The cobblestones of Paris are spectacular in themselves…but take a step back, change the perspective, and you can see so much more.

I never saw it coming.

The problem came out of nowhere.

I have no clue what to do next.

Why aren’t things as great as I need them to be?

At some point during our time as an entrepreneur, we’ve exclaimed one of these things. Shocked at what had just occurred, or at a loss for how to move forward, we had to take a break and regroup. But here’s the thing…

We probably could have avoided those overwhelmed and stuck feelings.

A funny thing happens when you’re nose deep in your business – you lose perspective and acquire a pretty severe case of tunnel vision. Anything that’s developing outside of your field of view (approx. the 8.5×11 of your drafts or spreadsheets…) is foggy at best, and invisible at worst.

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, and ditch the lackluster results, it’s important to restore your perspective – your peripheral and panoramic vision. Here’s how.

Take a break

Can’t see the forest for the trees? Take a step back and take a hike. Even disconnecting over the weekend can improve your ability to recognize the warning signs of trouble brewing in your business, or uncover the big dreamy goals lurking underneath the ‘getting by’ mode you’re in. It may sound a bit woo-woo, but pay attention to your dreams when you’ve unplugged…your brain will be processing all of those fuzzy peripheral signs and could present you with some lovely clarity.

Get outside your role

Play your very own game of“What Would _______ Do?” Pick your business hero or heroine, and put yourself in their shoes! How would they fix this problem? What goals would they set? If they were going to do only 1 thing today to change things up, what would it be? What questions would they ask (that you’ve been too afraid to…)? Brainstorm this like mad – then take action and prioritize and reshape your approach accordingly.

Borrow someone else’s

Disconnecting for a bit didn’t work? Then you might want to try outsourcing your perspective. Bringing in an outside party, like a negotiation coach, can help you uncover potential blind spots. Post in your favourite Facebook groups asking for input and ideas. Call up someone from your mastermind group and hash it out for 15 minutes. Talking through the matter at hand with someone can change the way you see the situation (something may not sound entirely right to your ear) and may even validate any of those niggling instincts you’ve been trying to ignore. Best of all, bringing someone else on board will help build your confidence and motivation to make a change.

The next time you’re fully stuck into a business problem, take one (or more!) of these techniques for a spin. And then, rest a little easier knowing that you’re not going to have an “oh no!” moment arrive out of the blue, and you won’t be missing out on a great opportunity.

What’s been your most shocking development in business? Have you ever had a pleasant surprise come your way? When you take a step back from your work, what fuzziness becomes clear? What’s been your biggest and best business brainwave? (ouf…say that 5 times fast!)