Variety is the spice of life for me and I know I am in good company. I tend to view the world as an exciting plethora of opportunities to learn, grow and create new things. The problem is that it’s easy to get distracted from the goals and commitments I’ve already made. Rather than seeing things through to completion, I can easily put my goals and projects to the side to chase after whatever new thing has just caught my eye. This is referred to as “shiny object” syndrome, and it has derailed the success of many people.
If you frequently abandon commitments in favor of new interests and projects, here are four techniques to help you evaluate new opportunities:
Postpone Your Decision. It’s easy to get swept away with excitement when you stumble across something new and exciting. Try waiting a few days before making a final decision about whether or not to commit to the new opportunity. You’ll probably find that your enthusiasm wanes and you’re better able to evaluate whether this new opportunity will move you closer to your goal. First, realize that whatever it is, it WILL take time to learn – and there are only so many hours in a day. Ask yourself what you’ll need to give up or put on the back burner in order to make this work. Is it worth giving that up?
Run It By Your Mastermind Group, A Trusted Advisor or Your Coach. Ask people you trust and who understand your goals for input before you commit to taking on anything new. For those that don’t know, a mastermind group is simply an alliance of two or more individuals dedicating themselves to a specific goal. It’s important to have a safe place to bring your challenges, concerns, decisions, ideas, and also to get honest feedback.
See If There Is Something Deeper Going On. If you find the shiny object syndrome happening on a consistent basis then there is likely something happening on a deeper level. You probably don’t realize this, but you could be sabotaging your own success. Take a look at your belief system. Do you think you deserve to be successful? Do you believe it’s your birthright to have abundance in ALL areas of your life? Are you afraid of failing or even afraid of succeeding? Figuring out your belief system and where they come from is the first step, and half the battle. Once you have identified this, ask yourself if those beliefs are worth holding you back and preventing you from achieving the success level you desire and deserve.
Focus on one thing for a minimum of 90 days and become a master at it. The 90-day time frame is one of the best approaches for creating focus and making regular new discoveries. The simplicity of this plan is that you do each thing as fully as possible — one thing at a time. You’ll become more disciplined and committed to your goals.
Keep in mind that Shiny Object Syndrome can be beneficial – as long as you make sure the object of your attention is integrated into both your short-term and long-term plans.