How to tell if you have Shiny Object Syndrome and how to overcome it
What is Shiny Object Syndrome?
It’s when you can’t focus on one thing and get it finished before moving onto another project, and so you end up with lots of incomplete projects behind you and nothing tangible, nothing finished, to show for it.
For example, you enrol onto a training course and, before you finish it, you buy a different one to learn something else, and you abandon the first.
Or you start a new business. You have this great business idea and so you begin turning it into a reality. You decide on the name, design a logo, set up a Facebook page, or even create a website and you start talking to people and then, before you get anywhere with it, you think up another better business idea (your new ‘shiny object’), and you forget about the first one.
And then lather, rinse, repeat; you keep doing this: something new comes along and your enthusiasm and commitment to the first one mysteriously vanishes and so you end up with a string of failed things that have taken you a lot of time and effort but, because you haven’t completed them, you have nothing to show for it.
You know you have Shiny Object Syndrome if you’ve got quite a lot of unfinished projects. It can be anything, quite often it’s training courses, business ideas, services that you’re creating for an existing business… You end up with a whole bunch of projects you spent a lot of time, effort and, let’s be honest, sometimes quite a lot of money on, and then just don’t commit to finishing one before being seduced by the next new thing; the new Shiny Object.
Does this sound like you? If so, don’t move a muscle, because I have your solution!
Now, before we look at the solution, you need to be aware that the drawback to Shiny Object Syndrome is that you don’t end up with anything to show for all your hard work except a stack of half-written blog posts or books, half-completed training courses, half-finished websites, businesses that you never quite got off the ground…
And because of all these failures you start to wonder if you’re a failure yourself and if you’ve even got what it takes to create something worthwhile. The fact is, you DO have what it takes, it’s just that you’re struggling to stick at something, and that’s because you haven’t chosen the right thing.
What you need to do is choose the right thing, and then laser-focus on that thing and stick at it until it’s complete.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a one-project-at-a-time type of guy/girl, or a multiple-project juggling machine, what you must do is make sure you’re working toward something that’s meaningful to you and make that your Big Goal.
Once you have a Meaningful Big Goal (i.e. you have created a long term goal that is in alignment with what’s meaningful to you), you can then assess every action you consider taking and hold it up against your Meaningful Big Goal and ask the question:
“Is this action (new project, training course, business idea, etc.) taking me toward or away from my Meaningful Big Goal?”
And you have to be really honest with yourself. If you find that a shiny new thing is taking you on a tangent away from your Meaningful Big Goal, stop and catch yourself. Go back to your Meaningful Big Goal and take action ONLY on what’s moving you directly toward it.
If you don’t have a Meaningful Big Goal (I like to call this your Life Purpose) here’s a free exercise you can do that will give it to you in under 30 minutes.
It’s a practical step-by-step worksheet with a few questions on it. You work through the questions and by the end of it, you’ll know what’s meaningful to you. And that’s a free download, you can have that from me, try it out. I get a lot of fantastic feedback from this. Get it here.
It’ll go straight to your inbox. You open it up, download it, it’s an editable PDF so you can type into it, or print it off and write on it, and that will tell you the kind of work that you need to have as your Meaningful Big Goal. (Your Life Purpose.)
Once you have this information, you can make sure that all your actions are taking you in the right direction for you, and you’ll stop getting so easily seduced by the next Shiny Object, and you can focus on what’s important to you, create something that’s meaningful, and stop feeling like a failure.
Because you’re not a failure, my lovely, you just need to find out the type of work that you’re here to do and you can find that out here for free.