One step forward… doesn’t always mean two steps back but would that matter?


We’ve all heard the phrase ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ and possibly even read the books by Susan Jeffers … there’s something very useful about a level of feeling scared, it goes hand in hand with apprehensiveness and excitement and yet for others fear can be paralysing where things seem way too big to do and have way too much risk attached to them and no action is taken.

And we forget that most people don’t know the things we know, or they don’t remember them and so what we know is more than enough to help them. And by waiting until we have enough information we’ll never start because there’s always more we could have. By chunking things down, taking one step at a time it gets us further towards achieving business goals and personal goals/dreams.

We can turn being scared of what we’re about to do around… starting with the ‘what ifs’ in relation to ‘if I don’t do that what’s going to change?’ Only you know the real answer but to be honest the answer is probably not much will change and it’s entirely possible that things go backwards as opposed to staying the same.

Here’s a few thoughts…

  • When doing risk assessments thinking about likelihoods and impacts for a project etc. also think about what would happen if nothing was done. What’s the likelihood of moving forward and what’s the impact on the business as a whole and the people in the business?
  • Has there been a culture of being risk averse in the past that’s stifled innovation, invention and inspiration? What can you do to lessen that culture? Remember if those leading a business are risk averse then everyone else is going to be?
  • How can you look at projects and plans differently? Can they be broken down into smaller tasks that in themselves make a difference? Enabling progress and impact to be easily monitored with lessons learned captured and so that people, including clients, can see results?
  • How often do you give yourself that pat on the back to say well done? And how do you do that with other people in the business? It’s not about the ego; just acknowledging that something is being done, especially if it’s something different and saying thank you.
And remember Eddison didn’t fail with all his prototypes for the light bulb, he learnt 10, 0000 ways not to do it… each way was a step forward not backwards…