Stuck. We’ve all been there. Here, customer service guru and sales consultant Jill Konrath writes of her struggle to take that next step forward when she felt like she had lost all motivation. She says she learned that it doesn’t have to be a perfect step; sometimes you just have to lift your foot and take it.
“I trudged into the coffee shop, ordered a large mocha and sat down in the corner. I was dripping professional discouragement. It’s been five months since I published my weekly newsletter—something I’ve done religiously for over a decade.
What was wrong with me? I just couldn’t write anything. I’d come up with an idea, jot down some thoughts, then quit. Same thing was happening with social media. Even responding to email seemed like an overwhelming chore.
It All Started in April
That’s when I decided to put my suburban home up for sale. After my husband’s death last year, it no longer suited me.
My plan was to embark on “Jill’s Urban Adventure.” I’d move to a nice condo in downtown Minneapolis that overlooked the Mississippi River.
Several weeks later, my house was on the market. Quickly my schedule became massively disrupted. Realtors scheduled showings with just two hours notice—and I’d pick up and head to the local coffee shop.
Fortunately, I got two offers fairly quickly. After accepting one, I left for a speaking engagement in Italy followed by a two-week vacation. When I came home, after a bit of final negotiating, it was a done deal—with one caveat—I had to be out in 30 days!
When I initially agreed to the July 18th closing, I thought it was manageable. Hah!
To fit into my future condo, I had to sort through, dispense of and pack up a lifetime of belongings. Every single item required a decision—keep, donate or sell. I was in major cognitive overload.
With the fast closing, I didn’t even have time to find a new place to live. (Fortunately a good friend took me in!)
The transition was so quick that most of my belongings had to be stored in a pod—unless I needed them in the upcoming months.
More decisions, especially since I had to plan for Minnesota’s changing seasons. My brain was truly fried.
The Problem of Cognitive Overload
During that time frame I came up with tons of things to write about, but after a few sentences I couldn’t finish my thoughts. I quit participating in social media and business-building activities. There just wasn’t enough brain power left at the end of each day.
The longer I delayed sending out my newsletter, the higher I raised my performance bar. I needed to write an amazing article, thoughtful, filled with brilliant sales insights to make up for my slovenly behavior.
What a joke. I couldn’t even finish a paragraph. I chastised myself. I doubted myself. I wondered if I’d lost my mojo.
All I wanted to do was write one helluva blog post, something I seemed totally incapable of doing. I’d promise myself I’d do it tomorrow, but always blew my deadlines ... which only made me felt guiltier, like a total slug.
’Till today. I gave up and decided that writing anything—even if it was the worst blog post ever—was better than doing nothing.
Sometimes It’s Just About Taking the First Step
Starting. Not with expectations of perfection. Knowing full well that I could do better. That was the most important thing.
Nothing happens till you take the first step. Even if you’re not quite ready. Even if you don’t know enough. Even though you may fail.
So today I give you my worst blog post ever! If you delete it, I won’t be upset! I’m just glad that I got it done so that I can finally move forward again.”
—Jill Konrath is an internationally-recognized sales expert, in-demand speaker and bestselling author with a new book, “More Sales, Less Time.” For more savvy sales advice and to download Jill’s free sales tools, visit http://www.jillkonrath.com/.