Dr. David Schwartz shares the 3 Failure Diseases in "The Magic of Thinking Big" that hold masses of people back from their dreams. These failure diseases are Excusitis, Detailitis, and Procrastination. I have addressed these failure diseases in various episodes of the Smart Cleaning School. One such topic is perfectionism. This is a form of Detailitis that causes people to spin their wheels. You see it most in writers who can never quite get that chapter to sound the way they want it. This is why over 97% of writers NEVER finish a book! It happens with cleaners too. They scrub and scrub and brush and brush, hoping to make an area look perfect to them. They can NEVER get there and it ultimately kills their business. Do you relate? Go back to part 3 of the perfectionism series entitled, "Perfection is the Enemy". This will help you overcome this failure disease.
In this episode, I want to address another form of Detailitis known as overthinking. I've done multiple episodes on this topic as it has plagued me my whole life. However, like many who are failing with this disease they don't know their overthinking is causing them to fail. What is overthinking? Simple. You analyze and process and think on everything. You don't make decisions easily or quickly. Why? They don't want to make the wrong decision. Contrast this to the entrepreneurs with courage who makes mistakes on a regular basis while in the action mode. The overthinker is constantly starting and stopping, making it near impossible to build the momentum of success. Meanwhile, the action-taker who trusts their business instincts and makes quick decisions is constantly in motion. They are building the momentum for success as they steer through the failures toward success. Do you see the difference? Which do you do? I am an overthinker and I know it has held me back in my life. I've also learned that all 3 Failure Diseases are masking fear. We are afraid of failing or possibly succeeding. Over the years, I have learned to overcome my overthinking. It's not a total healing of this failure disease, but a definite work in progress. I have recently used a different term to help me make mental shifts and breakthroughs. I say this. "I just need some clarity around this." Here's the implication. I need clarity, so I can take action.
I went to St. Augustine, Florida in February for the Total Life Freedom Retreat to meet up with 20 other amazing entrepreneurs. We are all building businesses around the country and help each other with mindset, ideas, and accountability. I came to this retreat with a need for clarity around this podcast. I wasn't sure of the direction I was taking it as well as the direction of the groups I run associated with the Smart Cleaning School. I was searching in St. Augustine for clarity and I got it with a 10-minute conversation with Sha Sparks. She is a Jedi Master in the force ability to extract emotions and deliver coaching breakthroughs in 10 minutes or under. She does this for other entrepreneurs through her podcast, "The Power of Investing in People". In fact, Sha recently interviewed me for her podcast to share my breakthrough and tell my entrepreneur's story. It was a privilege to share. Thank you Sha for trusting me with your audience. Thank you for the breakthrough you gave me. Here's how the conversation went. It was the end of the retreat.
"Sha, I came here looking for clarity around the growth of my podcast and memberships. I wanted to figure out who I was in the cleaning industry and how to impact more people. I've been sitting on this questions for over a month. I've needed clarity, clarity, clarity. The answer hit me like a ton of bricks 15 minutes ago. I don't need clarity. I just need to grow. I just need to serve more and grow more and do more. The clarity will come as I take all this action." Sha listened intently as she always does. It made me feel a ton better as my simple takeaway was I just need to take more action and stop overthinking. I had just made the connection between a need for clarity to overthinking.
Sha then responded. "Yeah, that's fear."
That was it. I stopped and asked her to explain. "Your need for clarity triggers overthinking and the overthinking masks the fear that you have."
That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't know why the fear is there or what the fear is. But anytime I get into a clarity or an overthinking loop where I go around and around trying to figure stuff out, I'm slowing down action. The cycle perpetuates like this. My lack of action fuels my lack of clarity, which fuels the overthinking. The overthinking increases my fear. Did you get all of that? Here's the solution to this masked fear. Take action! Action reverses the inaction, which ultimately gives clarity. The deep, dark secret is that you gain more clarity when you are in the action mode. Most believe (like me) that you need to stop taking action in order to think, decide, get clarity. When action stops, you cannot accomplish anything. Getting clarity is not the accomplishment although most overthinkers believe getting the answer is the answer! It's not. The overthinker gets their sense of success and accomplishment from figuring stuff out or gaining clarity. They feel like they've accomplished, but they are fooling themselves. They've taken no action or not enough. Meanwhile, the action-taker just keeps taking action and overcoming clarity by making constant mistakes and course correcting. Sha simply made a few statements that blew my mind. She is a great coach. I walked away with this breakthrough.
Anytime I feel burdened with a need for clarity, it's my inner fears coming out against taking action. Therefore, I can start to ignore my need for clarity and continue taking action. However, I can ask myself the question. What fear is rising up that is disguising itself as a need for clarity? Once I answer that question, I can actually cure myself of this disease. In other words, Sha showed me that I've been failing with Detailitis. She showed me that overthinking was a symptom of the fear I was wrapped up in. I could then address the problem of fear. What I am really afraid of? The answer startled me. That's what Sha and I talked about on her podcast. I hope you have a chance to listen to that episode to hear Sha's brilliance and learn more from my self-assessment of my life.
As I record this podcast right now, I feel so much freer than I used to. I'm not healed of this failure disease totally, but I'm on my path. Thank you Sha Sparks for helping me figure this out. Check out my interview with the T-Bag Company Founder, entitled "Respectful, Reliable, Responsible with Damon Washington". You can purchase any of the T-Bag products at a 10% discount through the Smart Cleaning School Resources Page.
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."