Image description: A cartoon dinosaur with mouth wide open showing all his teeth saying “Roar!” Because I thought it was amusing.
Hi gang, here’s some wisdom I’m putting out into the world because … uh, well, it needs to be put out there because I know everyone reading this can relate.
I was having a conversation with my business coach, Rick Tamlyn, and he made an observation that made me furious with him, because, he was totally fucking right about my behavior. So on point, I got mad, really mad, … for about 10 seconds. He said, and I quote, “Dave, you kill ideas before they’ve even had a chance to become anything. I make a suggestion, I give you an action plan, or whatever, and you kill it. You don’t give it any chance to breathe, to be something in your life.”
My immediate response was, “damn you Rick! Why the hell do you have to be so right?” He nailed it, totally nailed it and I was so trapped. I was cornered, because he was right.
So, by admitting this to you, the reader of this blog, I’m purposefully writing about something I didn’t even have words for until Rick and I talked about this. I knew in my mind exactly what I was doing, but couldn’t articulate it. So, as a coach, it is Rick’s job, in this situation, to bring out the things that are uncomfortable and make me so unbelievably vulnerable in that moment, I don’t know whether to hug him, or get the fuck outa there before I have a panic attack. In short, he triggered me, and he knew it. But guess what? It taught me something about myself. Well, it taught me a lot of things in that one instant. I kill ideas. I don’t let things happen, I just shut them down in my mind, and nothing happens, and I’m just as stuck as before.
I hope that as you have read this post, you have been nodding and thinking thoughts like, “oh, yeah, I totally do that too.” Or maybe, you’re thinking like I did when Rick said those words, “oh fuck off, I don’t do that…” oh, wait! I just killed his idea about me killing ideas! Holy shit, I do it all the time!!!!!
Lets all take a big, deep, slow breath, right now. Because in my mind, this is serious shit. Ready? Ok, go. In ….. out. Do this a few times if you have to, and think about how many ideas you kill in a day. Or an hour, or maybe even a minute. Here are three questions you might ask yourself when you automatically kill an idea someone has given you. Or maybe it’s an idea you had yourself that you thought was total bullshit. These are not in ranked order, just the way I thought of them.
1. What’s the benefit of killing this idea?
2. Will it serve me in the short term to kill this idea? What about the longterm?
3. Why do I even kill these ideas in the first place? What am I actually saying “no” to before I’ve had a chance to let the idea become something instead of doing nothing?
Idea killing is a Dis-Ability, that’s hyphenated btw for those of you who use screen readers without punctuation turned on.
Does this sound like you? Does my story resonate with you? If it does. Can we talk about it? How about just half an hour of your time for a strategy session on how to Not kill ideas. You’ll be surprised at the number of ideas you kill that might be worth keeping alive. If it helps at all, i’ve thought about deleting this post probably 10 times in the past half hour and going back into my shell.
If you’re an idea killer. If you don’t, congrats, you just killed the idea that I might actually be able to help you stop killing ideas. Yeah, see what I mean? It’s a vicious cycle. Lets break it together, shall we?
Owner and founder of Present Momentum Coaching. Life coach, accessibility specialist, musicologist, singer, and advocate for persons with disabilities.