The Power of Fear
At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves rewriting an email for the 5th time because we fear it may be interpretted in a way that was not intended. At this point, we may as well have gotten up from our desk or walked into the living room, to ask the question face-to-face. Instead, we continue to strategize the wordsmithing of the “perfect” email, avoiding a conversation about the topic that is obviously important enough to merit human interaction.
The worst part, inevitably, the email is still misinterpretted; requiring face-to-face conversation to resolve another unexpected misunderstanding.
How many times have you found yourself in a similar situation that seems to get worse the more you strategize the solution? When we overstrategize, we often get caught in the weeds of concerns that do not really matter at that point in time. In these scenarios, we let fear disable us from progressing forward.
Fear paralyzes progress …
Fear of making the wrong decision.
Fear of looking bad.
Fear of making a mistake.
Fear of not complying with expectations.
Each of these sources of fear leave us strategizing more and taking action less. Sometimes, this strategy is healthy. However, when strategy becomes obsessive, fear takes the wheel and slams on the brakes; stalling us from any productive movement towards our end-goal.
Iterative Action: Building Confidence Along the Way to Success
Agility encourages us to take action – in iterative steps; not worrying so much about getting it right the first time, but rather, getting something done so that we can figure out the right direction moving forward.
Afterall, often times, people don’t know quite what the want until they see exactly what they “don’t” want.
If we wait to begin until we have a strategic, planned approach towards perfection … our end goal will be so rigid that we are unable to adapt as needed to reach our intended destination.
Small Iterative Steps in the Right Direction
We can often times dispel fear by focusing on the iterative choices in life, and making slow progress forward. Additionally, you may be surprised to learn more about yourself and the situation by constructively reflecting upon your iterative progress along your journey.
So, the next time you find yourself riddled with fear about the outcome of your next big initiative, or critical email, act on taking a small step forward. Identify your end-goal or ideal state and focus on making small progressions toward that goal with each step.
Once action has been taken, you can assess the iterative progress made and will be more likely to catch important details before you have boxed yourself into an unintended solution. It is easier to make ammends to a small move, than it is to rework the entire process at the end.