Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something just because you didn’t have it all figured out?
I remember when I started my first blog. I had been thinking about it for months, but I had no idea where to start.
This was 2008. There were no Squarespace or website builders back then. You had to do everything the hard way. FTP, CSS, HTML… Confused much?
I spent months talking myself out of it…
“Giorgia, this is insane. You don’t know how to set up a website. You don’t know how to write an article for an online audience. You don’t know how to promote your blog. Don’t waste time with this idea. Just go get a job like everyone else.”
Ah, your Inner Mean Girl always knows how to sabotage all your plans….
I did try to take her advice. But, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the blogging idea out of my mind.
I knew I had to do this, but… how?
That’s when I turned to Google. I spent the next two months (NOT an exaggeration) reading blogs about blogging to learn everything I could before getting started.
Months went by and I still didn’t have a website…
I was so caught up in doing everything right and having every step of the way figured out, I had totally forgotten why I wanted to create a blog in the first place.
I wanted a place where I could share my passion with all things beauty with other women and educate them about what’s really lurking in their skincare products, so they could make the best choices for their skin.
I was letting the how get in the way of the why.
Once I reconnected with my purpose, I created an account on WordPress straight away… and figured out the rest along the way.
Trust me when I tell you that all the research and planning in the world couldn’t have prepared me for the ride ahead.
You can’t have it all figured out from the beginning. That only holds you back and prevents you from making your dreams come true.
Here’s how you can stop worrying about the how and start doing the work instead:
The Problem With Focusing On The How
Look, I’m all for educating yourself and learning as much as you can about what you want to do.
I often recommend my clients to speak to other women who already have the job of their dreams, take an internship in their preferred fields, and taking online courses to learn new skills.
That’s totally ok. But when you’re too busy reading 100 books, starting a new online course every month, and watching a plethora of tutorials on Youtube to take action on any of them, there’s a problem.
Knowledge without action is useless.
So why do so many of us get stuck in the knowledge phase, always believing there’s one more thing to learn before you can get started?
You don’t believe in yourself.
You don’t think you’ve got what it takes.
You don’t really want to do it.
For me, it was a mix of low self-esteem and fear of success. I knew how to set up a blog after reading a couple of tutorials, and yet I still went out and looked for more because I was afraid of messing things up. What if I become successful and people realised I was a fraud?
For you, it may be different. Maybe you’re procrastinating launching a product, but you don’t really like it or believe in it.
Or maybe you’re putting off starting a business because no one in your family has done it and you’re afraid of what they’ll think of you. Wouldn’t they like you more if you stay stuck in your crappy 9-5 job?
Looking for all the answers and trying to figure out the how in advance is just a form of procrastination.
You don’t need to know all the steps. But I’m sure you know that first little step you need to take to make your dream come true.
If you don’t take that step, it’s not because you don’t know how. It’s because you’re afraid.
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How To Stop Focusing On The How So You Can Achieve Your Goals
Listen to your intuition.
It’s that simple. All you have to do is close your eyes and ask yourself, “what’s the one thing I need to do know to get closer to my goal?”
Listen to what comes up. Then, go do it.
Hint: It’s the one thing you’ve been avoiding all along. Because, deep down, you already know what that first step is.
You’re just scared of doing it. And the only antidote that really works against fear is action.
Break your goal into small steps and tackle the first one. It’s scary, but once that’s crossed off your to-do list, you’ll feel amazing and more confident that yes, you can do this.
Because you can. You wouldn’t have this dream if you also didn’t have what it takes to make it happen, remember?
What If You Get It Wrong?
But what if you get it wrong? What if you pick the wrong thing or make a mistake?
You can’t get it wrong.
I’ll tell you secret: all those people who have done what you wanted to do, they didn’t have a clue what they were doing, either.
They threw everything against the wall to find out what sticks. They made mistakes and then fixed them. They took the wrong turn a few times and then pivoted (Guess how I know?).
Reaching your goals is messy. There’s no straight line to success. You have to be willing to try new things, experiment, and adjust course as needed.
Because it’s by taking action that you discover what works for you.
So, read the books. Watch the tutorials. Take an online course. Learn what you need to take that first step. Then, do it.
You’ll figure out the rest along the way.
Related: How To Reframe Failure Into Feedback
Over to you, now. Have you ever let not knowing the how stop you from doing something you desired? Share your story in the comments below.