Shoot for the moon…and reach it! Leo Babauta shares a simple way to get any project off the ground in just 20 minutes
Have you got a great idea? Perhaps a crystal shop you’d like to open, or a memoir you’d love to write? What’s stopping you? So many of us get so caught up in perfectionism or putting things off, that we are stuck in a perpetual ‘failure to launch’ mode. You might have just the seed of an idea that you don’t know how to nurture, or perhaps you have everything in place and ready, but can’t seem to take that vital first step. Here’s a trick to turn your ‘flight of fancy’ into a fully-fledged rocket to the moon. Mind the asteroids! Let’s look at what stops a project in its tracks: • Feeling overwhelmed
•Not sure how to start
•Indecisive about a tough choice
• The desire to get things in just the right setup (perfectionism)
• Waiting for the ‘right’ time
• Fear of failure
• Don’t know how to go about it, unsure about your ability to do it
•Putting off the work by reading everything (procrastinating) Many of these obstacles are really the same thing, fear and uncertainty.
Now let’s look at a method that uses proven techniques to overcome them.
NOW TRY SOMETHING NEW
Let’s play space invaders First, I’m going to assume you have an idea you’d like to launch. If not, go and pick one. Then come back and try this.
1 Feel your fear & uncertainty for two minutes. This is a mini-meditation. If you are feeling fear of failure or uncertainty, pause for two minutes. Sit still, and allow yourself to fully feel the fear, stress and uncertainty. Not your stories about these feelings, but the physical sensations. Where is the fear or uncertainty located in your body? Let it in with an open, raw, tender heart. Notice at the end of two minutes that you’re perfectly OK.
2 Pick one tiny step. Now take one minute to pick the smallest step you can take. Maybe that’s a rough outline of your book idea, or 15 minutes of calling people to ask for their support. You might have 10 things on your list (or 100), but it doesn’t matter, just pick one. Let your gut be your guide. It doesn’t matter if you pick wrong, just pick. Don’t let uncertainty cause you to avoid this step, you can feel uncertainty and still be perfectly OK.
3 Set a timer for 15 minutes and do the step with devotion. Now that you’ve picked a tiny step, set a timer for 15 minutes and pour yourself into this step. Just for 15 minutes, so you know you’ll be
fine. Don’t allow yourself to switch or put things off while the timer is going. Smile as you do it.
4 Repeat and iterate. Take two minutes to review how it went, what you learned. Was this a good step to take? Do you need to switch to anything else instead (not out of fear, but out of what you just learned doing it)? Do you need to adjust anything? With this tiny part of the process, you are allowing yourself to shift as you take action and learn. Then pat yourself on the back, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Breathe, and notice how you’re different than you were 20 minutes ago. Congratulations! You’ve now launched your business or project. Repeat these steps several more times, and notice how much progress you’re making. Let that encourage you to keep doing this, every single day, calling on support when you need it, reminding yourself of what you care deeply about, serving your people with all of your heart, feeling the uncertainty and being joyful in the middle of that shakiness.
LESS IS MORE Leo’s book, The Power of Less, £10.99, is available from hayhouse.co.uk