The idea is all over the place
Sometimes we feel truly called to make a difference and have a brilliant, even revolutionary idea but struggle to refine and nurture it. If you feel your idea may be suffering from over thinking and even over blossoming (when it just keeps on getting bigger). Stop. For now. Let the idea be and refine it. You can always keep the excess ideas in a file called something like ‘Ideas’ for later. Getting Clear about where you are headed is the number one step in taking your idea from seed to planting and growth in the future.
Going it alone
You may be highly productive and super driven but even the most dynamic and successful of it need to right people around us. Pick your allies, supporters and advisors well and pick them early. You can’t underestimate the impact of having some cheerleading behind you as you get a new change making venture off the ground.
Brene Brown very wisely says that there is ‘a vast difference between perfectionism and healthy striving’. She says that perfectionism is about an attempt to avoid shame, blame and judgment whereas healthy striving has a positive impetus and is about doing the best we can to make a difference in the world. I agree with her that there is no such thing as perfect and so if you are trying to make you idea perfect before you begin that’s a long road to nowhere and a sure fire way to never get started. She suggests compassion for yourself and the part of you which is trying to avoid the shame and blame in the first place. A good place to start with that could be avoiding the over-stretching that I talk about below. My advice is also to start small and, instead of looking for the perfect way forward, to agree with yourself, right now, that it is ok to start somewhere and try your idea out, to experiment with it and to refine and revise it as you go. In other words allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.
Many of us who engage in Change Making work feel called and compelled to care for, foster and nurture others. Many of us also forget to look after ourselves. But I want you to make a difference without depleting yourself (believe me I have learnt this one the hard way). Think about how you will sustain yourself from the get go and build commitments to your own health, wellbeing and learning into your plans. Believe me you will be grateful if you take this step and this one is truly a win win – well resourced Change Makers make a bigger difference in the long run because they have the stamina and tools to stay the course, even when the going gets tough.
Failure to take small action after small action
This is where you fail to break your idea down into small, simple actions which you can take on a day by day basis. In other words you have a big idea and the fertile ground is in place but you don’t actually plant any seeds. If you truly want to birth your change making idea, start now and ask yourself, what action can I take today which would make my idea coming to fruition more likely? And then do that. Repeat the process each day and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.
If you’d like support around building up your own wellbeing practices to sustain the impact of your work long term, find out more about working with me as an individual or hiring me to work with your organisation here.
This blog was originally published on maryannmhina.co.uk on 6th Sept 2016.