Do you have more ideas than ten people can implement in a lifetime?
Are you generally enthusiastic and optimistic?
Could these wonderful traits occasionally (or frequently) be working against you?
Take this quick assessment and see if you’re the type of person I’m talking about:
Check each box that applies to you.
□ I frequently hear people say that I am inspiring.
□ I prefer talking about the people side of things versus the tasks.
□ I’m motivated by new and exciting projects.
□ I crave acknowledgment for my accomplishments and hard work.
□ I’m always coming up with new ideas.
□ I truly love telling a good story.
□ I’ve heard that I am generally perceived as a visionary.
□ I can offer up progressive ideas but I have little patience for time-sucking procedures.
□ I tend to be open and willing to express my emotions.
□ I’ve been told I avoid the details when I find them unexciting or too belabored.
You may be wondering what all these traits have to do with the concept of “too many ideas.” In my experience, most people who generate more than their fair share of ideas possess many of the traits mentioned above.
One way to consider your results:
If you checked 1 to 3 of these boxes, you may consider yourself occasionally optimistic, drawn to social contact and occasionally distracted by your ideas.
If you checked 4 to 7 boxes, you may feel driven by your own ideas, ideals and insights more than the average individual.
If you checked 8 to 10 of these boxes, you’re probably living an exciting life. However, you may be overly distracted by too many things. It is likely that you could benefit from living the mantra, “less is more.”
Why Should I Care?
Here’s something to consider: The mass accumulated by an excessive amount of ideas can diminish our sense of clarity. Things can feel jumbled, confusing and overwhelming. Too many ideas can hinder our progress instead of augmenting it.
Individuals who have experienced the hobbling effect of too many ideas speak of it like this:
“As an entrepreneur, there is no one telling you what to do, when to be at work or what to focus on . . . I often get myself into idea-knots. These are when your ideas are jumbled up and are no longer clear—they confuse you instead of aiding you in pursuing your path. This becomes overwhelming and demotivates you to pick the ideas that really matter. Good ideas should shine like clear beacons guiding you home in the dark, not bemuse and disorient you . . . Remember, not every idea is a good one.” —Mutsa Samuel, Creative Facilitator and Author of The Problem With Too Many Ideas via Medium.com
“Too many ideas are counterproductive when you cannot decide which ones to execute, and you become overwhelmed and come to a dead stop.
Too many ideas are counterproductive when you follow all of them and do not execute any of them to your satisfaction.
Too many ideas are counterproductive when you act on them, and forsake what you say is important to you . . . The conundrum comes in deciding which to implement.” —Marla Cummins, ADHD Productivity Consultant and Author of When You Have ADD And Have “Too” Many Ideas via MarlaCummins.com
“The problem is that whatever idea you’re excited about may or may not turn out to be a great project for you after all . . . it’s natural when we get a new idea to be excited and want to work on it as soon as possible. We don’t want to wait, we want to get started as soon as possible.” —Drew Kimble, Writer at Skinny Artist and Author of Too Much Of A Good Thing via SkinnyArtist.com
Clearly, too many ideas can be a liability. While many people love and adore their ideas, there is wisdom in what my speaking coach says:
“There comes a time when you have to kill your darlings. You have to narrow your speech down to the ultimate, critical pieces that you’ll present.” —Beth Wolfer, Head Coach at Speak
You and I can prevent ourselves from mismanaging our idea abundance. We can avoid being abused by our ideation superpowers. Here’s what I often share with people regarding this topic:
“It is wise and productive to narrow our focus on one or two really powerful ideas rather than empower the masses. Success often lies in going a mile deep in an inch of territory versus being lost in mile-wide terrain that is only an inch deep.” —Lyn T. Christian, SoulSalt Inc.
SoulSalt clients who learn to better manage the amount of ideas they focus on report the following benefits:
- Task completion gets easier
- Decision-making becomes stronger and more productive
- Projects get finished (this means more dopamine hits)
- Creativity actually increases
- Influence and impact increase
- Job/life satisfaction increases
- Trust of self-improves
- Ability to see the golden ideas apart from all the rest increases
Taking an actual standardized test may help you determine if you truly do have an idea machine under your hat. You may want to learn what you can do to better manage your ideation capacity. If so, consider purchasing a micro-coaching engagement with Lyn. This is a three-step, single-focus coaching engagement that involves:
Step 1— Sign-up here
Step 2 — Take the assessment
Step 3 — Debrief your results with Lyn in a 30-minute session. To schedule your “micro-coaching session” send an email to email@example.com
This blog is based on over twenty years of coaching experience and information I’ve gleaned from research developed around the DiSC Profile Assessment.
As noted earlier, people who score high in the assessment at the start of this blog tend to have a strong capacity for generating a bountiful amount of ideas. Typically they will also score high in the “i” category of the DiSC Profile.
If you’re interested in learning more about the characteristics of a “High i” according to the DiSC profile, try watching this video: