1. Dig out the nugget
Sometimes, we get so obsessed with the brainstorming and planning phase that we lose the essence of why we thought it was such an awesome idea to begin with. Once you’re clear on the why — and, just as importantly, on what you want to end result to be — go back to your plans. What can you salvage? What needs to go? Be ruthless.
2. Bring in external counsel
When you work really closely with the same people on an idea you all really care about, you tend to adopt a group narrative about the project — it’s a phenomenon called groupthink. You tell and re-tell one another the same stories about why you’re doing things the way you’re doing them, why doing it differently wouldn’t work, and why it’s the most awesome project ever. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to bring in someone who can offer an honest, external perspective.
3. Go do something else
Seriously. Go to the movies. Plan a weekend trip. I don’t know about you, but when I feel like something isn’t quite right, my first reaction is to want to solve the problem. This means over thinking. In this case, resist that urge, and do the opposite. Run away from the idea for a few days, and then come back to it with fresh eyes.
4. Don’t be afraid to scrap it
Worst case scenario, you may need to trash the whole thing. I know, it makes you nauseous just thinking about it. But maybe it also makes you a little relieved — because now, you don’t have to work so hard on something you don’t really care about or believe in anymore.
Remember: Throwing in the towel doesn’t mean defeat. It means you’re creating space for something better.