Do you recognise this scenario? You get passionate about a certain topic and you start a project on this idea. First thing to do is to gather more information about it, right? See what cards you have on the table and try to fill the gaps with missing information. Sounds very sensible and logical, doesn’t it?
So you start doing that. You’re gathering information and guess what… You find a piece of information and right at that moment, you realise another piece of information is lacking, so you go after that too. And how lucky are you… the Internet is a fountain of abundance with information.
Or, sometimes in order to do what we want to do, it’s inevitable, you need to take a course. So you get subscribed and there you go, learning, gathering information and practising skills that you need before you can seriously start your initial project.
After some time of being very busy, you’re looking back at this period in time and then it hits you! All this time has passed and you’re still nowhere. You haven’t made any progress. You’re still at the same point where you were at the start, only a bit smarter. You have gathered all this information, worked on your competencies but you haven’t done anything with it.
The point is, you’re still not feeling ready to start because there’s still information and skills you’re missing. You are stuck in analysis paralysis!
Why you got stuck in analysis paralysis
Did you ever wonder why you got stuck here? Why can’t you get over this hurdle or just go around it?
Here are a few reasons:
- Your insecurity took over
Sometimes, the reason why we are not taking action is that we’re not sure. We’re not sure of what we should do or we are feeling very insecure whether it is the right thing to do, if we could be making a mistake or what other people will think of it.
- Fear to fail or fear to succeed
We’re acting out of fear. You could fail, sure! But is that so bad? When you fail, you learn something and at least you’ve tried.Or you can succeed! Oh dear, imagine you succeed. Are you scared you might not be able to handle this? Do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone? The decision is yours, but fear is never a good adviser.
- We love to learn
We, multi-potentialites, are learning machines, aren’t we? We love to learn new things. So it’s easy to keep on doing what you love to do, another cosy comfort zone to stay in. No action required; Really?
- We are a victim of ‘Scope creep’
The project has grown from something fairly small and simple to a huge mastodon undertaking. As a result, you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and now you don’t even know where to start. Also read the article ‘The number one reason why your passion projects don’t get finished’ on this topic.
- You feel like someone needs to give you permission
Sometimes, we’re waiting, and waiting, and waiting but for what? As a kid, you needed the permission to do something from your parents and your teachers. As a grown-up, you’ve learnt to wait until someone gives you permission to act: still from your parents, from your partner, your teachers, your boss, the government… Sounds ridiculous? Look down deep inside of you, if this is not the case. Well, and if it is the case, I am giving you now official permission to start your passion project, at this very moment.
I hope these five points have shed a bit of light on why you got stuck and why it is so difficult to get unstuck.
The 5 tactics to get out of analysis paralysis and to get into action mode
Now how to get unstuck? Write the answers down. Writing this down forces you to think about it and to find the right words to describe your thoughts.
- Get a clear view of your WHY
Remember: ‘Why did you want to start this project in the first place?’ What were your objectives. What was the end result you had in mind? And how does it fit in your life? A lot of insecurity will be eliminated in this step. Also, if you know exactly why you’re are doing this project, then what other people say should not be bothering you.
- Get a clear view in your mind of your project
Start your project properly and write down your objectives, the scope, your success criteria and exit strategy before starting to gather information. I explain exactly how to do in this in my free course ‘Setup your passions portfolio in five easy steps’. You can subscribe by filling out the form in the right sidebar and by clicking the ‘Subscribe’ button.
- Keep your projects small
To avoid scope creep, split big projects into smaller bite size ones. Actually, when you’re starting with something completely new, your first small project should be to gather just enough information on the subject to decide whether you want to continue and add this passion project to your life or not. Stop or Go.If the answer is ‘Go’, then the next step is to get a clear view in your mind of what you want to do in your project (see above: step 2) and then, you can take it from there.
- Alternate learning and taking action
We multi-potentialites love to learn, but you also want results. Learn until you know what the first actionable step is and execute this step. Then learn the next step and execute that one. You will get results, feel you’re progressing and achieve successfully each step.
- Watch out for information overload and apply the ‘Just in time learning’ principle
The Internet is a great source of information but you can go on reading and learning until infinity. And then at a certain point in time you have so much information that you don’t remember what the first step is to take action on, so you don’t do anything. Instead, go back to point 4 above.
So, next time you get stuck, first step is to do a bit of introspection and look what is blocking you and why. The second step is to apply a few or all of the five tips to get unstuck. It’s not that difficult to do. All it takes is to decide at one moment in time to switch to action mode. Said in the words of Nike: Just do it!