To Squash Fears of Failure, Discipline Yourself to Keep Moving.

To Squash Fears of Failure, Discipline Yourself to Keep Moving.

“Action cures fear” – Mike Kim.

I am someone who needs structure. And you do to.

For the last 18 months, I’ve been on my own workwise. Before you roll your eyes, this isn’t a missive on entrepreneurialism. However, going from larger corporate environments to working for an organization of one (me) has forced me to analyze every nuance of my personal work habits. Some of them are really great and some, this will shock you, are horrible.

I’ve realized if left to my own devices, without some minor
structure in my workday, whether at a corporate office or the Starbucks down
the street, my overall productivity goes down. A lot. This is a no-brainer, I
know. But here is the double-suck factor. That lack of simple structure does
something worse – it breaks down my ability to innovate, try new things, or
create.

And for someone who usually has a fairly spontaneous spirit in my work life (“Team, how about we try it, if it doesn’t work, let’s try the next idea…”), some may think the idea of “structure” or “discipline” or “rigor” would squelch that energy.

Actually, it has the opposite effect.

Without that discipline or structure, too much mental
bandwidth is wasted on things that don’t move me forward. This phenomenon happens
to all of us. Without some routine, our minds get stuck on the “how should I do
this”, the “why should I do this”, and the “when should I start to do this” and
stalls the doing.

The equation we’ve now manifested with our lack of structure:
Low productivity + low creativity = low wins.  

You have to have wins no matter what environment you work in. For your “wins” are the anecdote to your complacency and fear. Even the smallest of wins inspire us to win again, because it feels really great! Just like a plane needs momentum to maintain lift, at work we need wins to maintain a sense of agency and get great results.

But when our wins stall, it’s easy to become complacent.

Simply put, feeling complacent hurts less than the belief we may be failing.

So, if you are floundering on a project, if momentum is
stalling on that big proposal, or if you simply feel a sense of failing, analyze
your daily routine.  If your routine is
little too “wild west”, then perhaps building a small fence around those wild
horses may get you the small wins you need to get riding again.

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