There are times when we aren’t at our best. Our energy is low. We feel mopey. Our motivation is zero. When that happens, it’s hard to move forward, let alone figuring out our next step. Insight for deciding what’s next comes from the most surprising places. My inspiration came a while ago when I was visiting my colleague’s blog.
I left a comment on her blog…or at least I tried to leave a comment. Before accepting my comment, the blog requested that I first complete an action to verify that I wasn’t a spammer or robot. It wanted me to complete a simple mathematical equation or identify specific objects within a group. Dutifully, I accepted the challenge. To my great surprise, a pop-up screen appeared with a message saying,
“You did not pass a human test. Please try again.”
I burst out laughing and accepted the challenge. This was one discerning anti-spam filter. It took me several attempts to succeed. I finally passed. Phew!
So how does this relate to my point? There are times when we aren’t up to passing the “human test.” We feel less than human. So what do we do when that happens? Consider these simple strategies when next eludes you:
Find the humor. In most situations, humor is there if we let ourselves embrace it. It’s OK to laugh at yourself and not take everything so seriously. I delighted in the humor of the blog’s security message. It helped me move forward rather than get stuck in non-doing behavior.
Keep on trying. It took me more than one attempt to leave my comment. I could have given up when it didn’t work on the first try. Instead, I didn’t let one failed attempt stop me from pursuing a next step. Finding next often takes less effort than you think it will. Don’t be discouraged.
Accept acknowledgment. As humans we need to feel acknowledged and that we matter. It wasn’t affirming when the blog told me I wasn’t human. However, when it finally did acknowledge who I was, it felt great (as in doing the happy dance!) Acknowledgement is often bestowed on us, yet we don't accept it. Instead we make excuses about why we aren’t deserving of that message. You are deserving. Feel the power of that positive reinforcement. Let it nudge you to next instead of keeping you stuck in negativity.
Find a human. If I hadn’t been able to get past the spam filter, I would have connected with my fellow blogger to get help. Remember that you have people you can reach out to for tossing around ideas for next, for cheering you on when you’re at a low point or for helping you to get unstuck. You’re not alone.
I’m assuming that just by reading this, you have passed the human test. I’d love to hear what resonates with you? How do you approach next, especially when you've experience a challenge? Come join the conversation!