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"Fear is making you think too big."

I've been listening to the Mel Robbins book "Take Control of Your Life" and one of the first interactions she has as she's coaching someone caused me to pull my car over so I could write down what she said.

"Fear is making you think too big."

Now, she was specifically talking to a man about his dream of becoming a wine consultant and why the "how" of doing that was paralyzing him. And I realized we all go through that at different times and in different areas of our lives. That paralyzing fear can strike you when you're trying to figure out a kitchen remodel or wondering how you're going to get three teenagers out of the house (okay, that last one was personal).

But the truth is I experience this almost every day when I'm working with clients - especially when it's a new client.

My initial meeting with a client can be somewhat paralyzing and I've started to recognize that. I'm an idea-a-minute-person and when those ideas start flowing, I get excited. Then the client gets excited. And then inevitably the client stops and goes, "Wait a minute. How are we going to do all of that?"

And then they get stuck.

I often find myself in the role of comforter and panic-calmer-downer because the thing is - we're not. At least not all at once. During a brainstorming session and when we first start working together, I want them to see what's possible.

After that, we need to break it down into bite-sized chunks. Because fear is making them think too big.

Yes, we should have enormous dreams of what could be but I find that if we can't find a way to manage big goals, several things start to happen:

1. We don't know where to start.

2. We get stuck.

3. Nothing happens.

It's important to have goals, but it's also important to have steps and to be flexible. After all, step 5 could completely change the outcome of step 16 which could then change the scope of the project. CLICK HERE FOR MORE:

What I find personally and what I know immediately calms my clients down is coming up with the first three small steps. In fact, as we're wrapping up a call, I will say to them, "Don't worry. I'm going to send you an email with the three things I need from you this week and we will go from there." The relief in their voice and the expression on their faces immediately change from panic to, "Yes. I can do this."

So, when fear starts making you think too big, just stop. Know that all your dreams and goals don't have to be completed today - in fact, most of the time they're never complete. They continue to evolve and morph. Identify small steps you can do each week that will bring you closer to what you want without overwhelming you (and/or your staff). Celebrate your accomplishments.

Sometimes you have to think smaller in order to get bigger.


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