How is this easy?

I was working with a coaching client who was too smart for his own good.

He was a gifted thinker and professionally ambitious. He had big plans for what he wanted to write and create for the world. He understood the mechanisms of marketing and publishing well. And he had high standards for his work.

But there’d been a piece of work that just kept not getting done. He wanted to do it, and it was important to him. It sounded like finishing this piece of writing had been on his list for quite a while by the time we sat down to chat.

As we talked through his process, it became clear to him that he’d been getting caught up in the details, and had built up the gravity of this particular unit of work so much that it had grown into a mountain—one that now stood in his way.

Has this ever happened to you? Does knowing “too much” about how to do a certain piece of work ever stall you out? Has its importance ballooned to such a place that it prevents you from making progress? Do you see people less skilled in the same area making more progress than you are, and seemingly effortlessly?

It’s very easy for high achievers to be able to expound, in great detail, about why a particular thing is difficult. We know too much about how and where it could fail, and the exact blend of nuanced skills needed for it to succeed.

But we spend very little time thinking about how it might be easy.

Thinking about how a project is easy requires some creative thinking. It requires getting outside the box entirely and just looking at the box from a greater distance, so it seems smaller.

When you get stuck, ask yourself: How is this easy?

What’s the one task you can do now, that will enable all the others?

What are the skills you have that you can call on to get through this project?

Not well, just easily.

The trick here is to circumvent the mind’s desire to find a way to solve the problem well, which is what minds like ours are accustomed to doing.

Just think, how can I do this easily?

You might be surprised at the resourcefulness you find when you reframe the question.

Gillian BenAry