No matter how hard we try, life is going to play more than a couple of tricks on us along the way. Even the most forward-thinking, pre-prepared person hasn't got the power to foresee unknown unknowns, but when they do appear we can make sure we're ready to face them head on.
We've all been in situations where we keep doing to try and dig ourselves out of a hole that just seems to be getting bigger. Whilst it feels unnatural to do nothing, giving yourself some space from whatever is causing problems gives your mind time to work it out in the background. The reason some of our best ideas come in the shower is because our subconscious is constantly at work - so take a break, distract yourself for a while, and get back to the obstacle with a fresh pair of eyes.
Whether it's asking for help from an expert in the field (this does include Google), or leaning on a loved one for emotional support, sharing your burden is better for mental wellbeing, as well as introducing diversity of thought to the problem at hand. You may be great at what you do, but sometimes a brand new perspective can be the key to levelling up.
Getting perspective on a problem is helpful when it comes to reframing a negative reaction to it. Obstacles can easily consume us, so the ability to step back and see that life is far richer than our current focus can help calm nerves, which in turn will benefit your approach to the problem itself. If you're unable to figure out your next move, step back and think about all the other things you can do; whether it's a different project, reaching out to your colleagues, or a task not related to work at all - like fitness, family, or a personal hobby.
Change Your Mindset
An obstacle is only an obstacle because we've labelled it that way - along with all the negative connotations that make us feel impotent. If we view obstacles from a point of view of something less intimidating - like a learning curve, or even an opportunity - then tackling it seems far more palatable, and way less scary.
We're big fans of Dweck's growth mindset theory; the idea that we should strive to be challenged, rather than put off by obstacles. We've done all the research - so if you're interested in finding out more about a growth mindset, or how to cultivate one, take a look at our blogs that cover both!
Having plans foiled by an unforeseen circumstance sucks, there's no doubt about that, but often our negative reactions aren't a good indicator of whether or not we can handle things when crap hits the fan. Remembering all the hurdles you've overcome, of all the times you rose above adversity, is a reminder that you can do it again in the present.