Are you feeling frustrated, annoyed, or unsettled? If you feel as if everything you are trying to accomplish is unfolding in front of you, but not the way you planned, or you feel constricted, like something is holding you back, just Stop.

Pause. Breathe.

Whatever you are trying to accomplish may not be working on the path you’ve designed. And whether you want to believe it or not, trying to do things in the same way over and over again, or getting angry and yelling at those around you will not help to improve matters. As you have probably already witnessed, it just makes it worse.

When you’re in the thick of things, it’s hard just to stop. But I urge you to do so. Breathe and pause. Go for a walk or a run. Call a friend, someone you trust who can help you reflect on the situation. Or just find a quiet place to be and clear your mind.


After a few minutes, pause some more and go inward.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I make this situation better?
  • What can I do to turn it around?
  • What can I say differently to help others understand the magnitude?

Then wait patiently for the answers you seek. Remember to take ownership and accountability for your part in the solution.

Often, we are overcome with the need and propensity to argue or be right. We might have even taken the situation personally and have fallen in the victim trap. However, you will never proceed forward if you don’t stop and look inward. Also, if you feel justified at the moment, from a business perspective, you do not want it to cloud your capacity to think through the topic constructively. Try to detach from the situation and observe.

Further ask, what is:

  • At stake?
  • The gravity of the situation?
  • In your control?
  • The outcome you are trying to achieve?

Once you understand your answers, you can hopefully find new ways to share your perspective and find common ground with others.

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