You’ve got a goal.
You’ve got a plan.
You can see the optimal outcome and know the steps to get there.
Whether you’re headed for a new title or promotion, a new job or career, or a total pivot or next chapter in your life, you are READY to SET and GO!
You’re on your way, rolling along, that great big yonder in the distance getting closer every day…
… when suddenly…
Something unexpected happens. An unwelcome PLOT TWIST.
A fork in the road. A strong headwind. A hurdle you hadn’t expected to leap over.
Maybe a total DEAD END.
Suddenly all that energy and motivation you had starts seeping from your reserves, slowing you down, bringing you to a standstill.
And you can’t figure it out… Why?
Why does it seem the momentum you had is seeping from your tires?
This happened to me recently. Literally.
My front right tire was low on air. I filled it up. The next morning it was low again. I filled it again. 24 hours later it had dipped below a level that made it safe to drive.
I couldn’t see the problem. Somewhere was a (not-so) slow leak in the tire. I was hoping for a quick fix, a patch to send me on my way.
I had to get the vehicle to a service center, lest I find myself stuck on the side of the road.
I went first to a local tire depot where they refused to look for the issue unless I agreed to purchase a new tire, claiming my treads were low. That was a bigger investment than I expected to make on the spot.
So I white-knuckled it to my dealership and asked that they take a look. I was fully prepared for a shocking bill if the tire, or the entire set, needed to be replaced.
10 minutes later, I was handed back my keys. And the culprit: a nearly 3-inch screw that had embedded itself within the tire, causing that not-so-slow leak.
Back on the road, the wheels are once again taking me where I need to go.
What’s the “nail” in your “tire”? What’s the “screw” that keeps screwing up your best-laid plans?
How often do we find our energy, our motivation, and our momentum thwarted by something we’re not aware of? Something that can’t be seen but that creates a gaping hole in our plans?
What are the things that throw us off-course, like:
The naysayers in our lives (or in our own head?)
Like the screw in the tire, these things take away the forward motion we need to get where we want to go. They slow us down.
Maybe the point of having to slow down is to pause and find the problem – and the solution – before returning to the roadway.
This isn’t something we can always do on our own. Often times we need an expert, or at least an observant and objective party, to point out what we’re doing wrong. We need to be willing to get a second opinion or to invest in whatever it takes to get us moving again.
Sometimes that requires just 10 minutes at the dealership. Other times it’s an entire overhaul – a set of tires, an upgraded engine, a new vehicle…
We don’t always see momentum-stopping objects in the road until we run over them. We don’t realize how stealthily they’ve embedded themselves deep within us. Without the warning signs that require further inspection – like that slow leak of energy – we’d drive on until they make us drop.
It’s OK to slow down, pull over, even stop and ask for help if that’s what’s needed to get moving again.
That doesn’t mean we won’t get where we’re going.
Remove the nail, patch up the hole, get back in the driver’s seat, and set off again.
And keep that 3-inch screw as a souvenir and a symbol of the story.
How about you? What’s been the nail in your wheel that’s taking you off-course? What might require removal or need to be patched so you can keep moving forward?
Valerie Gordon is a 10x Emmy-winning television producer and the founder of The Storytelling Strategist, a career and communication firm. She speaks at conferences and consults with corporations, growing future leaders, and strong, collaborative teams through the power of storytelling. Email her at email@example.com for a free discovery call about her workshops and coaching services.