by Susan Finch
There is a lot of effort that goes into not accomplishing something. Sometimes we put more effort into making excuses to validate why we can’t do something, rather than just giving it a try. And sometimes we even get as far as nearly completing the “thing” and then do something to ourselves to sabotage it in an effort to validate the old recordings in our head of, “See, I knew I couldn’t do that…” Before we come up with the solution of how to just do it, you need to find your existing patterns as to why you won’t do it now. Please note I said, “won’t” vs. “can’t”. When you choose not to try something, for whatever reason, you are still exerting your power to CHOOSE. Give yourself that win to start and let’s get started on the positive path!
Some other reasons for not starting include fear of: failure, judgement, letting someone down – especially those closest to us. How about we don’t focus on those? They are accomplishing nothing. But, understanding the reasons may be the simple root of your issue with starting and actually completing a skill, task, event — you fill in the blank. Through my years owning my own company, andwhen I worked for others, the one thing I found tremendously helpful in eliminating my fear of starting was a great support group behind me. These are the people that have your back, have taken the time to know your heart, and listen to your strengths, weaknesses and fears. My husband and children are my base. My brothers are next in line with my very best girlfriends. Then, I move on to my colleagues and mentors. I have quite a crew! They are adept at letting me process through fears, hesitations, doubts to get to the solution and then move into an action plan.
No matter how big the task, coming up with a plan – like a storyboard – to accomplish the “thing” is critical. If you look at these things like a story, it already becomes more enjoyable. Perhaps you start with the end and the “…and they lived happily ever after” part, or in the middle and you build either end. There is no right or wrong way – just YOUR way. Anyone who tells you differently is not helping you – they are only trying to show off their knowledge, or keep you down to make themselves feel superior. If you do this to others – correcting their process, you are guilty of the same. Don’t be that person!
Gloom and Doom:
What is the worst that will happen if this thing doesn’t go according to your storyboard? Will people die or be maimed? Will families be broken? Probably not. So anything less than that really isn’t so bad. Even getting fired isn’t always a bad thing. I rarely look at something not going the way I planned as a fail. I look at it as an opportunity for PLAN B – a new way to look at the thing – a new path to get there. I’ve found that usually Plan B is better, as most of the fear is gone so I enjoy the story more. Sometimes it’s a mindset that prevents Plan A from working.
I know myself well enough that every day I need to do two things: Create and Serve. If I neglect this need, I feel a darkness creeping in. It’s not specific tasks, it’s the type of task, the THING. Do you know what is your THING that fills you up? Identifying that can break down a lot of barriers. Make a list of the tasks that give you the greatest joy – really think about the most mundane things. I know I like to vacuum and mow the lawn. Yes, I do, because I not only see the accomplishment quickly, but can see others enjoying the completed task and it’s good for my heart health. Sometimes we need to start our day out with easy wins to build momentum. I start my day with five chores every single day. If nothing else, I have done those five things and prepared our home for my family to have a peaceful breakfast and start to their morning. This already has you in a can-do attitude to get started on the thing you really want to try – perhaps for the first time.
Where to start TODAY:
- Make your list of those tasks that give you joy – even the mundane ones.
- Set out to do at least one of those a day, preferably in the morning to give yourself an easy win getting you in a winner’s mindset.
- Write your storyboard for the thing you want to do, accomplish, try. This can be a few bullet points or a lengthier plan for more complex projects, such as starting business, writing a proposal and the like.
- Pull in your team if you need a bit of support. Run it by them – if they are really good, they may just listen and support your story in the making. If you don’t have a team, add a step and a team.
- If Plan A isn’t the way, do your best to get excited at what Plan B will hold. If you can’t find Plan B – ask your team to help clear the fog of perceived failure.
- Whatever the outcome – CELEBRATE IT – laugh about it, cheer yourself for it and the process.
- Return the favor to someone who has you on their team.