There is a condition out there called the paralysis of analysis. This condition destroys what could be many successful outcomes. What is worse is deciding but then failing to take action –failing to start. The reason that many great ideas never become reality is lack of commitment to get started. It is a law of physics. It takes more energy to start a car or turn on a light than to continue operating them. This is also true with starting a project or starting a business. It takes more effort to get started.
For that reason, people over analyze and tell themselves the don’t want do it until it is perfect. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run a business of their own don’t follow through. Why? One possible answer is the rewards aren’t enough to motivate them into action. Another probable answer is procrastination has derailed or stalled them. The inability to act can often be traced to fear, doubt, or the absence of a clear picture of the potential rewards and consequences.
Some of these fears could include:
Fear of criticism, rejection, or exposure: The need for social acceptance will result in going to great lengths to adopt a mode of dress or a certain type of behavior because of fear of criticism and rejection of others. Fear of having an idea rejected continues to lose billions of dollars for American business.
Fear of the unknown: The need for security and safety causes us to be fearful in those situations in which we’re not sure what is going to happen. Our fear of what might or might not happen can cause us to keep from doing those things we should do to bring us closer to our goals. One key to addressing fear of the unknown is examining the possibilities and then weighing them against doing nothing.
Fear of failure: Whether it’s the president who’s afraid to make a change in structure or the manager who is afraid to develop a more competent, self-directed team, or an individual considering a business of their own, fear can be a major deterrent to success. If you have a low risk tolerance, then the entire goal setting process can be stifled. If mistakes are met with criticism and/or punishment, people will be inclined to do only what they know how to do. It will inhibit creativity and improvement. By not trying, people frequently ensure failure—the very thing that they’re trying to avoid. Fear of failure has blinded many people from seeing opportunities.
It is important to remember that failure is important to success if it is viewed as an opportunity to learn. To change failure from a negative experience to a positive phenomenon, eliminate those conditions which contribute to fear of failure.
Take the first step forward. The second and third step will not be as hard.
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