Stop Learning? Are You Insane?
Hold on a minute! Hear me out!
All of my life I’ve been the curious one. I always wanted to know the whys of things. Reading, schooling and online courses all helped me to further my education into whatever it was that I was curious about. This has led me to be a reasonably well read and educated person. Chances are, if you bring up a topic I’ve probably read something about it. I think learning is the best way to keep a human engaged and studies show it can even ward off the effects of debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s.
What I’m talking about here is learning that’s being used to avoid taking any action that may scare you. You know, like reading ten different articles on building an email list to make sure you’re not “missing anything”? If you asked somebody if that seemed like approach-avoidance, they would agree with you wholeheartedly. That is, just before they went back to their reading of the fifth article on promoting your blog they’ve read this week-LOL!
It’s easy to see why this is folly but much harder to really work on fixing it.
Here are some questions you need to ask about anything you are studying right now:
- Does this education (book, podcast, article, video) directly support something I am doing RIGHT NOW? I’m not talking about generally either. For instance, if you are trying to build an email list, learning about building an email list would be perfect! Learning how to promote your blog, not so much. Does make sense? By the way, I am as guilty or guiltier than the next person with this!
- How many sources have I already consulted on this? If your answer is more than one, then you’re probably stalling. An additional question you should ask is “what action have I taken on this project since I learned about it first?” If your answer is NONE, than you are definitely stalling.
- Do I have enough knowledge to at least start the project I’m working on? Chances are, you do! You may have to go back and look at your notes. If you don’t have notes, wait until my next section for a surprise.
- Why do I think I need to learn more about this subject? Was the first source confusing? Unclear? Contradictory? Again, probably not. You just want to do something that feels like progress even though it really isn’t.
There are many others you could ask yourself but then what are you doing? Delaying taking action because you’re over-analyzing your tendencies. How is that any better?
Ok, so you’ve caught yourself stalling. You’ve proven what you’re studying either isn’t relevant to a current project or that you’ve already got all you need to move forward. Let me give you some tips on how to do this.
Tips To Get Past Stalling
- Realize it’s something all humans do! Everybody is uncomfortable or even scared the first time they try something new. Don’t beat yourself up about it! After all, at the core of any diversion is the avoidance of something you have given thought to. This is a commendable action. Being mindful of where you are and where you’d like to be IS a positive step no matter how you try to avoid it.
- Get out a piece of paper and commit! Not your computer, tablet or phone. Studies have proven the tactile response of writing makes something much easier to remember and believe. Write down one thing you WILL do before the end of the day (or week on the outside) that will get you one step closer to completing the project. Be as specific as possible. See the next point for more on that.
- See the next step and not the whole project. Probably the most intimidating part of goal setting and achievement is when we don’t break it down into small enough steps. We think it sounds more important to say “Build an email list” than it does to say “Set up an account on MailChimp”. Don’t fall for this. The smaller you can break down the project, the more tangible and therefore comfortable each of the steps can be. This dramatically improves your chance of executing on them.
- Just do it! It may sound like marketing hype but Nike was definitely onto something here. What I mean is after you’ve broken it down, set aside some time TODAY to just take a stab at it! It may not be pretty but remember this: perfect is the enemy of the good! At the end of the day, the satisfaction you’ll feel from taking one more step to your eventual success will far outweigh any minor or major flaws the attempt has in it. For those of you who think this step is so obvious it’s even stupid to list it, let me ask you a question: how many times have you gone through all the steps to creating something only to balk at the actual doing? Be honest! How many projects of yours failed to happen because you couldn’t just pull the trigger? I know my answer is more projects than I would like to admit-LOL! It’s amazing how planning can become it’s own form of stalling. I have a feeling I’ll be writing more on this later. Stay tuned, ok?
Tell Me Your Struggles With Learning and Doing!
I want to hear from you. I know I don’t have all the latest avoidance techniques down pat-LOL! Tell me what’s been getting you every time you set out to create something great. I’m sure you’ll find you’re not alone here. We’re all in this together so let’s do what we can to help each other out. Thank you in advance for your contribution here!
Finally, if you enjoyed this article and think your family or friends might too could you use the sharing buttons below to put it out in your favorite social media outpost or email it to them? Like me, love me, share me-LOL!