Start Something Stupid

A couple of months ago, I came across the advice to “start something stupid”. I can’t remember where I read it, but I can see from a web search that there is a book called “The Power of Starting Something Stupid”, so Richie Norton, the author of that book, is probably where it originally came from. (I think I saw it quoted somewhere on LinkedIn, but I really don’t remember where, unfortunately.)

I happened upon that advice just when I was trying to decide whether or not to take the next step in pursuing training as a coach. I had so many doubts in my mind.

Do I have the right character traits to be a good coach? Would I enjoy coaching? Is the training worthwhile? Is the expense justifiable?

And I also had some thoughts in my mind that made me think that this was a stupid venture.

What are you thinking, Shaney? This is a stupid idea. You won’t be good at this. You probably won’t enjoy it. You need to stop thinking about this and focus on other, more important things.

When I came across this advice of starting something stupid, it helped me catch myself in this litany of negative inner talk and instead, take some action. I decided that my first step should be to talk to someone about the idea and see what their reaction was. I was quite scared to bring it up because I worried that the person would tell me that it was a stupid idea. Then I realized that if I had fear around someone telling me that it was stupid, and that I didn’t want to be told that it was stupid, then I probably didn’t fundamentally think it was stupid. I wasn’t worried that the idea was stupid; rather I was worried about what other people would think about the idea.

Am I making any sense?

Once I gave myself the permission to start something, even if I thought it might be a stupid idea on some level, it cleared the way for me to start taking some baby steps towards talking about my idea, which has now, after a few weeks, resulted in me taking the action of choosing and signing up for a coaching course that starts in April. Keeping the idea inside myself after thinking about it for several months was actually the stupid thing.

My ideas are not stupid, and even if someone else thinks they are, who cares? I shouldn’t care if other people *might* think the idea is stupid. And it’s important to note that no one has actually told me that they think it is a stupid idea for me to get trained as a coach. So, if I think that I can use my inner “this might be stupid” voice as some kind of quality control mechanism for my ideas, it doesn’t even work. The only effects that the “this might be stupid” voice has is to waste my time and to stop me from talking about my ideas and trying things.

I hope my writing today helps someone else to start something stupid.