3 Ways to Deal with Shiny Object Syndrome
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you have many opportunities every day to expand your learning.
There are books to read, teleclasses to listen to, programs and trainings to take, coaches and mentors and experts to learn from, telesummits to register for… the list is truly endless.
And it’s so exciting, right?
Especially if you love to learn or enjoy the creative process.
But at some point, it can be easy to fall prey to Shiny Object Syndrome. You get distracted by yet another fun-sounding offering or too many ideas and realize that you’re not seeing much, if anything, through to completion.
And you start to notice that your business goals or dreams aren’t really going anywhere. Or you’re not as far along as you had hoped.
If you want to experience success in your business, you need to find a way to deal with Shiny Object Syndrome. Here are three of my favorites:
1. GET TO KNOW IF YOU ARE AVOIDING SOMETHING OR IF YOU ARE A “SCANNER” BY NATURE
It’s important to understand the difference between not taking action to finish something because you are scared, anxious, or overwhelmed, versus not taking action because you already got exactly what you needed from the experience.
Many times, we distract ourselves by something new and exciting because we’re afraid to take the next steps to move forward on a goal. And truthfully, many times going after our goals IS scary. We’re walking into the unknown. It’s where the rubber hits the road. And rather than face our fear, we often (many times without even realizing it) gravitate towards something new and different that feels fun and easy…at least until that new thing reaches the point where we need to take the next scary step.
Avoiding action because of fear can become a habit. And as an entrepreneur, there is always going to be something scary to do.
On the other hand, you may be what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner” in her amazing book “Refuse to Choose.” According to Barbara, “A Scanner’s main source of energy and joy is learning, discovering, sleuthing, creating.”
And the learning and discovery are where all the juice is for the scanner. (I happen to be a scanner, so I have a deep understanding of this juice.)
When you’re a scanner, you can’t NOT learn and create and come up with lots of ideas. You need it. It’s what feeds you and gives you joy.
So get to know the difference for yourself, about whether you’re using the lure of something new and exciting to help you avoid something you fear, or if you’re simply following your scanner personality.
2. DECIDE UP FRONT WHAT YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF IT
When you notice yourself getting excited by a new idea you want to try or a program you want to take, ask yourself up front what you want to get out of it.
Is it the right time for you now, or it is something for later or “someday?” Do you truly have the time and energy to devote to it right now, or are you willing to dedicate the time (and if so, what are you willing to let go in order to do so)?
What is already on your plate? Will adding this new thing add value to what you’re currently doing, or take away from it?
Does it fit with your business model?
Could it wait? Maybe for a week, or a month, or a year?
What do you want to get out of the experience? Do you know yet? What do you know?
3. NOTICE ANY RESISTANCE THAT COMES UP WHEN YOU CONSIDER LETTING A GREAT IDEA, RESOURCE, OR “OPPORTUNITY” PASS YOU BY
Another great way to deal with Shiny Object Syndrome is to notice the discomfort that you experience when you consider NOT going after the next bright, shiny object.
What uncomfortable sensations do you feel in your body? Do you feel a flush of adrenaline? A knot in your stomach? A flood of sensation in your cheekbones or jaw?
What emotions and thoughts show up? Panic at the idea of not following that hot new tip? Fear that your business will fall apart if you don’t take that program from the marketing guru everyone is talking about? Worry that you’ll be out of the loop if you miss something?
Get specific. See what you’re worried about. Slow down enough to notice the resistance and what it’s about.
Each one of these uncomfortable physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts is what I call "inner clutter". When you explore what’s bringing up discomfort, you are peeling back the layers of stuck emotions and limiting beliefs to get to the truth, rather than staying stuck in the fear.
Look at one new thing you’ve been considering taking on. Is it a true “yes” or is it just a shiny object trying to get your attention?
If Shiny Object Syndrome has been holding back your business, maybe I can save you some time and point you in the right direction. Get on my schedule and let's talk.