Has this ever happened to you? You have come up with a really good idea. You think about it for a while and you make it an even better idea. You do some research, run through a few hypothetical situations, even get some feedback from a few close friends – and the idea gets even better. Maybe you even get as far as testing it out by creating samples, or running a pilot or focus group. You now have targeted feedback and the idea that started as a mere spark in your imagination is now in the zone of brilliance.
And then with the grace of a pig in a rose garden – you kill the idea. More than likely you call it something else. I know I was really good with coming up with “reasons” for not taking action on a great idea. No matter what word we come up with, the end result is the tragic death of an idea that never got a fair chance to take root and blossom into its full awesomeness.
If you have lots of little mounds of dirt where you have buried you brilliant ideas, instead of beautiful rose bushes, you are more than likely engaging in one of the following self-sabotaging tactics:
Comparing yourself to other people.
It’s great to have role models and to know what other people are doing, but that doesn’t mean you hang up your idea because the “cool people” are not doing it that way. The reason the “cool people” are so… “cool” is because theye actually had the gall to believe in, nurture, and grow their own brilliant idea. If you want to copy something, copy that.
Getting advice from the wrong people.
They may (or may not) have good intentions, but some people will always be a bit shortsighted when it comes to seeing YOUR vision. Whether they are a guru in their own field or someone struggling to see their own path, their inability to see what you see is not your deciding factor. Those who cannot see the brilliance of your idea in NO WAY diminish the potential of your idea.
Not talking to your advisors.
You have a team of advisors right? You have a coach, mentor, mastermind group? People that serve as your sounding board and give you constructive feedback AND encouragement to b authentically brilliant? This is who you talk to. If they are the right people they will challenge you on all the b.s. reasons for not moving forward and help feed your brilliant idea.
Researching like you are a PhD candidate.
Data, trends, statistics, analysis – are all good things when used appropriately. Beware of using “I need more information” as a stall tactic though. Death by research is usually a symptom of those who are risk averse or have control issues. In both cases the perpetrator’s goal is to “know everything” in an effort to avoid failure. This is business, not paint by the numbers: you can stay in the lines with the right colors and still end up with a picture that no one will by.
Ignoring your intuition.
Research is important and has its place…so does your intuition. Some people are gifted with the ability to listen to their inner promptings and the insights they pick up from the world around them. If you have been in a corporate environment for a long time, you may have learned to turn down the volume on your intuition so you could survive. Now is the time though to retune the dial so you can start hearing and responding appropriately to your intuition.
Avoiding making a decision.
Sometimes it simply comes down to making a decision. There are dozens of ways you could shape and implement your idea. Research may give you some guidelines for how it hasn’t worked in the past (learn from that). But stop waiting for a crystal ball and go with your gut and make a decision. Wrong or right – you will honestly never know until you make a decision and start working towards it. If it turns out you did make a wrong decision, own up to it, make an adjustment and keep moving on. That’s exactly how every other successful entrepreneur got to where they are right now.
This is really about confidence and trust: having the confidence to trust your decisions. Maybe you made a poor decision in the past. We all do and can learn from those decisions which make us better prepared for whatever’s next. In many cases, the source of a lack of confidence comes from external situations like dysfunctional relationships or being underemployed. In both cases your good ideas and enthusiastic efforts have been criticized, downplayed, or overlooked instead of championed.
Looking for a crystal ball instead of setting an intention.
When I consult with new clients, one of the things I make very clear is that I, nor any other coach, has a working crystal ball. We simply cannot look into a magical mist and predict how your career, business, life will turn out from one decision. What we can agree on is that setting an intention and taking action will always get you closer to purpose, passion, and prosperity.
Focusing on possibilities instead of creating opportunities.
I love brainstorming! Ideation is probably my most favorite parts of the strategy sessions I do with clients. At some point though, you have to stop with all the possibilities (what could you do or how you could do it) and start creating the opportunities you need to get from idea to implementation.
Keeping your plan in your head.
The quickest way between you and success is an intentional plan. Putting your idea and the chosen plan for how to execute your idea down in writing is key to actually making something happen. Granted there are people that over plan and never make a move… (like those that research and never make a move), writing your plan down shifts you from brainstorming to strategizing. And strategy gets you closer to the tactics, steps and actions that will get you moving.
Like many of my clients, I’ve been guilty of several of these self-sabotaging behaviors. You can call them gremlins, stumbling block or track them to self-limiting beliefs (coaching term) or negative thoughts. However you identify them, what will change where you are right now is that you call them out for what they are. And after you call them out – take the next best step (hint: it is not thinking about it more) and get moving.
Latest posts by Tai Goodwin (see all)
- Browseworthy: The Latest News on Outsourcing Resources [INFOGRAPHIC] – September 13, 2013
- Launch Talk Episode #78: Faith-Based Branding for Solopreneurs and Small Business Owners – September 12, 2013
- Browseworthy: The Latest Small Business News to Help You Launch Smart – September 7, 2013