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Pushing a boulder? STOP!

Ever feel like you are putting in energy, time and effort and not getting anywhere? I call that "pushing a boulder."

My best advice is this: If you feel you are pushing a boulder, you are. Stop!

My clients describe pushing a boulder in many ways, though they often don't realize that they are pushing a boulder. They say things like this:

  • They won't tell me their agenda.

  • The person won't do what I want them to do.

  • They are trying to take over my role.

  • The other person has so much power.

  • I tried to have a tough conversation but they just argued.

  • I have no idea why that person made that decision. I tried to tell them . . .

The first step in putting an end to the frustrations you experience when you try to push a boulder is to first recognize that you are pushing a boulder!

Here are some guiding questions to help you identify if you are pushing a boulder:

  1. What is a source of frustration for you right now?

  2. How long has this frustration been going on?

  3. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. When has this situation/ person been any different?

  4. How responsive has the boulder been to suggestions I have made?

  5. Who has pushed this boulder before me?

If your mind starts filling up with a litany of frustration, or if you can't remember a time when this situation did not cause you grief, then you are pushing a boulder.

This is where a coach can be helpful (like me). I can help you develop those emotional intelligence muscles that keep you in a happy, healthy space - one where you can move things forward and more adeptly realize that you are pushing a boulder and to come up with a different strategy.

In my own life, I had a relationship with a colleague that was strained. I tried tough conversations, modeling good behavior, letting go, brainstorming with my boss on alternative strategies. In the end, it didn't matter what I tried. That bolder was a part of a tectonic plate that was not ready to shift!

I had to let go.

In my story, did the work get done that was around that boulder. Nope. The fact that the work didn't get done is an indication that the environment wasn't ready for the work, boulder or no boulder.

There is always more than enough work to go around. So if you find yourself in a situation where you are pushing a boulder and getting no where, look for other salient work. A different project may lead towards similar results, ROI or accomplish equally meaningful objectives.

Tune into this live video stream that I recorded that helps leaders recognize the boulders they may be pushing. Ultimately, I am hoping to help the universe slow down to go fast. When we slow down to think about the boulders we may be pushing, we set ourselves up for less stress, more happiness and in the end, more success at work.

It would be awesome to connect and talk about the boulders you face. Set up some time with me by clicking here - an automatic zoom invite will be sent your way.

With you in the world full of boulders,


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