You’ve spent months discovering, designing, configuring and testing a tool – it’s all gone according to plan, and you’re ready to launch.
And then it happens. You start thinking. Over and over.
Is it ready? I’m not sure. Maybe we should do more testing. What about that one scenario that I just made up that has become super important – did we test that?
Did everyone get enough training? Bob was out. What about Bob? Bob’s a terrific guy.
Did we get everything in the tool? No – we didn’t. We can add more so it will be way better.
Is this a good time to launch? No, it’s a horrible time – It’s the holidays, and I’ve got a vacation in 3 months.
Is everyone happy with how we designed the solution? What about that one person we haven’t spoken to yet? How are they feeling?
Is this system a priority? I think we should shift focus from this to something that I’ve just now thought of as being more critical.
This phenomenon is called Launch Anxiety.
Launch Anxiety is normal.
Launch Anxiety is that moment in time when you are about to do something that might put yourself out there – make yourself vulnerable – and then you start creating 100 reasons why you shouldn’t do it.
It is there to prevent you from doing anything that’s uncomfortable – and introducing a new system is as uncomfortable as it gets.
Steven Pressfield would file Launch Anxiety under one of the many techniques the Resistance uses to halt progress.
Worth a read: The War of Art
Launch Anxiety is the reason why some writers struggle to finish a book but instead choose to rework an outline over and over again.
It’s the reason why companies remain in the pilot phase during software implementations for way too long as they fiddle and tweak the system to perfection.
It can be rooted in fear of failure or a lack of understanding of “what’s next?” – but it’s all based on this idea that anything less than perfect IS a failure.
That’s Launch Anxiety.
The best way to combat Launch Anxiety is to know that it will happen when you get started.
Once you are aware that it’s going to happen, you’ll know when it tries to prevent progress.
And once you see yourself or others making decisions that may even seem rational but were never part of the original plan – then call it out to others.
Call it for what it is: Launch Anxiety.
And push through it by Launching.
It will be ok.
References and Resources
Steven Pressfield – The War of Art
Originally Posted December 19, 2017