Getting Back On Track When You Feel Derailed

It happens to everyone. You're trucking right along and then bam - life comes at you and you find yourself completely derailed. You might get sick, be injured, lose a loved one, have a car accident or get hit by a tornado. Or it might be as simple as having a bad day, getting your feelings hurt or being faced with unexpected expenses.

Big or small, we all experience it on some level on a regular basis. Things are going smooth, you're making progress, you have your destination in sight - and the next thing you know, you've been derailed...

Most of us live such full lives already, that the slightest 'distraction' or addition to our already full schedule can easily turn into complete overwhelm.

The worst part about 'getting derailed' it is that just like a train, you lose all of your momentum and have to start over to get things moving in the right direction again.

Its not so hard to keep your momentum once you have things rolling. Its when you have to stop and start again, or when you have to get that momentum going in the first place, that it can seem difficult - or even discouraging.

In our line of work, working from home running an internet-based business, there's a lot of creativity and self-motivation required. Not particularly easy to come by when you're feeling discouraged or if you're distracted by things going on around you.

And then there are the work-related things that hit you like your computer crashes, your mailserver goes down, you get hung-up working on a glitch or figuring out something new, etc, etc, etc.

The key is to just keep moving forward, no matter what the circumstances. Sure you get discouraged, have bad days (we all do)... but given the choice between giving up and getting through it, well - we all want to get through it. Right?

I've had my share of roadblocks as an entrepreneur in the last 11 years. Fortunately that cumulative experience helps me realize that setbacks are temporary and that I do have what it takes to get back on track. When I'm faced with setbacks, big or small, I can say to myself Hey, I've made it through worse - just get back on track and get things rolling in the right direction.

The first step is to step back and evaluate the situation. The way things are and the way things feel are not always one and the same. But that's okay - feelings are just as real as anything else, and they have to be dealt with too.

Next, you have to decide what to do about it. There are often choices, like a fork in the track. Just keep in mind that you rarely ever see a train going backwards - or left off track, permanently derailed.

And finally, you have to take action. Even if your first step is to step back and take a break, do it deliberately. Rest, recover and then resume.

Yes, I've been 'derailed' lately. And when blogging didnt come easy, due to overwhelm and distraction, I finally decided to sit down and blog about that. At least I've made it to step 3 and now I can get back to work πŸ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»


  1. Danielle Chonody says

    It's been a few days - and I've been missing my Clicknewz fix. Great post and timely for me..

    Lately I've been feeling frustrated with time restraints and a long to do list. Your post just reminds me that everyone gets off track and it's just a matter of deciding to start getting refocused - one task at a time.

  2. Thank you Danielle - and your reply was just what I needed too. It helps a lot to connect with others who can relate to what you are feeling or going through, and to know you're not alone in it.

    Sometimes a good long talk or a refreshing break are all it takes to get back in the groove. Other times it takes much more. But a bit of will and determination mixed with deliberate action will usually do the trick πŸ˜‰

  3. Hi Lynn,
    You're right on. Just keep moving forward. Take each step no matter how small it may seem. After awhile there will be more days that are gold than stone.

    If another set back happens, just keep going. When I keep moving toward the goal, I find it easier to look back (or sideways) and evaluate what happened and make any corrections.

  4. I couldnt agree more. And for me a "sense of accomplishment" works wonders on the mood & attitude, so when I'm feeling just plain blah or even downright discouraged... a few tasks marked off the list usually puts me back in my groove and back on a roll.

  5. Yes, a sense of accomplishment really works wonders!

    I can get so frustrated and discouraged trying to reach my goals BUT if I do just a little bit of something that keeps me moving toward my goals I know that "this to shall pass" and the next thing I know - things have changed again (my mood, my outlook, my whatever).

    If there is one thing that is constant in life - it has to be change.

  6. Ha - Right on, Lisa! I'm practically famous for saying "The only consistent thing in life... is change itself" πŸ˜‰

    Like most people, I am happiest when I am steadily on track - but then I think its the challenges that help us truly appreciate the positives in life.

  7. LOL that is funny! My dad always said that to me...and I find it so true!

    It seems like out of challenges we RISE. If we didn't have anything to overcome or fight for we wouldn't grow, strive, or achieve anything!

  8. Well put, Lisa - and a very encouraging reminder!

  9. Lynn,

    This is the reason why I enjoy your posts because you keeps it real. And remembering that its okay if things go out of wack at times-just refocus and keep it moving. Eventually, we'll arrive at our destinations.


  10. Thank you, Maurice πŸ™‚

    Over the last week or so I've been bogged down with extra tasks and distractions, along with some personal issues, and it simply left me feeling exhausted - both physically and mentally.

    Its so nice to come back here to such a positive and encouraging group - you guys rock! πŸ˜‰

  11. Jeff Jones says


    Sorry you've had setbacks recently but I can't think of anybody better equipped to deal with them.

    I was afraid it was just the 10x pledge getting the best of you-HA!


  12. Lynn I always appreciate you sharing the "real" stuff here. As a newbie that has not gotten focused, I have felt derailed lately but reading this just reminds me that I can get always get back on track!

    What a great group this is......:)

  13. Wow Lynn. What a timely post for me. I have been TOTALLY derailed as of late (full stop), and finding it really hard to get started again.

    Talk about life getting in the way, my son has been really ill for the last month. The last thing that I even could think about was blogging.

    Now he's better and I was really feeling stuck.
    I'm hoping reading this post will be the bit of inspiration that I need to get back at it.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Lynn,

    Blog posts such as this one is always inspiring for me to read. thanks for posting them and hope you are feeling back on track!

  15. We all have those days, or weeks, where things just don't seem to be going the way we want. Just had one of those times where everything seemed to be hitting a brick wall. But, tomorrow is another day and it's good to know that we always have another chance to get things going again.

  16. True that, Mike Paul. Sometimes I'll go to bed early just to put a day behind me so I can start again πŸ˜‰

    Heather - I'm sorry to hear your son has been ill. I know firsthand how taxing that can be for a single mom... glad to hear he is better and you are working back towards your routine!

    Thank you Jeff & thanks to all of you. Your support and encouragement mean the world to me πŸ™‚

  17. p.s. Anyone that needs a little extra 'boost' - be sure to join me for tomorrow's free webinar. It's an Open Q&A so feel free to bring up anything you need help with or any roadblocks you're dealing with and we'll work through them together πŸ˜‰

  18. Ray Johnson says

    You are so right! The road seems straight and clear and BAM there's a bump on the road that totally throws you off the road. All you can do is to gather your thoughts again, no matter how difficult it is.

  19. Lynn,

    Great and familiar tune, thanks for humming it. It's one I can easily and oddly sing along with and feel better.

    Check this addition to your analogy: Imagine being derailed in the train yard feeling you have cargo and passengers and destinations on ALL those tracks you're looking at and realizing and knowing you are certainly disappointing far more than yourself!

    Then it may be the best time to service the train. Maybe a fresh paint job too, modifications and fill the tender box while the dispatcher (you) notifies everyone the train will run better although later than ever.

    At times like this it's really good to have a working priority matrix and set things down in the ole B&W and get it on!

    Full Steam Ahead! I salute you and nominate you for woman of the week!

    BTW - your subsribers seem to work for the same RR Line!


  20. There are a lot distraction when working online especially when when we reach at the stage called 'information overload'. We need to discipline ourself and stay focus.

  21. Woman of the Week, eh? I'm flattered!

    Thank you, Brad πŸ˜€

  22. I agree, Zeen - and that doesnt always come easy. Even the daily distraction of working online can 'derail' you. I generally get my tasks done first, over morning coffee, and then allow for a spot of time in the afternoon to go back and visit the sites and reports and emails that I want to check out. That seems to work out very well for me.

  23. Daniel Mcgonagle says

    Thanks for the heads up! Really great post. That's a must-read I must
    say. πŸ™‚

  24. Lynn,

    I would never in a million years guess that you sometimes feel derailed! You always have so much to offer, and it is so helpful when you also share this type of feelings. (love the picture, by the way!)

    I have recently gotten totally derailed. I had a computer contract a virus in December and I lost all kinds of files. It kind of did feel like a tornado in a way, watching everything just disappear, to the point that I don't even think I've quite figured out all I lost and I've been standing in the dust trying to figure out how to get going again. Sometimes I feel like "what's the use"...but I've been rereading "think and grow rich" on your suggestion earlier this year, and he talks a lot about hanging in there long after most people would quit. So I'm still hanging on - and people like you give me strength and courage.
    Thanks for your honest share.


  25. Oh - I've so been there, Valerie. No fun at all! In fact my computer died on me in November. I posted about it here, along with the solution:

    I've also been hit by tornadoes, dealt with death and serious illness in the family, spent 2 years homeschooling my children, and another 2 years taking care of my Grandmother, been in a near-fatal car accident - LOL - that list goes on and on. I get "derailed" just like anybody else πŸ˜‰

    I am glad that I finally just sat down and blogged about it though... because it was the beginning of the breakthrough for me. I was feeling quite frustrated and really having a hard time getting back on track until I talked it out here in this post. You guys are great!

  26. Dan Reinhold says

    Thank you so much for writing that for me, Lynny!

    You...did, didn't you?!? πŸ™‚

    I know full well that if anyone's ever been derailed but good on more than one occasion, it's you. Your insights and advice are right on the mark too. You just keep cranking out that lemonade with all those lemons!

    I've been derailed by another rug pulled out from under me. I'm pressured by the urgent need to make up time lost to complacency and the realization that some long-neglected things need reviving and this big project I've undertaken (but nooooooo...a simple little ebook or report wasn't enough...) has me waaay stressed to complete it and get it profitable even though at this late date I don't think it's half good enough.

    Whoa. Where'd all that come from??

    I remember a saying that said, "If you must fall, fall forward." At least you can crawl from there.

  27. "When the night is darkest, the stars come out." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Sometimes it seems like no amount of effort or perseverance is enough to overcome even some of the smaller obstacles in our path.

    Yet time and time again history demonstrates that out of the worst possible problems come some of the greatest accomplishments ever known, simply through persisting.

    Personally, I've found when our biggest problems make us feel entirely helpless, it helps a great deal to simply slow down and reflect.

    Think about how many other have faced or are facing what they also perceive as near hopeless circumstances.

    Think about the greater reality of our world & universe.. how amazing the tiny amount we know is and how much more there is to be known.

    Think about how far we've come, collectively and individually, despite all the odds against us in so many ways.

    It seems conditions like these are almost a necessity for moving forward.

  28. Well put, Kevin - I couldnt agree more. Sometimes its hard to remember that challenges are really a blessing, particularly when you are right in the thick of them. But its true, as they force growth and change we might not otherwise experience.

    You just keep cranking out that lemonade with all those lemons!

    Thank you, Dan πŸ˜‰

    We'll work on those issues you mentioned - I'll meet you over at the Private Forum πŸ˜‰

  29. Thanks for giving everyone a little nudge. Sometimes we all need that.

  30. michael brown says


    Great post. It does seem like there are things in life that can just take place over the things we must "Get Done" so to speak.

    Its often times I start losing my focus that I find my best work and find myself. Though it doesn't come easy. Usually it involves a 3 a.m. deep thought session on lack of sleep that suddenly all the pieces fall back into place.

    Getting back on track can be a bit tough after any unplanned event or distraction from what we do. When I lose focus I climb back behind the wheel after a couple days of being in a deep "funk" by starting it all off with a 30 minute brainstorming session, then putting it down on paper.

    The next thing I do is remember how fortunate to be where I am at and that usually provides enough motivation to get back in the game.

    As internet marketers, we often time have no one there to coach us,tell us everything is alright, lift us up and make us feel good about what we do.

    Anyways awesome post Lynn,
    Hopefully my rambling makes sense as it's 3 a.m. here πŸ˜‰

  31. It makes perfect sense to me, Michael - spot on!

    A braindump usually helps me too. It can be much easier to manage things when you get them out of your mind and down on paper in front of you where you can deal with them more strategically.

    And I can relate to what you are saying about the isolation of a home office. I've heard from many that they dont have family support in what they do, and from some too that even have constant negative input - I cant imagine how much more difficult that would make it to recover from one of those 'funks'...

  32. "And I can relate to what you are saying about the isolation of a home office. I’ve heard from many that they dont have family support in what they do, and from some too that even have constant negative input - I cant imagine how much more difficult that would make it to recover from one of those Γ’β‚¬Λœfunks’Ò€¦"

    You know, I think it would be great to have a type of 'local meetup' website for people working on IM tasks. They could locate people in the area with similar interests and work as a team.

  33. I believe there are some groups that meet on Skype on a regular basis, if not daily. That's something to check out...

    Of course, discussion forums are great too!

  34. michael brown says

    You know. We have to be self motivators. My family they are cool with what i do, but they don't understand it. Supportive yes, but when a problem arises and I'm stressed out it doesn't help.

    Discussion forums are a great way to rebound. It would be cool to have some type of group conference calls or something that everyone can just be "real" for a bit and lighten the load.

  35. We do usually stay on for 30 minutes to an hour after the weekly Webinars I host free every Tuesday, and just network with open discussion. Its a great group to connect with and brainstorm with πŸ˜‰

  36. michael brown says

    I want to join in that asap. The bad thing right now tuesdays are impossible for me to do anything.

    Thats father- son tuesday. lol No sitter on that one yet. Maybe by summer. I've been wanting to partake in the webinars, they look informative.

  37. It might be fun to do an evening event once a month, perhaps the first Monday evening every month or something along those lines. An idea to work on at least πŸ˜‰

  38. michael brown says

    That would be cool. I'd be to as many as I could. I think events like the webinars and podcast are great ways to not only bring about clients but to get to really know who you are talking with. In any event it sounds great Lynn πŸ™‚

  39. Makingyouricher review today says


    Hey another post I like so much and timely too. You see, for most part of last year, suffered derailment severally. Many reasons, ranging from loss of business due to previous huge financial loss to a trusted fellow.
    It was a big blow that took its toll on me for few years. Became confused and lost direction. But gradually, starting from last year, I started coming back on stream. Now, in this month (January) good results have started showing already.

    Thanks for this blog (and other resources), my plan and goals have started yielding results. Cheers

  40. Came here for first time and it seems i am already your fan.
    Things like this sometimes become very complex but you people really make it very simple and easy, loads of thanks to you all.
    My professional life just began a couple of years back, almost a year back I started doing things of my own and now i will be glad to comming back here......sometimes just to be with these nice people......sometimes just to learn something.....

  41. Excellent - glad to have you, Ashu πŸ™‚

  42. Rosalind Gardner says


    It's either the moon phase or you were reading my mind today. I've felt so out of it for about the past month that it's been really hard to blog... but such is life. Go with it... it'll come back. Either that or take a good hard look at your Analytics and that should convince you to post something. πŸ™‚


    P.S. Forgive me if I post something similar in the very near future. πŸ™‚

    • I'll be keeping an eye out for it πŸ˜‰ I look forward to hearing your thoughts! As for the moon, I always tell my daughter "the moon is in Uranus right now". She of course doesn't understand astrology... hehe.

      I think maybe it's hard to maintain the pace, and sometimes we just have our hyper-productive mode and other times we just do not. I try to accept that and really enjoy the UP phases. πŸ˜€

  43. Bizarre. I've been off your mailing list for some time, yet, this dated blog showed up in my box this morning. Yesterday's 'train wreck' made for an extremely long, emotionally down day. Thank you. b 8-{)}

  44. Thank you Lynn for a great article. I do find myself derailed once in a great while. Fortunately its not that often. I just tell myself that I can get through it and get back on track and I do.

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