in order to solve the problem at hand.
And if you need more support, someone in your corner to:
Remind you how freakin’ amazing you are
Someone to bounce ideas off of
Someone to help you strategize
Someone to help you shift your mindset and thinking
And someone who can handle it while you fall apart so you can pull yourself back together—stronger than before, I’ve got your back.
Reach out and let’s schedule a time to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org