“Some of us hesitate when we should be starting instead. We hold back, promise to do more research, wait for a better moment, seek out a kinder audience.
This habit is incredibly common. It eats up our genius and destroys our ability to make the contribution we’re quite capable of making. Call it hypogo–trapped into not enough starting.
Surprisingly, the flip side is also true.
Some people deal with the fear and hide out by doing something else. They overstart, constantly dreaming up the next big thing, bigger than big. They might start a zeppelin transit company on Monday, and then drop it for a Stirling engine patent application on Wednesday, and perhaps, if that doesn’t take off in just a day or two, aim for a business focused on home delivery of notary services by the end of the week.
Fitzgerald nailed it when he described Jay Gatsby’s attitude: “What would be the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do?” It’s easy to fall so in love with the idea of starting that we never actually start.
The person who constantly asks questions, interrupts, takes endless notes, and is always in your face isn’t just annoying–she’s self-sabotaging, a form of hiding. This hypergo mindset is just as safe as the more prevalent kind of under-shipping, because if you’re the kind of person who’s always dreaming and riffing, of course you can’t be held responsible for your work. First, because you’re crazy, and second, because you’re too busy doing the next thing to be held responsible for the last one.”