The Freedom of Building the Plane While Flying It
Learn the Benefits of Approaching Life as an Experiment and Overcoming Perfectionism and Self-Doubt
I’m a life coach in 2023, so I have to use plenty of metaphors. It’s a rule. I don’t question it.
And my absolute favorite one is building the plane while flying it. It’s a metaphor that perfectly captures the essence of starting something new without having all the details figured out. Sometimes, you just have to jump in and figure things out as you go.
Sure, it can be scary not to have a complete roadmap, but with practice, it can be incredibly liberating. Making changes and adjustments along the way can lead to unexpected opportunities and growth.
So, if you’re considering starting something new, whether it’s a business, a project, or a personal goal, here are a few reasons why you should consider this approach to your next big thing:
You’ll get started faster
If you’re a perfectionist, you may spend weeks or months planning and strategizing before taking any action. But by approaching everything as an experiment, you can get started right away. You don’t need to have all the answers; you just need to make an educated guess and start flying.
This approach also allows you to stop researching and overthinking, which can be major time-wasters. Instead, you can start taking action and learning from your mistakes along the way. By doing so, you’ll gain confidence in your decision-making abilities and be more comfortable taking risks in the future. So, why not give it a try and see where your aircraft takes you?
You’ll overcome perfectionism and self-doubt
Perfectionism and self-doubt can be major roadblocks on the path to success. But by embracing the build the plane while flying it approach, you won’t have time for these self-sabotaging habits. You’ll realize that making mistakes and encountering challenges is a natural part of the learning process, and that failure is not the end of the world.
In fact, if you’re honest with yourself, you always know the next obvious step to take — you just need to trust your instincts and take it. And even if you do make a mistake, you’ve likely made mistakes before and survived to tell the tale. You might just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of accomplishing.
You’ll learn as you go
When you approach everything as an experiment, you’re not focused on getting everything right the first time. Instead, you’re focused on learning from your mistakes and making adjustments along the way. This means you’ll gain valuable insights and skills as you go, which will help you achieve your goals more effectively in the long run.
As Ze Frank once said, “There’s no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.” This quote encapsulates the beauty of our metaphor — even if you’re not 100% prepared or confident, you can still make progress and make your mark. By learning as you go, you’ll discover new and unexpected opportunities that you might not have encountered otherwise.
You’ll take bigger leaps
Another benefit of embracing the build the plane while flying it approach is that you’ll take more risks and try new things. When you’re not bogged down by the need to have everything figured out beforehand, you’re more willing to take bold and daring steps. You’ll feel empowered to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and tackle challenges that may have previously seemed insurmountable.
This willingness to take risks and embrace the unknown can be incredibly liberating. It allows you to break out of your usual patterns and discover new opportunities you never thought were possible. You’ll discover new passions, talents, and perspectives that you may not have uncovered otherwise. And who knows — you might just stumble upon something that completely changes the course of your life.
My point here is, by approaching everything as an experiment instead of waiting until you have the strategy just so, you can get started faster, blaze past perfectionism and self-doubt, and make adjustments as you go. Sure, you may encounter some turbulence along the way, but that’s just part of the ride. And let’s be real — life is pretty chaotic as it is. Why not embrace the chaos and take a leap of faith? After all, the only way to truly fail is to not try at all. So, strap on your pilot’s goggles and get ready to build that plane while you’re flying it. It may sound silly, but trust me — it works.
And don’t forget to enjoy the ride — after all, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey.
(ACK, that last sentence was just too cheesy even for me. LOL)
Approaching challenges or new things as an experiment has worked well for me. I forget at times, so thanks for the reminder.