7 Ways to Find Your Breakthrough Moment

Breakthroughs are rare when you avoid where they happen.

#1. Breakthroughs happen when you accept ignorance.

You wouldn’t need a breakthrough if you already knew what to do.

Ignorance is the hinge where breakthrough swings. The perception of knowledge prevents breakthroughs.

  1. I don’t know. What do you think?
  2. I’m not sure. What could we try?
  3. My approach hasn’t worked. Who might offer new perspectives?

#2. Breakthroughs happen after you realize hard work isn’t working.

You tend to cling to the illusion that you know the answer. You row harder even though you’re slowly sinking. It’s painful, but necessary to yell, “This isn’t working.”

#3. Breakthroughs emerge when you stop trying to find them.

If you’re chasing the same old ideas, stop running.

Harvard University researcher and psychologist Shelley H. Carson, author of “Your Creative Brain,’’ says, “ …  a distraction may provide the break you need to disengage from a fixation on the ineffective solution.’’ (Boston Globe)

  1. Take a shower.
  2. Play golf.
  3. Build a playhouse for the kids.

#4. Breakthroughs follow failure.

The path to breakthrough is paved with failure.

Only those who try and fail eventually find breakthroughs.

The need to succeed combined with fear of failure prevents breakthrough. Everyone who finds a breakthrough fails first. 

  1. What could you try?
  2. What are you learning?
  3. What is failure or frustration teaching you not to do again?

Stop something old. Make room for something new.

#5. Breakthroughs happen when trying something radically different.

Forget about small course adjustments. Set a new destination. Run a low cost pilot program.

Don’t expect radically new behaviors to work perfectly. Expect to fail and learn.

#6. Breakthroughs happen around new people.

Novelty ignites creativity.

  1. Go to a foreign country.
  2. Meet new people.
  3. Make a new friend.

Bring in outsiders. Change often happens from the outside in.

#7. Breakthroughs happen when you try again.


When have breakthroughs happened for you?

How might leaders find breakthroughs?