How many new business ideas, book ideas, blog posts, services, new products or works of art have you envisioned but never shipped? I am talking about ideas for great products or services they were never brought to market. One, ten, twenty, hundreds? I would wager, whatever reason or excuse you might offer, it is not the correct one.
Many will say new projects never get off of the ground due to time constraints, lack of capital or inadequate expertise. Others may cite a need to procrastinate based on a general lack of support, or because it is just not the right time or because there is too much competition in the market place. I wish it were that simple.
Whether or not we act on an idea is a function of the barriers we erect, not in reality, but between our ears. On the one hand we have an idea we feel is good enough to act upon based on the merits of the idea alone. One the other hand we produce a litany of reasons and excuses of why the idea should be postponed or entirely abandoned. It is hardly a fair fight.
But, what lies at the heart of it all? Why do we place barriers in our own pathway before we even begin? Is it the cool, calm and collected head of reason which prevents us form realizing our dreams? Or, something else?
I believe I know. The major barrier to taking action on an idea isn’t intellectual or even physical. It’s emotional.
At the thought of stepping outside our comfort zone we may generate anxiety, doubt, dread, misgiving, phobias, paranoia, trepidation, worry or outright terror. Underpinning all of these is fear.
The same is true for people deciding on whether or not to make a needed change in a particular aspect of their life, like changing jobs due to burnout, learning a new skill, ending a bad relationship, switching careers or closing a failing business. Unless you are vigilant, all major decisions will be emotional decisions.
Sure, you can always come up with a plausible explanations as to why something shouldn’t be done. Very convincing ones. But, ask yourself this, “Who are you trying to convince and why?” The real why.
It is okay to have these internal “for or against” arguments. In business, it is prudent to be cautious. But, beware. Over cautiousness can be paralyzing. No risk will be accepted if one is too cautious.
Just try to be more aware of the emotional aspects of these internal arguments. If you can remove as much of the emotional component as possible then you can bring more balance to the decisions you make.
Are your internal arguments over new ideas more intellectual, more emotional or just about right? Which do you favor? Which has helped you the most? Which has helped you least?
Originally Published on Clark Gaither
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