Being a planner at heart, planning is always my first step in making an idea of mine to come life.
It goes like this in my head: Have an idea! Great! Now I need a plan or else my idea will forever remain just that…an idea.
But lately, I’ve found myself using planning as another form of procrastination from actually taking the first step and actually doing what it is I’m planning.
Have you ever found yourself in similar shoes? You have something that is pulling at you, keeping you up at night, distracting you from your daily todo’s and so you immediately start putting a plan on paper. But here’s the problem: It stays on the paper. There’s always something more that you want (aka “need”) to research and there is always another person to talk through your plans with to get their perspective.
As hard as it is, at some point we have to trust ourselves enough to not even take a leap but to take the first step!
I think that’s what might keep us in planning mode: the idea that the first step must be a giant leap. It’s so common for people to reference “taking a leap” but in actuality you don’t have to take a leap of any variety to get started. You can take the smallest step possible and it still counts as a start! You’ve still crossed the line from planning to actually doing.
I find myself at this exact place right now. I have a project on my mind and on my heart and I’ve talked Jor’s ear off about it for months now and that’s about as far as I have gotten. I can’t move past talking about and planning what it could be and I’ve spent the past few weeks reflecting on why that is.
My conclusion: I’m scared!
Since I finished my PhD, I’ve felt like something is missing and my heart tells me that this idea of mine might actually fill that hole. It might actually be exactly what I’m supposed to do at exactly this season of my life. It might actually make me feel complete again.
And that, in and of itself, is scary. To have dreams that you would want to make a reality so bad, the idea of them not working out (as planned) devastates you, can actually scare you enough that you never want to get started. So instead of starting, you plan in an attempt to plan out every single step of the journey. You question the plan, you tweak the plan, you rearrange the plan and you talk about the plan until you have no more words about the plan. And, you go through all of this in fear that you might forget something, you might make a misstep or…you just might FAIL!
But in all that planning, you lose sight of the idea that if all you do is plan and you never take the first step, you will inevitably fail!
All of this isn’t to say that I don’t believe in planning and organizing how to get from where you are today and where you dream to go. My first recommendation is and always will be to start with a plan! However, what I’m starting to remind myself is that your plan is simply one part of the process. It’s the tool that helps you define your compass (aka where you want to go) and it provides the essential roadmap.
But, within your plan needs to be an action item for taking the first step on your journey. You have to trust that your direction is set and so focused that you can start doing and adjust the path as you go.
You’re never going to develop the “perfect” plan. I’m convinced that’s impossible to do. But, what I’m even more convinced of is that when your determination is laser focused and you know where you want to land, that part of the plan will help you navigate the parts between the start and the finish. You’ll know what needs to be done, you’ll have the strength to overcome the hurdles, and you’ll have the drive to keep putting one foot in the front of the other.
Perhaps I needed this reminder just as much, if not more than any of you today: Trust yourself. Trust your ability. Trust your plan.
Trust that your first step will land exactly where it’s supposed to in order for you to take the next one, and the next one…all the way to your finish line!