As human beings, we make hundreds of choices a day — from what to wear, to what to eat, to how to spend our time and money. We make many of these without too much struggle, but we often get stymied when it comes to bigger decisions.
The bigger the consequences, the more likely we are to get stuck in the “What if” options whirlwind.
If you’ve been feeling unsure about a big issue in your business or unclear about what to do next — I’ll bet your mind is whirling with options. You think about them, worry over them, and can’t quite figure out why you can’t just MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY.
(Then, of course, you beat yourself up about how lame/stupid/indecisive/inadequate/etc you are, and the what-if whirlwind overtakes you completely.)
The key to overcoming a “what if” whirlwind is taking action.
Action helps you to know which path is the best for you in any given situation. That means you’ll fail more, yes — but you’ll also LIVE more.
Let’s say you want to start a world-changing project. It’s easy to fall into option overload — you could go to Syria or Albania or tour all of Africa or volunteer at your local animal shelter. You could raise $100 or $10,000 for your project. You could commence a personal project about child abuse or prevention of airborne diseases or stopping puppy mills or interviewing veterans. You could arrange a gallery show or make a coffee table book of your work. You could write a novel or a collection of poetry.
You can only know what will and will not work by stepping forward and trying out the option that appeals to you most.
Imagine shopping for clothing solely by thinking about it. Not by going to try clothing on, not by soliciting the opinions of your friends who are fashionable, not by hiring a stylist, and not by taking the Amazon.com recommendations for you. You’re just going to languish in options.
Pretty soon, you’d HATE shopping for clothing — even though you haven’t actually purchased anything yet.
You will never have LESS options on the table by thinking about them. Your mind will only see more and more options as time goes on. Pick one. Trust that it’s the right one, and then get to gettin.’
How do you know where to start? The thing that you can’t ignore. The thing that scares you the most.
Not the most logical choice or the safest option. The thing that calls to you despite logic, despite your perceived lack of time or resources, and despite being something you absolutely don’t know how to bring into the world.
Even if you’re broke. Even if you’re scared. Even if you’re unsure. Even if you have trouble narrowing the options.
Begin, begin, begin. There is untold magic there.
Photo // my own, from adventures with Flying Kites