What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

I read too many business books. 

Don’t get me wrong – I love learning strategies, ideas and techniques for creating value for people.  I also love understanding how to run and market a successful business. 

But I know I’ve been reading too many of these books because I feel like I always have to have a well-developed, perfect plan in place before I start doing anything. 

And as you might guess, that’s a perfect recipe for paralysis. 

The irony is that most of the major progress in my life (at least the progress that I had some degree of control over) occurred because I took action in a moment of inspiration, not because I had a master plan. 

I’ve secured amazing jobs by mustering up the courage to talk with strangers. 

I’ve performed in Madison Square Garden because I said, “Yes!” to a random opportunity. 

I’ve written powerful songs because I sat down at the piano and started playing. 

Let’s be clear: I’ve had incredible help from family, friends, and colleagues along the way, and I would argue that their support and encouragement have been even more influential than my own actions. 

But when I have taken action, it has produced surprising results. 

When I feel stuck or like I’m at a crossroads, I tend to worry and doubt myself.  Will I be successful?  Should I have a better plan?  Is this the most impactful way to do this?  What if I fail? 

But now my rallying cry is going to be:  DO SOMETHING!!!

As long as my action is helpful to others or contributing in some way, it will be valuable. 

It doesn’t have to align perfectly with my greater vision and plan.  It doesn’t have to make money.  But if I take any positive action, it will be better than worrying about the perfect next step. 

So if you’re feeling stuck or indecisive about something in your life right now, I would encourage you to DO SOMETHING!  It doesn’t have be big or brilliant – it just has to help someone in some way.  You might just be surprised by where that action leads you and the opportunities it opens. 

Do you have any strategies for overcoming “analysis paralysis” that have worked for you?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!  

Posted on June 25, 2015 .