One of the coolest things I get to do in my work with ambitious, visionary leaders is to get them back on track. You see, many creative people frequently find themselves feeling stuck, stalled or spinning their wheels. It’s a product of seeing so many possibilities, but not always seeing the exact path to fulfilling any of them. The gap creates opportunity for some of our inner ‘gremlins’ to step in and slow us down.
If you find that you’re feeling off track, stalled out or simply spinning in possibilities, it’s time to figure out what’s getting in the way. Once you know what’s going on, you can actually do something about it!
The top 5 reasons you get stuck or spin your wheels:
You’re not playing the game you really want to be playing. It goes something like this: I’m frustrated. I’ve got big ideas, but I’m not making progress on them. Really, I’ve got a good life. I make good money. Maybe I should just be happy with what I’ve got. And so you keep trying to talk yourself out of taking the risk and going for what really matters. But the truth is, you’re ambitious and no amount of rationalizing is ever going to make you happy when you know there’s more you want to be doing. Claim the game you want to be playing. It’s the first step!
You play on slippery slope of self doubt. You know what you want. You know what steps you could be taking to get there. And yet you don’t do it. You decide and then backslide. You look at what everyone else is doing and it sends you back to the drawing board. You think: hmm, maybe this isn’t quite right. Maybe I should keep looking for ‘the answer’. Maybe I’m not ready. The slippery slope of self doubt will trip you up as long as you let it. Commit to moving forward. You can always adjust course. But going backward sends you down the slide every time.
Overinvesting in information gathering. It’s easy to pour your time, energy and money into information gathering. Read another book. Take another class. Download another report. Scan for what everyone else is doing. You can gather information all day long, but what you want is in the implementation, not the information. There’s a time and a place for scanning for information. And then there’s a time for action. Know the difference.
Aimless action. Jumping in without a strategy and engaging in ‘frantic tactics’ or aimless action is the fast route to spinning your wheels. You feel busy. You feel like you’re doing something…but in truth, you’re getting nowhere. You don’t know why you’re doing ½ the things you’re doing…other than someone else said you should. If you don’t know WHY you are doing what you’re doing, it’s aimless. You need a strategy. A focus. A bias for action can be good, but overused it just keeps you spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast.
Pretending there’s no fear. Let’s be honest. If you’re playing a big enough game, you’re going to be scared. But I hear people tell me all the time that they are ‘fearless’. If you’re fearless you’re not really engaged in something that matters. I think the real truth is we say we have no fear because we think you’re supposed to be fearless if you’re a risk taker. Bah humbug. True risk taking involves courage in the face of fear…not it’s absence. I love this quote from a well-known bullfighter (whose name I don’t recall):
“To fight a bull when you are not scared is nothing. And to not fight a bull when you are scared is nothing. But to fight a bull when you are scared—that is something.”
Do something that scares you. It’ll be well worth it!
My coaching challenge:
If you saw one of your patterns in the list, it’s time to take action. You only need to do ONE thing differently to get back in the flow…so, what will it be? Will you claim your big game? Will you do something that scares you? Will you silence your inner critic?
I can’t wait to hear what shifts for you when you do!
If history has proven to you that you can’t do it alone, consider getting coaching or support from someone who can help. If you’d like to discuss possibilities with me for some super fast coaching to get you on track and in massive, focused action…please contact my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a 20 minute Clarity Consult.