WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM STARTING, NOW?
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Lucio to Isabella in Measure for Measure, Shakespeare
Is there something you feel that you should be doing but you are having trouble getting started?
For years, I told myself “I’m going to get a job that I really want where my talents will be appreciated and I can make the money I’m worth” and “I’m going to start my own business”, and “I’m going to write a book”.
I said these things often. Mostly to myself, but enough out loud that I am sure I must have bored my family and friends. I know I bored myself. What prevented me from acting on my words? What stopped me from starting?
There are three things that I have identified that caused my resistance to starting and they still do. Fear, doubt, and too many choices.
THE DOUBLE WHAMMY - DOUBT AND FEAR
As Shakespeare said, the failure to act comes from doubt. Psychologists define self-doubt as a lack of confidence in ones own judgement, worth, competency or capabilities. This can stem from childhood where well-meaning caregivers tried to protect you by telling you, “No” too many times. It could also come from failures you have had in the past or even failures of others, that you have witnessed or read about.
Whatever the case, if self-doubt is holding you back from doing the thing you have always wanted to do, it’s time to face it and get over it. There are ways to do this. And you must. How else will you share your unique gifts with your family, friends, and the world?
My client Neeshea is a strong, independent entrepreneur who is leading a team of equally talented women, as she works her way toward Diamond level in a fast-growing network marketing company. This requires that she grow her leadership skills quickly and efficiently because her team looks to her for guidance, direction, and vision. She is up for this but sometimes she finds herself going off in all different directions. She starts researching something relevant to her business and before you know it she has gone down the deep, dark hole of the internet.
Neeshea has learned to stop herself because she says, “I start with one thing then I get a message from one of my team members. I reply, then I go on to reply to someone else. I start multi-tasking and I lose focus.”
Then there is fear. Fear of looking foolish. Fear of failing. Even fear of succeeding. Neeshea says, “At one of our summits, a few top leaders have had to step down because they didn’t skill up. What if that’s me. What if I crack getting to the top.”
Then she reminds herself during our session, “I don’t want to think like that. I refuse to think like that.” Insightful.
“You become what you think about all day long,” says Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you don’t want to crack when you get to the top then it’s important to think about yourself as being the clear and confident leader you choose to be.
This is what Neeshea is doing now. Creating a compelling vision of herself as a leader who develops other leaders and helps them to flourish emotionally and financially, as she does the same for herself. But what if there are many different roads to go down and choosing just one becomes difficult?
CAN THERE BE TOO MANY CHOICES?
Can there really be such a thing? Yes. This is a big block that kept me stuck for many years. And it still rises up and stops me from time to time. But not for long. I learned a little trick, when I returned to school a few years ago, from my journalism professor at Kings’ College University. It’s called creative procrastination.
At school we were given an assignment to do over reading week. The results of this assignment would be worth 30% of our mark for the year, but her instructions were puzzling. Up to this point, we had been churning out one or two articles per week. Instead the professor said, “I don’t want you to write anything over the next week. You may choose a subject but don’t narrow it down to a title or a theme. Do not write it out. Just think about all the possibilities and all the directions you can go with this. Allow yourself to revel in your choices. This is your assignment, creative procrastination.” This lesson has turned out to be one of the most powerful in helping me to create what I want.
Creative procrastination is a mighty tool because it helps you to make a powerful shift in your thinking. Instead of thinking there must be something wrong with you because you have too many ideas and can’t settle on one, it instead allows you to see that your strength lies in having as many ideas as possible. It helps you to appreciate that you are an idea machine.
I used creative procrastination to develop this blog. During the process of thinking there were endless directions that I could have gone in, endless fears that I could have addressed, I instead explored them all in my mind. When it came time to taking my thoughts from my brain to my fingers, the choices narrowed themselves down automatically.
Yes, of course, I still had to discard some during the editing process, but it’s easier to take things out than add in a new thoughts that may take you off in a different direction.
The advantage to this is it allows you to come up with more topics that you can explore later from many different angles. In fact, I was delighted to see that there are enough ideas for me to write an entire book.
Creative procrastination has allowed me to complete the first draft of my book on confidence building and to start building my online platform to help others others hone their own powerful thinking process to get what they want, sooner rather than later.
Today is the day. Now is the time to start. If for no other reason, do this for yourself because you deserve it.
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Faith Evan West will show you through the transformative power of coaching exactly how to build your unique unshakeable confidence, be the leader of choice to your ideal people & create the work and lifestyle you want.