Thursday, March 22, 2007

When Looking for Inspiration Becomes an Escape

My associates and I were having one of those really deep, insightful conversations about our own work habits and the ways we have historically sabotaged our progress. The wonderful thing about working with people you trust is that together you can help each other change ineffective habits into more effective ones.

Since we all help people eliminate blocks in order to create more meaningful, fulfilling lives for themselves, we were aware of our own tendency as well as a tendency among some of our clients to seek inspiration when action is required.

Sometimes the next step we need to take is down-right scary, so one way we avoid getting to that step, while tricking ourselves into believing we are still on track with our work, is to continuously seek more inspiration. Subconsciously, we may be trying to convince ourselves that with just the right inspiration we will then have the courage to do what we know needs to be done.

It is brilliant because on the surface it looks as though we are continuing to educate ourselves and prepare. So we convince ourselves and everyone around us that we are making progress—all the while the step needing to be taken to generate real progress is being avoided. What a way to escape taking right action!

Because my associates and I are aware of this tendency, we help each other by remaining action focused. Oh, we love inspiration, and indeed there are times when we need it. However, gathering lots of inspiration without taking action is a clue that we are avoiding our next step.

We have discovered the best inspiration comes when we sit down with our other associates and address the fear that is keeping us from taking the next step. With their support and encouragement, we are soon focused on solutions, and preparatory action tasks that get us ready for the next step.

With all that energy behind us, it is difficult to chump out. And when we do take that step, we know we can count on our associates to celebrate with us the real achievement of overcoming our fear.