I think we’ve all had moments when we know we are somehow off track in our job, our business our relationship, or even in our life in general. Maybe we took a turn to try to solve a problem, or just jumped at something new out of restlessness.
You may recall hearing a little voice in your head that protested: “Don’t do it.” But you overruled your intuition, and then found yourself in a situation you never intended.
Sometimes these wrong turns can be detrimental to our well being. This can cause stress, and even put us in danger. Other times we immediately realize our yes has led to an oh-oh and we decide right then and there to go back to the beginning and start again.
Either way, when you find yourself in a sticky situation, only you have the power to declare you took a wrong turn and only you can decide when it’s time to get back on track. The following tips may help.
1. Be honest with yourself
Admit, as quickly as possible, you made a choice that led you down the wrong path. Nothing will change until you personally acknowledge that you made a decision that is not working out well. The sooner, the better. Be willing to take 100% responsibility for the choices you make for your life.
2. Define an exit strategy
Once you’ve admitted to yourself you’re on the wrong path, decide how you’re going to get back on track. In some situations it may be necessary for you to stop what you are doing immediately. Often grabbing a fast exit could lead to even more stress and poor decision making. Take the time you need to get very clear on what it is you do want, and get back on track one step at a time.
3. Be gentle with yourself
Beating yourself up will only damage your self-esteem. Realize that we all take wrong turns. This is often especially true of the most successful individuals, who have no fear of trying something new.
4. Look for the lesson
There is always a lesson to be learned, and something that will help you in the future.What did taking a wrong turn teach you about yourself? Do you need to listen to your gut more and others less? Do you need to listen to your heart and follow its calling? Do you need to value yourself more? Do you need to redefine what success means to you?
5. Get back on the horse
Like many teen-aged girls, I went through a period of being totally horse crazy. And since I loved to ride bareback, I often found myself flying through the air. The wisdom of the old lady cowpoke whose horses I rode was excellent life guidance: Just get back on the horse.
Life is full of potential second chances. Be willing to take them. Just let go of the past and commit to do whatever it takes to get back on track. The wisdom you have gained from taking a wrong turn will help you do better next time.
Recommended Books on How to Get Your Life Back on Track:
- ROAD MAP to Get Organized: Discover Your Thinking, Learning and Working Styles to Get Your Life Back on Track
- Clark Howard’s Living Large for the Long Haul: Consumer-Tested Ways to Overhaul Your Finances, Increase Your Savings, and Get Your Life Back on Track
- from Bedlam to Boardroom: How to get a derailed executive career back on track!
- Overcoming Your Strengths: 8 Reasons Why Successful People Derail and How to Get Back on Track
- Leadership Vertigo: Why Even the Best Leaders Go Off Course and How They Can Get Back On Track
Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler is a former consultant to the Pentagon and a Presidential Commission, and personal advisor to top executives, executive teams, and individuals around the world. Her *Take Charge* ecourse is being used by thousands of serious success seekers in 117 countries around the world. For more information visit http://www.quantum-self.com/smash_your_limits.htm