Listen: Scared by too many possibilities
Sometimes the amazing amount of possibilities in our lives can simply overwhelm our ability to deal with them. Once you see everything that you could be doing, it can scare you into inactivity. This can happen for a number of reasons, but often it is because we only see the big picture and not the thousands of tiny little steps that make up any project.
Whether I am talking to someone about changes in their career or the possibilities that podcasting and new media provide, I can tell when I reach the saturation point . They start to get a panicked look and begin shaking their head. “Stop, Stop, Enough”, they seem to be saying. I try not to get to that level, but my own passion for the topic can get the better of me, too. In these cases, I need to spend the next several minutes, “talking them down.” The way I usually accomplish this is to start looking at the next, physical action we can take.
Whether I am talking to someone about changes in their career or the possibilities that podcasting and new media provide, I can tell when I reach the saturation point . They start to get a panicked look and begin shaking their head. “Stop, Stop, Enough”, they seem to be saying.
If they want to look for a new job, we start to talk about what they want out of a new job, where it might be found and places to look. Where can we do some research? Who can we call or email? What areas require more thought? More importantly, is there some action we can take, together, right now. I often have people asking me how to get their audio or video on the web. If they have a piece of video recorded, I usually try to take that video and get it on YouTube or some other video service while I am sitting with them. I am not necessarily expecting them to be able to do it themselves that soon, but I hope the demonstration will impress on them how, relatively, easy it is to do something that might seem complicated at first. It also helps to establish the idea of one small step at a time, immediately.
Why do we need to get over our fear of enormous possibilities? Simply, out there among all these possibilities lies our future – a future we should be reaching out to embrace, not recoil from in fear. Too many of us settle for less than our fair share in life, simply because we are afraid of what might happen. This doesn’t mean being afraid of just the bad things that can happen. We often fear our own wild success. We can be afraid that we won’t be able to handle success and happiness. We will dream up all sorts of reasons why being successful is actually a burden and not a relief. Get over it! Life is so much easier and so much better when you are achieving your wildest dreams. Sure there are consequences of success, but you will be much more prepared to deal with those consequences when they arise. Dealing with the problems of success is so much easier than dealing with the problems of failure.
Speaking of failure – this is another reason we can become overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Trying new things, pursuing new ideas, chasing new dreams insures that at some time, we will fail. It is all part of the territory. No one likes to fail, but everyone needs to fail – and learn something from that failure. Failure litters the path to any great success. It has been said before, but bears repeating – fail a lot, fail quickly and learn from every failure. Don’t obsess on failure. Accept it as one step on the way to greatness.
The next time you start dreaming of your future, don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t let the shear enormity of it all swallow you up. Find one small action that you can take immediately and start there. Let this small step lead you to the next and the next. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to career and life success, doing things you never dreamed possible before.
Next Friday: February 15, 2008: An interview with Litigation Support specialist, Mike McBride
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