One of the common themes I hear in my work as a professional coach is the difficulty of getting started. People are motivated. They are clear. Yet, they just don’t know how to begin. The trend that I see is that the end result, the goal, the finished product seems so big, so significant and of such importance that it just doesn’t seem possible. There’s just no way to make “that” happen. So, why start?
I think this is where the wisdom of “begin with the end in mind” can really get people stuck. If the “end” I imagine is a really big deal to me (one I probably have some pretty good fantasies about that may not resemble much of the reality once I get there) it might just freeze me up rather than free me up to start moving.
Take a look at the first entry in this blog. It’s dated May 14, 2007. And it’s a poem. A fantastic poem, no doubt, but a poem just the same. As in, not an original thought by David Berry. I put it there to help me get started, to serve as a marker for what it was I was trying to do with this blog. And, nearly two years later, I actually started blogging. Now, I ask you, what the hell took me so long?
The answer is quite simple: I didn’t believe I had anything valuable, new, interesting, substantive, novel, witty, PERFECT to say. Yes, my “end in mind” was that I didn’t dare to start blogging until I had it all figured out. So, I didn’t. When I spoke at a conference this past February (www.businessleadernw.com – check it out for 2010) I shared a similar story with my audience. I told them that the reason this was my first conference presentation EVER was that I had convinced myself that I didn’t have enough to offer, that I wasn’t ready that I, here it is again, didn’t have it all figured out.
What it took me so long to figure out is that a huge part of getting started is knowing that where I am right now is enough. This is enough. I am enough. For now.
I want to be a highly regarded speaker and presenter at significant events on the topics of leadership, coaching and organizational culture. And, with that magnificent end in mind there are two things I know to be true. The first is that if I say it and do nothing it will never happen. The second is, if I say it and reach out for the next opportunity to practice, it just might.