What an Angry Snake Taught Me About Breakthroughs

Last Monday, I experienced a breakdown. It started with a “snake emergency.” A four foot rat snake was lounging in our garage. I was late for an appointment and the snake needed to leave before my daughter came home from school. Did I mention my husband was out of town? The snake was angry when my broom and I helped him outside.

My day got worse with traffic and my dentist informing me I needed a crown. (No – not a tiara to wear on my head.) I learned of a major change with a client and spent the night at school functions.

This month I was featured in the September issue of Speaker Magazine discussing breakdowns and breakthroughs in the speaking business.

There are days when unexpected and unpleasant breakdowns just happen. Negotiating life’s breakdowns prepares you to later negotiate breakthroughs and opportunities.

Ever find yourself on the edge of doing something phenomenal and wondering if it is the right decision and the right time? If you understand how to position your ideas right before you make your case, you increase the chance others support you.

I began my speaking career as a result of a breakthrough. My amazing speaker friends in the photo below have been a great support to me on the journey.

When negotiating a breakdown or a breakthrough ask yourself these questions:

  1. If I knew I wouldn’t fail, what would I want?

  2. What are my good reasons for wanting that outcome?

  3. Is it worth my time and effort to pursue this direction?

  4. What would the best professional I know do in this situation?

  5. What would be my best first step?

  6. What or who could serve as a resource on this journey?

  7. How will I celebrate when I hit my small and large milestones along the way?

  8. What roadblocks or detours could I face?  What can I do or say to myself if I encounter those obstacles?

Specifically, watch out for these roadblocks:

Overthinking and procrastination. It’s okay to take action first. Learn from what you did instead of worrying things might not go as planned.

Failing or making a mistake. Write down your fears. Then write down what you would advise your best friend to do if he/she faced the same fear.

Wanting “permission” to proceed. Planning is motivating. Plan your strategy and work smart. Besides, I prefer to ask for forgiveness rather than permission!

Burn out or doing it all by yourself. Know your supporters and include them in your journey. They want to be there for you!  My business coach and speaking friends are a constant source of support to me.

Accept that things don’t always go as planned. There will be some drama along the way as noted in this Huffington Post article on work drama where I was quoted.  Keep your cool and like my snake, you can choose a better outcome, even if someone has to sweep, I mean motivate, you there.

Journey On!