What to do when you are held back by lack of action?

Well, the easy answer is: Act. Do something. But if you are a like me, this is not so easy.

Maybe you know this. You have a ton of ideas. You develop and conceptualize, but only a fraction if anything at all will see the light of day. The reasons can be various. A lack of confidence (or you might call it self-doubt), a loss of motivation (because something else is so much more interesting right now), or a general fear of uncertainty. Or maybe you are just afraid of your own potential =).

Either way. It is not a great feeling to have many half-ready projects. This is not only bad for yourself, but maybe the world will miss out on a grand idea or invention. So, what can we do to take the last few steps and finish our project(s)?

One thing I try at the moment is to form a coaching tandem. This means that you find someone who is also struggling to finish a project and you coach each other. Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a certified coach to do something like that. However, it helps when you know what constitutes goof coaching. But when you keep in mind the following points, you are in a good spot to help each other:

  • Listen. Really listen. And calm your internal chatter. It is about understanding the other person and not about giving advice.
  • Ask open questions. This is the 2nd point, because only if you listen carefully, you’ll be able to ask good questions that will help the other person to think out of the box.
  • Give each other homework. A good time frame is a week or two. Make sure that the tasks you give and get are manageable over the defined period.
  • Follow through with your own homework.
  • Repeat until the project is done.

The benefits of having a partner with whom you could do this are numerous. You will learn about another person’s project (which is in itself often very interesting) and you will see how this person handles problems. You might learn something already. Moreover, you will share the “suffering”. It will still be difficult for you, but you might take solace from knowing that you are not alone. Another benefit is that you will train your listening, questioning, and coaching skills. These are powerful skills to possess. And last but not least, you might actually finish a project =).

I want to say thank Vanessa (you can find her blog here), as she inspired me to write this post.

Oh and an update on the flower situation. After my first flowers (an orchid named Florence and a rose named Rose), I got myself a hydrangea called Ophelia. She has a nice violet-dark blue color and it reminded me of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Have a wonderful day and take care, Stephan

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