Shrink your mountains into mole hills - Get it done!

Shrink your mountains into mole hills – Get it done!

During a recent coaching session, my client Joe (not his real name) told me about a seemingly simple project that was causing him much dread and anxiety. Writing a bio to be submitted for his next professional advancement had become an insurmountable challenge. Joe didn’t know how to get it done. He had spent all weekend avoiding it and feeling bad about it. Together we explored the factors that had blown this project out of proportion and identified two main factors:

  1. Joe had promised to get it done by a specific time. He had already missed his self-imposed deadline and felt ashamed about not following through on his promise.
  2. He felt uncomfortable writing his bio, because it felt like bragging to him.
We explored ways to address both factors:
  1. Joe decided to no longer promise completing projects by specific times. He knew he would no longer waist energy feeling guilty and ashamed about not keeping his word in the future.
  2. He decided to write his bio as if he was writing about a valued colleague rather than himself. Writing from this perspective felt less like bragging. Now, he could simply focus on the facts and get it done.
By the end of the coaching session, Joe was ready to write his bio. Now knew how to get it done quickly. He was looking forward completing this project and handing it in. By identifying and addressing the two factors that had made his molehill into a mountain, it had shrunk back to its original size. Now it was easy to tackle and get it done.
How to Shrink Your Mountain(s) – How to Get it Done:
  1. Take a moment to identify one of the mountains in your life. Perhaps you haven’t filed your taxes, you haven’t called your sister in a long time, or you haven’t finished a project that you started years ago. When you feel dread, shame or guilt about a certain unfinished project, you have identified one of your mountains.
  2. Imagine that this mountain once was a mole hill and get curious about the factors that have bloated it up to its mountain size. Write each of the contributing factors down.
  3. Brainstorm ways to address each of them; you may want to brainstorm with a trusted unbiased person who has no stake in the mountain you want to shrink. Choose the ideas that alleviate your dread, shame and guilt most significantly.
  4. By now you are most likely feeling a certain eagerness to tackle your molehill, to get it done and move it out of your way. Go ahead and get it done!
  5. Enjoy the spacious feeling as you shrink your mountains and get it done, one molehill at a time!
Tackling your molehill doesn’t necessarily mean doing it yourself either. To get it done, could very well mean delegating it gracefully.
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