Is overthinking keeping you stuck?
Thursday, August 23 2012
PERHAPS you just need to start, as I just did, after mulling around the “what to write” for several hours.
Have you noticed that before you actually HAVE to do something you have all the great ideas around what you are going to do? At the time you think “this is going to make a fantastic column!” or “I can’t believe I didn’t think about presenting using these props before!” or “I just know I’m going to nail it when I start taking pictures for my upcoming project!” It seems that once it’s safely in the future – we’re fine. Until of course the future slowly morphs into the present and looming deadline date.
What do you do when you’re stuck? Think some more? Mamaguy yourself into doing other things and make those things important so that you avoid doing what you know you are supposed to be doing?
A client of mine recently told me that he had set out to do some reading and research on a particular day. He read for about 20 minutes and then decided that his office needed cleaning! Sounds familiar? Lighten up and have a hearty laugh at yourself. I know it happens. We con ourselves regularly out of doing the things that just a few weeks ago, we claimed were of utmost importance.
Doubt plays a big factor. And it doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been doing something. For instance I’ve been writing this column for roughly four years, and at times, like now, I still doubt myself. The longer I delay writing, the harsher and stronger the negative thoughts come barging at me relentlessly. Martha Beck Master Life Coach Amy Pearson says “Stop trying to motivate yourself through negative self-talk. I used to think I had to beat the crap out of myself in my head to get anything done. But this type of thinking is not logical. Beating myself up in my mind just left me grumpy. The more grumpy I felt the more grumpy I acted and the less motivated I was to do anything other than pick fights with my husband.” Ignore the mental chatter and you’ll be happier and more energised to do your work. Jennifer Boykin who calls herself the midlife midwife reminds us “You aren’t going to “figure things out” by going over them again and again in your mind.”
So back to the beginning – START right where you are with what you have. Don’t con yourself by rationalizing and putting it off – regardless of what “it” represents for you today. There will never be a better time than the present. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Delaying is just going to bring more negative self-talk and self-degradation.
Take five minutes right
now and start…
• Make that phone call
• Write that article
• Schedule that mentor meeting
• Start designing that
• Plan that sales meeting
• Have that difficult conversation with your boss
In a blog post aptly titled “How to Start Anything” 29 year old Founder and Chief Experimenter at LiveYourLegend Scott Dinsmore included what he called the Beginner’s Manifesto:
1. The hardest step is the
2. It’s also the smallest,
and often the simplest.
3. Momentum is more powerful that we realise. But the snowball won’t roll unless you give the first push.
4. It’s hard to start, but it’s even harder to stop once we’ve started.
5. Start something small every day. Watch them add up.
6. Choosing not to start is choosing to fail.
7. Find a reason that makes it worth it.
8. What will happen if you don’t begin? What might you miss?
9. Make the first step so small it’d be impossible not to take.
10. The only thing standing between dreaming and beginning is you.
11. Start first. Think later.
12. If you don’t start, nothing else matters.
13. Most fears come from anticipating the start.
14. Most fears disappear once you begin.
15. Don’t leave the sight of an idea without doing one thing to get it closer to reality.
16. Say no to something that doesn’t matter, so you can start one thing that does.
17. Possibility cannot live until you begin.
18. If you don’t start, you can’t finish.
19. Starting is what builds a bridge, creates a business, loses 100 pounds, writes a best-seller. Starting does it all.
20. Starting is what changes the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.
21. Everything starts by starting.
I echo Scott’s sentiments in saying “May this help you continue to take the only step that actually matters – the one right in front of you. It is our responsibility to take it. To see what’s possible when we decide to stop dreaming and start doing.”
Our own thoughts and those of others are trying to talk us out of taking the next step. Stop listening. You either start or you don’t. Get going. The world with thank you and you will thank yourself! Here’s to your START!
Giselle Hudson is a speaker, author, Business Performance Improvement Consultant and Coach, helping business owners and independent service professionals find their own profitable rhythm of execution. If you believe you are underachieving in your business, that you’re much smarter than your results are showing and that your current performance isn’t living up to your potential then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your FREE copy of “How to Get into the Rhythm of Consistent and Profitable Results.”