Is Your Last Big Gig Hidden In The Confusion Of Too Many Great Ideas?

As I go around talking to women about the possibilities of their Last Big Gig, I have noticed a common challenge that many of them experience as they think about it – they have too many ideas!  Not surprising, I guess, when you think about smart, experienced, successful women contemplating creating amazing Last Big Gigs.  But, I began to wonder, why are so many of us feeling overwhelmed and stuck by an abundance of ideas and opportunities?   What is it about the opportunity to consider a whole new set of options, to use a brand new set of choice criteria that can ends up making so many smart women feel stuck in the quicksand of their own ideas?

First, I thought that maybe this is just a natural side effect of opening our minds to new ideas and possibilities.  Sort of like when you go to buy one pair of shoes at a great sale and find ten pair that you want, all at amazing prices.  How do you choose?  And while it creates some tension weighing the choices, overall the feeling is of joy that you are getting some great shoes and some great buys.  But, unlike those of us who are stuck choosing a direction for our Last Big Gig, most of us buy at least one pair of shoes before we go home (and some of us buy a whole lot more)!

Next, I noticed that many of us focus most of our energy on creating increasingly larger numbers of ideas faster than we can consider or spend time leaning into the ones that we have already identified.  Our idea generating process becomes an end in itself – a distracting activity that saves us from having to make a choice and move forward.

“We all distract ourselves on a daily basis…We use distraction to manage our work lives, our relationships, our families, our health care, our thought processes, and especially our emotions.  We distract ourselves from our goals and dreams, from our loves and hopes, from our troubles and traumas and from our deepest wishes and our truest selves.”  Karla McLaren, The Language of Emotions

So why do we create the quicksand of so many possibilities and distractions that keeps us from moving forward to create our Last Big Gigs?  I think that we want to power through with our traditional ways of solving problems and achieving our goals, not thinking about the fact that if we want to design a novel, new, different opportunity, that it will require a change in our thinking and processes – otherwise we will just end up in the same place, again.  I believe that we are stuck in a plethora of possibilities, because it is easier than doing some of the hard work up front to figure out all of the unarticulated needs that we want to fulfill with our Last Big Gigs.

I have spent several months figuring out that I really had to start with pushing at and finding ways to get in touch with all of my desires and wants for my Last Big Gig – not just the ones that I have already fulfilled in my career and life to this point.  This is not easy, because we have created solid, well-honed stories about our wants, needs and capabilities that have driven our success so far.  And creating a new story, which is more inclusive of all of our unmet needs and desires, takes time and work.

The good news is that I have discovered some helpful tools on my journey; tools that are research-validated to deliver real innovation and creativity toward designing a new, effective and successful future.  And these tools start with a deep dive into unraveling your heartfelt, unmet, often unarticulated desires.

If you are feeling stuck in too many ideas, consider stepping out of the distraction and taking some time to jump into the deep pond of your own story to discover new insights into what will make your Last Big Gig your most fulfilling and satisfying gig in your life.

Marigold signatureMary Wallace Jaensch

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