“Sure-footedness” is critical to business success. Great trail horses and ranch horses are often described as “sure-footed.” They rarely misstep on rough terrain and are trusted partners. Do you walk with confidence? Are you sure of each step?

With certainty, you walk forward with ease. You find a rhythm to your work and know what needs your focus versus trivial distractions. You work on tasks that provide the highest impact to you and your clients. You know where you need reinforcements and fill these slots with those you trust. Nothing holds you back. And you know when to take a break.

If you are uncertain, you hesitate and your brain begins to spin with doubt. You may take a big step and then get scared and run backwards. Or, you step left then right unsure of where you’re going. You lose your footing and can’t find your stride. You begin to grip and grab at supposed quick fixes.

We see this in horse jumping competitions. The horse and rider may start out with confidence, each canter stride balanced and relaxed. But then a big jump appears – the horse throws his head in the air, his eyes wide. The rider grabs the reins, stops breathing and his body stiffens as the horse begins to speed up. And then it becomes a blur. Somehow they make it over the fence. Or not.

To maintain a balanced stride in your work, first you must stay conscious and aware! Brain freeze is not helpful. Take a deep breath, settle into the “tack” and consider options. What step can you take that will give you the biggest impact? How can you break that step down into tiny steps that you can do with confidence? Consider each step as a stride and take it in balance. If it doesn’t feel balanced, what else would help to give it balance? A smaller step? A different step? Taking that step later? Hiring someone else to take that step? Securing an advisor? There are many options. You are never stuck!

Being in business can be a rocky road and you must learn how to navigate rough terrain or you will not last!