Monthly Archives: April 2015

Not P-p-planning, But Preparing

Earlier, I wrote about how I would stop planning, and start doing. This idea might sound counterintuitive, and to a certain degree it might be. To clarify (because I do think some planning is necessary in life), my concern was not with the “knowing where to go” aspect of planning, but the hesitation of acting with or without a plan.

In coaching, we talk about “Gremlins” – things that hold us back from moving forward. For me, “planning” has become a Gremlin. Here are a few of the reasons why:

  • I am a perfectionist! In my plan, everything is perfect because that is exactly what I want. When I finally get to the application of my plan and things are not going perfectly, I completely freeze! No, that first step did not go perfectly, nothing will! Trust me, I will speak more on the gremlin of “perfection” this year…
  • I enjoy thinking about the future – more than I enjoy being in the present. As a child, I imagined future scenarios of my life as I drifted off to sleep. This was an offshoot of all the fantastic literature I read as a child and helped develop me into the wonderful possibilities-minded person I am today. Unfortunately, it meant that I was always a little bored with what was happening in the moment. My future scenarios were not always the pleasant or perfect situations that a rational person would want to have happen to them. I often faced off against my nemeses and dealt with conflict on a regular basis. I was, however, always the victor in those scenarios of conflict! (It’s funny that I never went to law school…yet.)  And, if not, I would go back and rework the scenes so that I could eventually save the day. Interestingly enough, we don’t get to rework the scenes of our actual lives…
  • I am a bit afraid of actually reaching my dreams. What?!? This is an even more counter-intuitive point than my plan to stop planning. If I dream about something, I must obviously want it, right? Then, why am I afraid of it?!? Well, the easy answer is that because every time I won an award as a child I stood out a bit more. (I know many of my academic – a.k.a. “nerdy” –  friends can attest to that! Remember a time before The Big Bang Theory when being smart was not cool – not even ironically?!?) The more difficult perspective of this is something a friend of mine pointed out last fall: it’s not so much the fear of success as it is the fear of failure after success. Now, that gremlin will have to be dealt with in another blog…

Those are some good reasons to not let myself get stuck in the rut of planning.

  • I want to stop focusing on perfection if it holds me back from getting anything done.
  • I want to enjoy this moment right now instead of constantly be living in the future.
  • I want to be less afraid of reaching my dreams, and maybe be ok with being successful.

So, how do I get all of those things?

By being prepared to be me! What does that mean?

1) Know that I am going to make mistakes.  What?!? Me?!? Never! Okay, except for that time last week…and that other thing I did the day before yesterday…and possibly even the marketing error I did up above when I referenced pop culture without the blog being exclusively about pop culture… Yeah, I’m human. I’m gonna $@#% up sometimes.  Luckily, I know that I also learn from those mistakes. Yes, the embarassment is tough to handle sometimes but I’ll bounce back. Just like my cat – I’m sure 80% of the time he falls off from a precarious perch he only hurts his ego. We both readjust, though. I will learn not to refer to pop culture that may have jumped the shark a few years ago (maybe it did, I don’t know; I’ve only watched Netflix religiously for the last 3 years) and my cat learns not to climb on the edge of the rocking chair when it’s moving… long story.

2) Embrace my strengths. I’ll tell you a secret I uncovered when I was being coached the other week: I’ve never run my own company before.  There’s always been someone else there, taking the lead. And, while their directions were quite vague and I was able to learn the most through exploring in the freedom I’ve been given in my management roles, there are a lot of things I still don’t know about running a company. So, although I have done everything else I am working on in my life before, doing this all on my own is a FIRST for me.  And, that can be scary…until I realize something else about myself: I’m a quick learner! I need to embrace that part of me – that constantly curious, learning-through-doing freedom-seeking self that will push through any hardship to figure out what needs to get done and do it. And, yes, that comes from learning from my mistakes…

3) Just go with it. It’s time to jump in! I have finished my course material for my life as a Certified Life Coach, and now I get to really figure out the business side of it! That means I’m going to make a lot of mistakes. I did that in my coach training…and if I ever disagree, I just need to go back and listen to some of my first practise sessions! Now, I am just several short months and a few more hours before I am officially a Certified Life Coach. And that all happened in this last year. How? Because I went with it. I realized that I needed to practise lots to get better, so I did.  I knew I needed to practise with non-coaches and I have. I figured out the knowledge that would best serve me as a coach, and I read the right books. Now, I get to do that with running my own business…

So, what about you? Do you get stuck too much in planning? How would knowing that you are prepared help you instead? Leave a comment! Or, drop me a line at: jodi (at) koachkarlssen.com