If you find yourself feeling as though you’re simply putting one foot in front of the other, or trapped on the impossible staircase in your life or career not making any progress, taking a step back could be what is needed to redirect you and reset your path to the right direction. Often, we work at such a pace that our minds go into autopilot, and we lose perspective of our goals and why we want to achieve them. If you find yourself not thriving at work, no longer finding your job challenging, or daydreaming about a different dream job, you might want to take a step back to reflect on things.
Take one step back so you can take two steps forward
Even though you’re checking things off your to-do list, you may still feel like you aren’t making any real progress towards your goals. It’s time to take a step back so that you can move forward.
Taking a break to step back and reflect on your life, career, and goals will put you in a position to take the next few steps forward in the right direction. For example, imagine you’re running on a hamster wheel – the first step to getting off the hamster wheel is to stop running. So stop, take a breath, and reflect on your situation from afar to gain some perspective.
The Secret Formula
Three essential questions to reflect on when stepping back:
1. Where am I now?
When you stop to reflect, you should ground your perspective by understanding where you are right now. What got you there? What are you missing? How do you feel about your situation? What would you change? What are you putting your energy into achieving right now, and does it serve your goals?
2. What is the outcome I want?
Once you figure out where you are, you should be in a position to re-evaluate what goal you are trying to achieve. Having a clear vision of the outcome you want will direct your next steps. Be careful not to focus on what you don’t want because the mission is to figure out a specific, clear idea of what you do want to work toward.
3. Why is it important to me?
Determining the purpose driving your goal is the last thing you should reflect on when you take your step back. Your goal is what you want, and your purpose is why you want to achieve that goal. For example – your goal is to be part of the team working on a particular big project. Why? To get recognition of your talents from your supervisor? To add a big project to your portfolio? To develop your working relationships with your colleagues?