Gaining Velocity By Eliminating Speed Bumps

Published on March 26, 2019

We all encounter speed bumps at times, those unexpected situations that threaten to slow us down—a client pulling their business, an employee going rogue, a competitor stealing your idea, objections from a prospect that gets in the way of closing more business. Situations like these slow our progress and threaten our Velocity.

The most common reaction to speed bumps is frustration, and anger is a close second. Speed bumps tend to unleash emotional responses that have the potential to lead to damaging results if we keep trying to barrel ahead.

The best thing to do when you reach a speed bump is to take a time out. That means go clear your head, in whatever way that works best for you. You could decide to sleep on the issue, or work out, or call someone who can help ground you and bring a fresh perspective.  

I recently hit a little speed bump myself. I looked at my LinkedIn profile the other day and saw that a business school featured my photo—it looked like an endorsement. I went through the roof. I immediately emailed my social media guru and IP attorney. They both told me to calm down, explaining that what I saw was only on my feed, that often our own photos are added to an ad that we see on our feed. 

Imagine what would have happened if I had taken action against the school based on my initial reaction. Besides losing, think about how much time and emotional energy I would have wasted. Thankfully the experts on my team helped me see the situation for what it really was.

When you hit a speed bump, EMPATHY is a powerful tool to use if you feel someone is acting against your interests. Before responding, immerse yourself in their situation. Often you will find their actions are not intended to hurt you but they are simply the result of what they are going through. When you are grounded in this perspective, your response will change and the speed bump will often disappear because you will have handled it more appropriately.

If you allow yourself to get past the initial emotional response and look at the full scope of the speed bump, other ideas will often come to you about how to handle the situation and get back on your Velocity Track. You cannot think creatively if you are stuck in a cortisol bath—because when your emotions are running amuck, your cortisol will be out of whack and you’ll be making decisions from survival mode. This is what makes a self-imposed time out so valuable.

We all encounter speed bumps from time to time, and they do slow us down, but they don’t have to steal our Velocity. If we allow our emotions to get the best of us, we’ll lose steam and get off track. By taking a time out, we can restore ourselves to a place of creative problem-solving, which might even be letting the problem work itself out. Before you know it, you’ll be over the speed bump and on your way with Velocity.