• Priya Venkatesan

How to handle setbacks if you are a visionary?


You think ahead of your time.

The world always takes time to catch up.

Everyday you wonder when one of your greatest ideas will turn into reality.

You have lost track of innumerable idea proposals you have made.

You are bothered by a lack of speed, the stakeholder reluctance and the process to get simple things moving.


Sometimes the world sees you as a rebel, sometimes as a change maker and sometimes as a person to run away from as they can't cope. 

It's not a joyful ride being a visionary.

Sometimes you feel you have either gone crazy or the world has.

You are not grounded, you are lonely. Second guessing oneself is hard.

To live one more day with dwindling support is frustrating.


If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone.

All visionaries go through the same until reality catches up with their vision.

It's normal to feel alone when you think differently from the crowd.


There are 3 mindsets and one action that will definitely help you out of the rut and become resourceful.



1. Journeys are non-linear


The journey from Vision to Reality is rarely a straight line as its iterative and requires a lot of eco-system support. When you are going down the curve, it does look like 'end of the world'. However, It could just be one of the several loops that you will cover to reach where you want to (that could also change with time). It would help to have a trusted advisor or a coach to support you through the phases where you feel down.



2. Pivots are optional


Image Courtesy: Mark Leslie, Arc of Life


Sometimes you or your organisation may take a call to defer or not do a Pivot. Pivots are optional and the decision to do them is dependent on the context. Sometimes everyone is exhausted and need a place of stability and harmony. Pivots are not for the 'battery-drained'. This might slow the pace of your progress. But it is not the end.


3. You and your work don't share the same identity


Sometimes it's not the right time for a vision to materialise. Sometimes the world is not ready. There are systemic reasons that some ideas get stuck. Maintaining space between your work and you actually helps you become anti-fragile. More on this here.



4. Exit your Ivory Tower (your head)

Sometimes a little grounding is all one needs to continue. Act. Dirty your hands and legs. Showcase that pilot. Run the idea with customers, teams. Beta test your idea. Make the rubber hit the road. You will not only feel energised but also come with new learnings. You can refine your idea or pivot from there. Exit your Ivory tower.


As a visionary, what works for you to seize the next day?


#executivecoaching #leadershipcoaching #visionary #overcomesetbacks







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