What is stopping me from getting started? Is that something you keep asking yourself? If it’s not, maybe you should start asking that question.
If you are like most people. you have a lot of projects on your back burner that you hope to get to one day. But “one day ” never seems to come. Talking about motivation and reaching your goals applies more to the middle part of the project where you have already burned up your initial enthusiasm. Getting started and eliminating excuses can be the hardest part, especially when you are looking at something that will make a major change in your life.
Here are the Top 10 Things that stop us from getting started and some ideas on how to address them:
1. Money issues: Lack of money kills dreams. If you are worried about how you are going to pay the bills, it’s hard to put your all into a project. It’s great to have a 3-6 month reserve fund, but what if you can’t? Does that mean your dreams are squashed until you save up? No, you need to start to “bootstrap”. This is the slang term for getting a business going using minimal resources and re-investing early returns to help the business grow. Another option is trading off – cutting out certain expenses and only keeping what is absolutely necessary until the project is off the ground. Practice frugality.
2. Lack of confidence in your plan: So why don’t we take action when it seems like we have the perfect plan? The answer is usually one of two things. The first is we haven’t broken down our project down to actionable items (we have “design website” instead of “research different hosting companies”) The second reason is we just really don’t believe our plan will work. Having a contingency plan for what happens in the worst case scenario, will insure you build up the confidence to take that first step.
3. Lack of confidence in yourself. Your plan is good and you have the money to pull it off, but you still aren’t moving forward. Deep down you feel that you are not good enough to pull this off. Maybe you need to build up certain skills, thats a possibility. But more likely all you need to do is give yourself permission to fail. Failing is never as dramatic as we fear and can be a building block for future projects and opportunities.
4. You are too busy. Is your day cluttered with so many meaningless tasks that there’s no room to work on anything else, no matter how important it is? If your schedule doesn’t allow for the addition of important tasks, you need to sit down and figure out what to eliminate and what can be put on the back burner that legitimately belongs there, not the things that are important to you right now. Until you commit to the time it takes to get started on the project, you haven’t committed to the project.
5. Don’t know where to start? If you do not know where to start you have to revisit your plan and see if it’s detailed enough. Sometimes a good method is to start with your objective and plan backwards until you reach a step that is within your immediate power.
6. Don’t know how to do it? Thinking of what you want to do is the easy part. Knowing how to do it is harder. If you find yourself stalling, a good idea is to get yourself a mentor or coach who can help you make your dreams a reality.
7. Can’t seem to focus? A coach can also help you out here. You do not have ADD, more likely you are either distracted or you have something inside you that is preventing you from getting started – like a like of confidence in your plan or in yourself which is explained above.
8. Lack of resources. Sometimes that can be money, but many times it’s a lack of information or planning that’s the culprit.
9. Lack of emotional support. If your friends and family are not behind you and believe in you, taking the time to focus on you and your project can be problematic. You need to explain how important this is to you and involve the people in your life as much as possible. And, it doesn’t hurt to pay some extra attention to them when you’re not working on your project. If people do not support you, they shouldn’t be a part of your life. You should take a good hard look at why you have surrounded yourself with people who only offer negativity.
10. Fear of success. What happens if you actually pull this plan off? Then what? Maybe you are not prepared for the life that completing your project will create. Or maybe you fear that whatever it is you want to do might seem out of character to other people. Or perhaps you fear the follow-up. If you are successful, you need to keep doing more. The fear of success can be just as paralyzing as the fear of failure.
When we find ourselves unable to get started on a project we often wonder whats wrong with us. Are we lazy? Are we not smart enough? We don’t want to come across as looking either way, so the easiest thing to do is make excuses and not start. Don’t fall into the trap. If you have been planning something you just can’t seem to get moving, ask if one of the problems above applies to you and if it does, fix it. Now, get moving!