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One of the most common statements of my clients is that they feel like they are ‘spinning their wheels’. At the end of the day they are wondering where time went and what they really accomplished
The pattern goes like this: new client comes into office, over a series of sessions client figures out what they want to be doing next, client and I lay forth a plan to accomplish what’s next, client comes back a few weeks later making the above statement about spinning wheels, not accomplishing anything etc.
Usually at this point the client wants to start over again at the ‘let’s figure out what’s next’ step. Which although tempting and definitely more fun and safe–in actuality the ‘not doing anything to face the goal’ is a good sign to me that we are on to something with this goal. What this ‘spinning of wheels’ means is that we have rattled the fear monger. We have shaken up the pattern, we have decided there is something new and exciting out there and the fear monger (who’s job is to keep us safe and protected) is starting to rear it’s head in protest.
Frequently the messages of the fear monger allow us to feel like we are spinning our wheels and getting no where. This propaganda takes A LOT of time and energy to listen to, digest, fight, agree with, listen to, digest, fight, agree with over and over ad nauseum. If we are spinning we FEEL like we are doing something but we aren’t. We might be ‘researching on the web’ when really we are comparing ourselves to to other people, thinking about our goal but not doing anything, or buying things we ‘need’ related to our goal. All the time we are engaged in this spinning: listen to, digest, fight, agree with, listen to, digest, fight, agree with.
Recently, I had a great example of how I broke this spinning the wheels pattern. I love speaking, leading workshops, educating people on the process of living and working happier. One way to build the speaking part of my business is to have video clips of me presenting on my website. I have been wanting to do this for months, no probably years. Yep, since I first started in this business I have been saying to myself I want to put clips of my presentation. Every time I presented I would come up with some excuse, or I would forget the camera or just plain refuse to record myself. I have purchased a camera, researched how to record and edit, done LOTS of thinking and scheming on this subject but hadn’t actually recorded anything.
Finally, last week I decided I would record a presentation I was doing. Once I made that decision the fear monger started in: “really are you going to want to see yourself present”, “what if you aren’t as good as you think you are” “once you see yourself you won’t be able to go back it will be there in full color how bad you suck at speaking” and on and on and on.I acknowledge her and said quietly to myself it’s time and I kept moving one step in front of the other. (believe it or not, my fear monger showed up at each and every one of these steps)
- Went to Target to buy the tripod to hold my camera.
- Tested the camera, changed batteries and packed it up for my presentation.
- At the event, set up the camera, tested it and got it ready.
- Turned on the camera at the presentation.
- Downloaded the videos
- Showed the videos to my husband (HUGE)
- Edited the videos down to 4 snippets-
- Posted the videos on my website—check them out here
- Shared them with my list via my newsletter.
Like I said, I literally heard the fear monger, in every one of those steps. Today I sit here totally thrilled! So excited to be sharing these videos with you, so excited to have accomplished something, so excited to just have faced the fear monger and moved forward. Is the fear monger gone, hells to the no, she is still here…telling me that writing this is too personal, that I am oversharing etc. And yet, I still write, regardless.
But if we don’t take one step at at time, if we don’t put one foot in front of the other, acknowledge the monger AND keep moving we will continually spin our wheels. Because even though spinning is annoying it is safe 🙂 So as I do with all my clients who are dealing with spinning wheels I am going to ask you to pick one thing, take one step, move in the direction of your goal, your ‘what’s next’, acknowledge your fear and keep going.
Here are some examples of small steps:
- Research one idea
- Make one phone call
- Set up one meeting
- Tell one person
- Write an outline
- Write an email
- Make a timeline