There is one thing that I see almost every day that holds people back from taking action toward what they want is the fear of making a huge mistake. We all do this at some point. Our brains tell us that the only way to change is to make a big leap that we might regret. FOREVER. One HUGE decision, which (if it turns out badly) could lead to our ruin, such as ending up living under a bridge or some other dreadful worst-case scenario.
The interesting thing is that our brains aren’t telling us the truth about what is really required to create the change we want. Where you are may feel miles apart from where you want to be, but changing your life doesn’t happen in one huge leap.
It happens in a series of thousands of decisions and steps. And each step of the way, as you gather information and test your hypotheses, you get to reevaluate and decide if you like where you’re going. If you don’t, then you can pivot and change direction.
Shine A Light On Your Fear
The way our brains experience fear of the unknown is like a shadow being projected on a wall with a flashlight. In a dark room, a shadow projected on a wall can look large and frightening, but when you turn the lights on, you can see that it’s actually very small and harmless.
When we think we have to do something huge to get the change we want, we’re terrified of the shadow projected on the wall. In the work I do with my clients, we flip the lights on and take a look at what change is actually required and pick the smallest possible step.
For example, a client who wanted to start a wedding planning business recently told me that she was just too scared to take any action because she would have to quit her job and might fail publicly, which would lead to financial ruin. Her brain was telling her there’s only one way to start a business: to take a massive, scary leap. That felt entirely too frightening and she wasn’t taking any action whatsoever, so she wasn’t creating the result she wanted.
When we shined a light about the next step to learning more about starting a wedding planning business, she saw that the changes she would have to make weren’t actually so scary. It could involve keeping her current job and talking to a few people she knows who do this. She could arrange a few meetings with some wedding venues and vendors where she lives. She could plan a smaller event for someone she already knows.
These steps aren’t that hard and they will help her discover if she truly likes planning weddings as much as she thinks she will, without risking her family’s financial security.
Take The Smallest Possible Next Step
I recently heard Mel Robbins say that the best way to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be is to build a bridge one brick at a time. I could not agree more. Action is what will help you get unstuck. One small step after another.
Think about a result you want to create. What is the very smallest next step that you can take toward that result? Now take that step and break it down into the smallest possible unit of time, such as getting started on something for three minutes. You’ll be amazed at how easy it can be.
Have a beautiful week.