Written by: Maggie Perotin, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed to that point that you were unable to take any action? I sure did. Especially at a time a few years ago, when I had so much work to do, I felt like I was set up to fail. No matter how many hours a day and how many days a week I worked, I still couldn't keep up. I felt boxed in. And this feeling completely paralyzed me. On some days, I could just stare at my laptop screen for a long time, unable to do anything. Getting out of that time, and reflecting on it was one of the reasons I'm a business coach today. Many clients that I work with hire me because they're going through a similar inability to act.
Why does it happen to us? Why sometimes do we find ourselves unable to act?
I can think of three main reasons:
Sometimes the fear of failure is bread by perfectionism that many achievers fall into.
- "I want to create an online course, but I keep spinning in circles doubting that anyone will buy it."
- "I want to start a YouTube channel, but there's so much to think about. I want to be as good as Gary V. now, but I don't know where to start."
Those thoughts are a perfect example of our primitive brain at work. The one whose job is to "keep us safe and alive." That's why it'll help us come up with multiple reasons why we shouldn't be taking action.
This is especially true when we're trying to implement a brand new idea that our creative brain just came up with. But what if that idea was the one that opened the doors to our dream life?
2. Lack of Confidence
This sometimes can manifest itself through analysis paralysis. To make an informed decision, we gather information to analyze it first. And yes, with significant decisions, such thoroughness is often needed.
However, with mountains of data, we can entangle ourselves in too much analysis, delay the decision-making, or not take any action at all. As a result, we find ourselves in a self-fulfilling prophecy situation: the less we act, the less confidence we have, which leads us to take even less action.
3. Lack of Clarity
Just like it happened to me, when we take on too much without a clear direction in our minds, we get overwhelmed. It's hard to prioritize things when we don't know what's important and what's not. Such overwhelm usually leads to paralysis and procrastination.
OK, so now that we know the reasons why paralysis happens, let's move on to the tips on what you can do to overcome them.
Here are 5 simple steps that can help you:
1. Be clear on your business Vision, Values, and Mission.
Such clarity will give you direction. It'll allow you to be strategic and create SMART goals. Then you'll be able to identify the tasks you need to do to achieve them.
2. Understand what motivates you.
People's motivation is two-fold.
Internal motivation – our competitive spirit, need for achievement or proving oneself. Even negative emotions like anger can be motivating. Use them to your benefit.
Going back to my story. It was the anger of being in a box (I'm a free-spirited Sagittarius) that motived me to do something different. It was anger that pushed me to act and stop feeling helpless. I got to the point where through clenched teeth, I said, "no more" and did something about my situation.
External motivation – we often take action for our kids, loved ones, other people, or causes that we care about and have passion for.
So, remind yourself what motivates you. Why do you want to take this action in the first place? Journal about it. And if you need to - get angry. Become vulnerable and see what happens.
3. Develop positive habits and daily routines.
As James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, said: "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems". Developing good habits will make it easier for you to do the things you need to achieve your goals.
4. Ask for help when stuck.
Recognizing you need help is also part of letting yourself be vulnerable. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, growing a successful business is never a one-person show. So when you feel stuck, talk to someone. Whether it's your friend, family member, or a hired coach, listening to another perspective will bring you a breakthrough, you won't be able to create.
Nike knew what they were talking about.
Just imagine a baby wanting to be perfect in walking the first time it tries. Imagine it getting discouraged after the first fall. I know right, LOL? If babies behaved like adults, none of us would be walking right now. There is something to be re-learned from our baby-selves. Imperfect action leads to mastery. So just do it! Because it's OK to fail. It's part of learning. Only when we master our walking, we can then start running.
To conclude, through action, we become masters.We get more confident. And our confidence leads to more action and progress. This way, we create a positive self-perpetuating cycle of growth. The cycle that will allow us to achieve the dream business we set for ourselves.
"The path to success is to take massive, determined actions." ―Tony Robbins
Maggie Perotin, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Maggie Perotin is a business and leadership coach, helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses without the overwhelm so they can live the life they want. Through her DREAM-PLAN-DO coaching model, she helps her clients reach their potential and get results while maintaining balance in life. Maggie has over 13 years of coaching and leadership experience in the corporate world in various domains. She holds a Masters Degree in International Relations, Facility Management Administration designation, and currently pursuing an Executive MBA at Jack Welch Management Institute. Maggie uses all her knowledge and experience to help entrepreneurs be strategic and creative in building a successful business and brand that attract their ideal clients. She is passionate about spending quality time with her blended family with four kids in the Canadian nature, traveling, self-development, and healthy cuisine of the world.