Getting stuck, staying stuck and never moving. So many times, I hear “there are too many choices” or “there are no choices!” The All or Nothing thinking that is required to stay stuck takes just as much effort to figure out the path you could choose for your organization.
The All is surrounded by information, options, and paths that are possible. You might find yourself dreaming of what could be. For example, if you are a nonprofit that helps collect gloves for school-age children and are considering how to knit gloves for all species of the world you might find yourself in the All category.
All: “If I try to do everything, all of it will happen.”
The Nothing is buried under the same experiences and rituals – and dying. You could be considering how to close your nonprofit because it has lost its momentum. For example, if you started your nonprofit in the paper and printing era and still don’t have a website you might be stuck in the Nothing thinking pattern.
Nothing: “We can’t change what has always worked.”
I’ve experienced organizations failing due to not having hard conversations about change and hiding from what’s possible. So, if you would like to dig in, get stuck, and stay buried in the All or Nothing, here is how to proceed.
Three ways to NOT make decisions:
1. Stay stuck in old expectations
Write down all the things you have always done and think that you “should” continue.
Now carry out those expectations to the last detail.
Do not change one bit and carry out your organization as if the expectations were more important then your mission.
2. Don’t know your purpose
Grasp onto other’s purposes and live them out if they were your own.
Change your mind constantly about where you are going with your organization and what you are doing.
Whatever you do, don’t put your purpose into words that make sense.
3. Watch opportunities pass you by
Don’t seek out different experiences that may benefit your organization.
Monitor social media and like everything that everyone else is trying, but don’t try it yourself.
Tell yourself, “we aren’t ready – our time will come.”
Now that you have your shovel and are ready to dig, what are you waiting for? If you are still reading, you know that something different is possible to help your organization grow or transition. Instead of All or Nothing patterns - consider how expectations can be renewed, purpose can be defined, and opportunities can be developed. Sometimes we have to figure out what not to do in order to make the best decision of how to move forward.