3 ways to get out of your own way

I am working on a plan to take my business to the next level, as I hope you are too.

I've been thinking about it for a while, strategizing, imagining what's possible and what kind of help I'll need.

My plan is not quite in place -- yet. There are people who are not quite ready -- yet. There is money that's not quite available -- yet. There are actions that can't quite be taken -- yet. 

There will, of course, be goals associated with my plan, but they're contingent on many other people. So it's incumbent on me to remember the fact (and it is a fact) that people tend to move slowly and things happen at half the speed we want them to. All of which means that, if I want to avoid sabotaging everything by trying to control what happens when, I have to be patient. (I can hear my grandmother's voice in my head, "Paciencia.")

In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I give in to any impulse I have to hurry things along, the result would probably be that I would simply get in my own way.

Here's what I mean by "getting in the way" and a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are -- it's not always obvious!:

  1. Are you stopping something natural from happening? This can manifest as procrastinating and/or perfectionism. Imagining you don't have what you need yet to start something, whether getting clients or approaching a new market. Or maybe you go down a rabbit hole looking for one more something and, as a result, never take that first (or next) natural step or complete that project that's almost done.
  2. Are you complicating something that could be simple? This can manifest as overthinking, over-researching, over-delivering -- doing more than necessary. Maybe you change something in your process for no good reason, even though what you usually do works just fine. Or maybe you add your two cents when it's not really needed. I've noticed that most things are generally very simple. (I like to remember Occam's Razor: the simplest solution is usually the best one.)
  3. Are you holding on to something that you've outgrown? That could be an early client who's not paying your current fees, or a business model that it's time to let go of? Perhaps a behavior or a way of thinking that clearly doesn't serve you anymore and is past its "expiration date?" My teacher taught me that everything has a beginning, middle and end. And it's usually better to be the one that ends something rather than the other way around.

Our lives are complex (but not necessarily complicated) and there are lots of moving pieces, including clients and their lives and their businesses and the economy and the weather and our health and other people's health and, of course, the evolution of everything. 

It's always a good idea to plan, but I've noticed that we sometimes confuse planning with controlling. One is helpful, the other not so much.

The reality is, there is very little we can control, no matter how much planning we do. 

So as I have been working on my plan, I remind myself that it's important to relax and be flexible, because when I do try to control, that's when I become the obstacle to my own progress.

I know it is always better to let things take the time they take -- to let my plan unfold. (It's better for my health too.)