What To Do When You Hit A Brick Wall

October 10, 2012 — 29 Comments
What To Do When You Hit A Brick Wall | Joseph Lalonde

We like to believe that we’re on the right path when things are going well. Doors are opening. And the path is clear.

When we come to a brick wall and hit it full speed, we like to think we’re doing something wrong.

But are we really doing something wrong?

Brick Wall

Image by Claus Rebler

Now, I’ve never run into a brick wall. At least that I can remember.

Though I have run into roadblocks in my life. Events and circumstances which caused me to think I was going in the wrong direction.

These experiences have taught me it’s not always the case. There will be times when we run smack-dab into a wall.

In an interview, the great skateboarder Tony Hawk recalled his first time on a skateboard.

Tony way 10 years old. His brother had a sick skateboard.

He grabbed his brothers skateboard and began to kick and gain speed.He’s having a blast. It wasn’t to last…

Before long he saw a brick wall in front of him.

Desperate, he asked his brother how to turn.

No answer. No answer. No answer… And then BAM! Tony Hawk hit the wall.

And with hitting the wall, Tony’s career could have been over. He could have said “I hit a wall. I must be doing something wrong. I need to quit.”

Instead, he Tony got back up, hopped onto the skateboard, and went in the other direction.

As you can guess, he eventually learned how to turn on a skateboard. And much more.

This reminds me of the trials and difficulties we face in our lives.

We’ll be heading for our dreams. A goal for our team. A new level in our marriage.

Only to face an overwhelming obstacle.

When we see this obstacle, we back up and say “We must be doing something wrong. We need to give up on this goal.”

No! No! No!

You cannot say those words.

You need to look at the event in the grand scheme of things. Decide what’s important. If this is an obstacle that can be overcome.

Is the brick wall really permanent? Or do you need more practice before you can avoid the brick wall?

When you hit a brick wall, pick yourself back up. Practice up on your skills. And then go back and face the brick wall like Tony Hawk did.

Question: What do you do when you run into a brick wall? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    I have certainly hit one of these recently. Still trying to figure out what God wants to teach me from it. Just have to trust Him…

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That can be very frustrating. Especially when we’re not sure what we’re supposed to do next. I encourage you to move forward, go in the direction you feel led, and do it with confidence. If it’s the wrong choice, you’ll discover it soon enough. If it’s the right choice, you’ll be excited. 

      • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

        Thanks. Yeah I have definitely hit a wall in many aspects of my life. College decisions and the uncertainties of where I will go are numerous. Personally, I have hit many walls recently. God will bring me through it though.
        Thanks for sharing this post!

  • http://www.brandongerard.net/ Brandon Gerard

    I personally try to focus on staying clear.  I have hit the wall and felt like I could no longer move forward.  Some times I need to step back and see if I need a new skill to tackle my obstacle in a new way and sometimes I just need to get more focused and persistent and bust right through.  The cool thing I have found is once you hit the wall you quickly know if you are passionate about what you are doing.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing how you deal with hitting the brick wall Brandon. How do you determine if it’s a skill that you need to overcome the brick wall or a new direction?

      • http://www.brandongerard.net/ Brandon Gerard

        Joe it entirely depends on the situation. I will try to use my mountain climbing experience to help explain. When I first started climbing I did not know what I would encounter. So I learned a few basics and went out and covered a few easy summits. I started to enjoy reaching peaks and started finding higher and more difficult areas to climb. I can now push myself to the top of 14K’. It is not easy but I can trudge along and keep moving to the top. However, I know of a few peaks that I can not summit without special gear and training. For Example, I would not try Rainer without a guide, several basic mountain survival classes, and a few snow treks in easier mountain condition areas. I have climbed higher than Rainer, but this mountain is different. Rainer is a climb that i know I could not get to the top without acquiring the skills necessary to survive. I would still need to bust through the wall on the climb but I would need the skills to even make it happen. If you evaluate the situation and compare how similar it is to past experience can most likely can find the force inside yourself to motivate you through the tough area. In writing this, I realized part of busting through the wall is not only the motivation, but also recruiting the help of a mentor / teacher. I realized when I hit the wall I would ask another person who experienced a similar situation what they did and this usually starts my learning journey to get the new skills and tackle a new mountain.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    This runs great with your guest post on my blog today, thanks for the inspiration buddy.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’re welcome Kimanzi. Glad it inspired you. 

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    It would be awesome if we looked at brick walls as opportunities to redirect ourselves. That’s what Tony Hawk did.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      It’s pretty cool, huh Larry? Instead of sitting at the wall or beating our heads against it, we use it as a springboard and move forward. Imagine the difference in the world if others learned the principle?

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I’m an engineer!  When I hit a brick wall, I try to re-engineer a way to get through the wall, over the wall, under the wall, or around the wall.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      So you’re like MacGuyver?

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        I wish, Joe.  Honestly, there have been times where it has taken me a while to pick myself up off the ground.  Life is like that sometimes.  This is why we need people in our lives to help us up and to help us to get through the wall.

  • http://www.leadingeveryday.com/ Juan Cruz Jr

    When I hit a brick wall that’s an opportunity to change my thinking. I have to find different solutions to life’s problems because not every problem is going to have the same solution.So in a way I get more creative and I learn as I hit those brick walls. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Juan, that’s great. You’re able to see brick walls for the opportunities that they are.

  • jeff

    The brick wall prompts me to look for more advice, do something unrelated to the goal, connect with friends, connect with someone new – until I see what the next step should be.  It prompts me to maintain my health and sanity, but it also prompts me to try something new before I have the momentum to get back on track with my goal.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Jeff, that’s a wise thing to do. Searching out wise counsel and getting advice will get you far.

      • jeff

        The wall also prompts me to get out of a bad situation or relationship.

  • http://alanamokma.wordpress.com/ Alana Mokma

    Interesting! It depends on how badly I want whatever it is I am going after. If it’s something I only partially desire, I sometimes use this as an excuse to stop trying. “See? I guess it just wasn’t meant to happen. Oh well.” If I REALLY want something, I start asking around, seeing how others’ have dealt with a similar obstacle. It’s very rewarding to hit that obstacle, fight through it, and “claim the prize.” But I don’t always fight through it and I don’t always “win” either. ;)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing Alana. Yeah, that wall makes it real easy to tell what we really desire, huh?

      • http://alanamokma.wordpress.com/ Alana Mokma

        Absolutely. :) 

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