Have you ever said something like this to a friend:
“Okay – I have this idea…
You then spend a good three minutes explaining your idea – and you finish off by asking,]
“…Is that a good idea? Or am I just, like, COMPLETELY freakin’ NUTS?”
So, let’s talk about this little habit for a moment, okay?
#1: The IDEA is not the problem.
And #2: YOU are.
If you recognize yourself in that above example, it’s okay. But please understand the REAL ISSUE.
The real issue is not about the idea. The real issue is about DOING IT. And the even realer issue is about fear.
So here’s what to do about all of your ideas – so you can (gasp!) DO something about them.
1. Consider HOW you share your ideas.
Say you’re sharing an idea with a friend. And say you add the self-deprecating “finisher.” (ie, “…or is that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard?”)
This is the “smoke and mirrors” approach to sharing an idea. The share-ee, rather than getting to help you with your idea – now has to deal with the QUESTION you’ve presented – which is dramatic, self-defacing, and has nothing at all to do with your idea.
Imagine you’re sitting in front of someone who’s considering investing in your idea. Would she even give you a second of her time if you closed with one of your self-deprecating questions?
Your friend has the same dilemma.
When it comes right down to it, people read your energy MORE THAN they absorb your idea. If your energy is all over the place, it’s hard for them to take your idea seriously.
2 – “Procrastination-by-Inquiry.”
Back when I was a musician on the road somewhere in the midwest, I was up late one night in my hotel room. I caught an MTV video with an electric guitar player surrounded by women clad in nothing but plastic thongs. I got an idea for a song.
Rather than pick up my guitar and begin writing, I did the next best thing.
Later, I called my friend Kathy. I explained about the video and about my song idea– and shared a list of reasons my idea was boring, and should I just give up on everything in my life?
After a long pause, Kathy said, “Tell you what Christine. You write the song. Then we’ll decide if it’s good.”
Face it. There’s absolutely NO way to know if an idea is going to be “a good idea.” In fact, there’s at least 10 good reasons it’s NOT going to work. Asking people about your idea is often just “Procrastination-by-Inquiry.” You aren’t going to know if it’s good until you start DOING something about it.
(p.s. I wrote the song. It became probably my most popular song at live shows.)
3 – Be careful WHO you share your idea with
I’m guessing there’s at least five people in your life with one common trait:
They’re the WORST people you could EVER share a new idea with. They’ll tell you it’s a terrible idea – and that yes you ARE, in fact, insane.
So, then, why are we compelled to share our ideas with these five folks?
Well, they provide an amazing service. In fact, we secretly LOVE these people!
Because they give us the go ahead to not take action! After all, if Uncle Richie says that your idea for a vegetarian catering service stinks – then hey, good news! You don’t have to face your fears! Now you get to head home and dive headlong into a bag of Cheeto’s and binge watch Netflix!
Do yourself a favor. For the sake of your spirit and your ability to take action – be mindful of who gets to hear about ANY of your ideas.
4 – The most crucial question of all.
Ask yourself this question to end all rumination and make you the most productive kid on your block
“What is the very next step I need to take?”
Here’s a secret:
Getting the idea is step one. The rest of the steps are all about tricking your ego into shutting up so you can get stuff done. The ego would prefer it if you’d just continue getting big ideas. The ego LOVES your big ideas because then it can reach into its arsenal of big fears and big dramas – and it can MATCH your big idea.
The ego doesn’t have much to say when you sit down and do some work for 30 minutes. That’s not nearly dramatic enough.
So, what’s the next step you need to take?
5 – Give it Legs.
The most successful people make decisions quickly.
Even if that doesn’t apply to every single decision, it makes perfect sense. Many of us let our emotions and our drama become the perfect excuse for procrastination and fear.
Wanna know the exactly how to have faith in your idea?
Decide to do it.
Tell someone you’re going to do it. Move forward. Then wake up tomorrow and decide again.
Anytime your faith wavers, decide again.
Repeat until successful.
Share with me below! What’s an idea you keep on putting off? And why oh why do you keep putting it off???