Moving from thoughts to action can be daunting.
Do you know why?
I recently asked in a poll: “Why don’t you do what you know in your heart you should do and would be good for you to do”
44 % of the respondents said “I can’t pick anything to start with”
When we think about a particular personal current challenge, the mistake we make is that we are trying to answer a question with… an answer. But this can be counterintuitive and have an overwhelming effect.
So, the first step to get started is to:
Answer your question… with other questions!
Let me share with you a two minutes tool that is widely used among my peer coaches and design thinkers. But terribly underused by… all of us:
- Write down your current challenge
- Write as many questions as you can about your challenge, starting with “What, When, Which, Where”. Crafted, simple, specific questions help you refine your thoughts and open up specific possibilities. They form a sort of “container” to organise your thoughts. Overwhelm flips into inspiration and calm. Avoid Why and How. These questions have their place but they need to be timely used to avoid ditto overwhelm. Leave them out for now.
- How do you feel about your challenge now? What’s coming up for you?
- Now, look at your questions. Can you spot the one that inspires you the most, and you could explore first?
If you still can’t see it, look at the question that is the most succinct, specific and the richest in clues (time frame, place, or the ones that involve specific people)
Start doing something about it today
When you’re done, and you have your first mini question to explore, journal your findings, and get into action.
This is great Servane! When I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start I sometimes put pressure on myself to cut through (ignore) all the noise in my head and get on with THE thing. Funnily enough, that thing doesn’t often turn out to the thing I “should” be doing. Next time, I will tune into that overwhelming background noise for a bit longer and listen to the questions that emerge!
~ Catherine Horsfield
Thank you Servane! When we’re too used to adapting to different social environments, we sometimes tend to forget to listen to, or decide to silence, our own voice. Asking ourselves questions about our current challenges really helps wake it up!
If you have more time:
- What enables you to tap into the essence of your challenge?
- What can you actually pick up from the surrounding noise in your head!
- Which part of yourself is giving you the permission for these questions to wake up and emerge without judgment or interruption
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