Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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4,443 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. I have read and re-read Barbara’s Refuse to Choose a number of times over the last 5 years of so, knowing that eventually there would come a time I’d be ready and able to put it to use. I’m ready and willing right now, but ironically, I’m feeling much more stuck than ever before.

    I am unemployed (not ideal) and on welfare (which I am grateful for) after taking a chance on a 12 month contract overseas that disappointingly did not work out. I am glad I gave it a go and I do not regret that.

    Now that I am home the idea of finding yet another job I don’t enjoy because life costs money makes me practically despondent. I want to work for myself, I suppose this is my wish, but I have no idea what to do or how to figure it out.
    I have SO many areas of interest and ideas, have done SO many different things, and have eventually dropped all of those same things that I am not filled with confidence that I would have the capacity to maintain self-employment.

    My biggest obstacle, aside from myself, is too much choice and no direction. I’ve worked as a midwife, an injury coder for an insurance company, I’ve been a school cleaner while studying at Uni, I sewed stents for a medical manufacturing company, been an apprentice light vehicle mechanic, a receptionist, worked in fast food. I’ve studied business administration, intro to legal studies, intro to interior design, I have a Cert IV in training and assessment, first aid certificates, RYA competent crew certification, I volunteer on the water with Volunteer Marine Rescue, I have travelled, crewed on sail boats, I was a circus performer as a teen and have done flying trapeze recreationally on and off since, I trained in muay thai and for a time stunt performing, I helped my Mum design a tiny house, started a zero waste facebook group, I ride a motorcycle on occasion and I am genuinely just very very lost right now.

    I feel like I can see no real connection between anything I’ve done before and I’m exhausted by the thought of starting something new yet again. I know that I have many transferable skills as a result of all of this, but I just wish I knew what I could successfully transfer them to.

    Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation and found their way who could share some advice?
    Thank you for reading

    • It’s very exciting that you can start the next thing, whatever it might be, knowing there’s a very good chance you’ll succeed. You’ve already succeeded at so many things!

      There is a wonderful book by a research psychologist (Barry Schwartz) called The Paradox of Choice. It concludes that people who satisfice (try the next thing that meets their minimum criteria) are, on average, happier and wealthier than those who optimize (seek out the best of all of their current options).

      Personally, I have found that it’s much easier to pick something that pays the bills and keep tacking on other interests than to gather up all of my interests at once and integrate them. You could be a receptionist who creates goodwill-building marine rescue events for the company and becomes their in-house first aid go-to. Or you could return to injury coding and become their in-house expert on insuring circus performers and/or motorcycle riders and/or sailors (by analyzing the claims from those groups), then design ways to make the company better known to any groups whose claims are smaller than they expect.

      I have been self-employed for most of my life, and I believe the only people the reality of self-employment appeals to (the fantasy seems to appeal to almost everyone who ever had a boss) are those who also enjoy looking for work.

      I hope something here helps, Anthea.

    • Hi there,

      I see so many similarities to my own experience and share in the same sense of obstacle – the problem of having so many interests and choices. In reading your career history, my instant thought is that you sound like you would make a fantastic careers counsellor or coach, based on your general knowledge of so many fields. I work in higher education administration and often the most daunting thing for graduates starting out in the working world is “how do I get into this particular field of work?”. You have direct knowledge of this in many areas that you could share. Your range of interests and the knowledge you have in different fields could be the core of a new path for you.

      So many people are afraid to try new things; clearly you are not one of these people. Imagine if your job is lending your confidence in trying new things or pursuing new career paths to other people. Your connections through your professional and personal interests could be of great value to others. That kind of support is invaluable.

    • Wow! That certainly is a varied skill set Anthea!
      Just wondering – whereabouts are you based – are you in the UK?
      If so, I might have an opportunity for you 🙂

    • I understand where you are at because I have been there. Let me share my experience and maybe it will resonate with you.
      At some point in my life, I realized that I felt exhausted because I was trying to put everything together. I was trying to find the perfect job, the perfect settings and I thought I had to to have it all figured out because I was so afraid of being disappointed, of finding myself stuck in a place, in a job I didn’t like.
      That was exhausting!
      So first, I became aware of the fear that drove me to exhaustion. I was afraid of botching it and I was trying to micromanage everything.
      Then, I started focusing on the following question : what is it that I want to do now? What fills me with a sense – even the smallest one- of aliveness, now? Among the different options that I have now, which is the one that makes me feel more alive? The answers that came, at first, had nothing to do with work, and my mind would second guess what I was doing. I
      I persisted.
      This is what happened: the answers kept me busy throughout the day. I fiou d myself losing myself in the moment because I was enjoying life so much. This ( I realized later ion) helped me come out of my hyperalet and anxious state.
      At some point, these answers started leading me to unexpected jobs, to meeting new people with whom to collaborate, to opportunities that my mind would never have been able to imagine.

      I hope this helps. I can expand on my experiences if you wish.

      • I understand where you are at because I have been there. Let me share my experience and maybe it will resonate with you.
        At some point in my life, I realized that I felt exhausted because I was trying to put everything together. I was trying to find the perfect job, the perfect settings and I thought I had to to have it all figured out because I was so afraid of being disappointed, of finding myself stuck in a place, in a job I didn’t like.
        That was exhausting!
        So first, I became aware of the fear that drove me to exhaustion. I was afraid of botching it and I was trying to micromanage everything.
        Then, I started focusing on the following question : what is it that I want to do now? What fills me with a sense – even the smallest one- of aliveness, now? Among the different options that I have now, which is the one that makes me feel more alive? The answers that came, at first, had nothing to do with work, and my mind would second guess what I was doing. I
        I persisted.
        This is what happened: the answers kept me busy throughout the day. I fiou d myself losing myself in the moment because I was enjoying life so much. This ( I realized later ion) helped me come out of my hyperalet and anxious state.
        At some point, these answers started leading me to unexpected jobs, to meeting new people with whom to collaborate, to opportunities that my mind would never have been able to imagine.

        I hope this helps. I can expand on my experiences if you wish.

        I also wanted to add that when I do that, I get all my chores done very easily. I don’t need to to make a list. They just get done.

  2. I’ve been following Barbara’s work for years. I was overjoyed when I first heard about her and read her work. I bought duplicates of her books and gifted them to my friends.
    So, I’m an artist and author living in Spain. I’m working on 2 exhibitions. One is called Deconstruction and it’s a performance piece between me and my wedding dress. The other is called Journal 4 Gaza and it’s an art installation project dedicated to all the civilian lives lost in Gaza over the past 5 to 6 months.

    My obstacles:
    For Deconstruction I need exhibition space(s) to submit my proposal to and hopefully have them accept it. The space needs to be in Spain or France or London due to language and ease of travel.

    Got Journal 4 Gaza I need volunteers/ collaborators to knit and crochet with me AND I need an exhibition space, same as for Deconstruction.

    I live on the Costa Blanca of Spain. I am Palestinian. You can see more details on both pieces on my website http://www.fadwa.com and clicking on upcoming exhibitions.

    Thank you.

    • Hi,

      I can’t help you with the location, but I could share your project among friends that knit and crochet here in the Netherlands. I could help out too. Is it possible to send you finished pages for the journal?

      Any specific measurements or wool thickness needed for the pieces? I could not find it…

      Hope it all works out for you!
      Linda

    • Hi Fadwa,

      How about Granada in Spain?
      I know centro europeo de las mujeres Mariana Pineda, centro Jose guerrero or Palacio del Almirante. Maybe you can contact them and see if they want to help you with exhibition spaces!
      Good luck!!!

      Kat

  3. I am feeling a bit worried. Does no one have any ideas for our latest three wishes? Is it time to close this marvelous resource down? Please post some ideas. Or another wish and an obstacle. Let’s get some action going again!

  4. Hey guys,
    ‘just saw Barbara’s Ted-X talk – INSPIRING!!!
    I live in a small town in Denmark (in Europe). I am dedicating myself to helping people get better with Emotion Code Therapy (which also encompasses remote healing), Access Consciousness Bars treatments and Japanese acupressure and I already independently work with these helping more often than not individuals with mental and emotional challenges. Especially children under 13 who I work on for free (as there seems to be a rising number of them with especially emotional challenges). Because of difficulties in my life I decided and learned that to be of service to others really is the way to channel and process what I’ve been through into something positive. I truly love the work that I do. My challenge is getting more clients here at home and internationally to really get this business up and running profitably. Anybody out there who could shed light?

    • Hi Shaun,
      you might ask your current clients for testimonials, that you could use on your webpage. You could also ask them to refer other potential clients to you.
      Start a facebookpage or blog and tell about how helpful your work might be for certain persons. write an article for your local newspaper, offer your service at evening-schools, ….
      And in general I suggest, what I would suggest to anybody starting a new business: take your time, even a coach, to write a Businessplan, clarify your product, why is it special, who / how are your clients, define your prices and way of contacting clients and then make a marketing-plan.

  5. After graduating with my Associate’s degree in May, I will start an internship program in Oklahoma! Part of that internship is showing proficiency in Ministry fundraising! Below is the message I have written to hopefully inspire those who have known me to help support me in this new journey of my life! If you decide to donate, the GoFundMe is attached at the end of this message! I love Barbara’s message and I believe with your help we can make this dream a reality!

    I am beyond excited to share something special with you. As part of my Ministry internship, I need to show my proficiency in Ministry fundraising, and it’s a journey that cannot be started without your support!

    Some friends and I have an incredible opportunity ahead – we’re raising funds to travel to a retreat in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. We will be gathering with other young adults in a beautiful cabin, watching the 3rd season of The Chosen, and taking part in profound conversations about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit afterward.

    Our last experience was nothing short of amazing! We made new connections, shared wonderful moments, and heard eye-opening testimonies that touched our hearts. It was a truly transformative time.

    Now, we’re preparing for another weekend, and I can hardly contain my excitement! I believe this journey will be even more extraordinary, and I’d love for you to join us in making it happen. Your contribution, no matter the size, will play a crucial role in helping us reach this retreat and create more unforgettable memories.

    Let’s come together and make this opportunity a reality! Your support means the world to us, and we can’t wait to share the joy and inspiration that will undoubtedly come from this experience.

    We will be sharing a thank you video filled with highlights and insights from our retreat. We are excited to share all we are learning and experiencing with you!!

    Thank you for being part of our journey and helping us spread the light.

    With hope and anticipation,

    Summer Woods

    https://gofund.me/8aa05ef8

  6. My dream is to create a small egalitarian village where there is beauty, bounty, justice and freedom, we regenerate the earth, and we share and have fun. I’m working on it already: It’s called STORYVILLE. My obstacle is that I need to focus on getting funding for this dream and I have a short attention span and get burnt out quickly. And there are a lot of volunteers and staff to manage too. https://www.storyvillefestival.com/

  7. I want to write a musical, but I don’t know how to do a lot of the parts. I’m just a songwriter. I play and direct music for local musical productions, but I fear that what I write won’t be any good or won’t be well-received. I stay really busy with work, and when I get home, I feel tired and uninspired. So my idea, which I started writing in 2015, just sits there.

    • If I were you, John, I would take a few breaths in, anchor into my body, focus on my chest area and then let myself go into the worst case scenario in my mind. (I am sure you have a few of them that you are keeping at bay. ) I would completely live out the shame and humiliation of being rejected. I would go through these scenarios and the feelings that arise until there is a feeling of relief ( which means that you just stopped resisting and repressing your deepest fears and have embraced them.)
      I would do this on a daily ( are you committed to this ?) until there is no emotional charge to it.
      There may be a wounded aspect in you that has gone through a similar situation in the past and is keeping you safe by distracting you with “more important” work.
      It would be great if you could do this with a friend that can be there for you as you go through the experience.

    • How about a Meetup group in a local cafe for musical lovers, where you ask if any of them have a dream of creating a musical but there’s some part of it they cannot do. If any say songwriting, you’ve got a possible partner.

    • Hi, John. I would be happy to explore collaborating with you on this. I helped someone write a musical back in 2003 that was produced in 2004. It wasn’t broadway or anything, but we did have a big audience and we had some wonderful performers.

      You never know where following an idea in your heart will lead.

      • Hi John and Laura. I’m more in drama theater. I would be happy to help for this musical for brainstorming or comments.

  8. Hello dear friends,
    My wish is to find a new job that keeps me energized and leaves me enough money time and energy to do whatever I would love to do.
    My current job is in a toxic environment, and this I had been enduring for too long.
    I need a fast switch before I get too sick from this I can not bear another day at the moment

    Blockages
    – I feel too insecure about my capacities right now for other jobs too apply, due to the current work situation.
    – Not sure if I want to continue in IT (although the job itself was fine, only the bullying undermined my work and health)
    – I have a solid contract now with no end date, I will lose that when I change jobs (always starts with a temporarily agreement)
    – Am afraid that I will encounter the same toxicity again in a new job
    – almost two years ago I had a job at a restaurant I liked that more, the salary was not good enough to make a living so I had to return to my IT carreer
    – I feel blocked

    Never encounterd this kind of toxicity befor, If I only knew I would have left earlier (It was not soluble within in the company, me hoping it was kept me there longer than I should)

    How would I go best about this, quickly and with the best outcome for me

    • When getting out of a toxic job, the important part is getting out. If you land in a temporary spot or one you don’t feel you should stay in or one that doesn’t involve the interests you most want to pursue, that’s OK. Because you’ll be able to see the landscape very differently and with more curiosity and insight than you can in a toxic job. Just make the easiest move first.

      • That sounds good, thank you Patty. It feels better to look for anything to release myself from the current worksituation.

        I only have one requirement, that is that the income will be sufficient to pay my bills.

    • According to me, it’s very important to understand why you keep repeating a certain pattern ( the toxicity in your work) because, as you said yourself, it may come up in your future job, and that’s not the outcome that you want.
      I work with pattern so I can help you understand yours and see how to work with it.
      If you’re interested, we can meet online, see if my approach works for you and take it from there . My email : almazarchetypes@gmail.com
      Have a nice day,
      Almaz

      • Thank you Almaz, it is only that I don’t want to go into all this trouble of getting a new job with the result that this will happen again. This kind of situation had never happened to me before in all my career. And I never want it to work in this kind of workenvironment again. That is my only fear now

  9. I have a few ideas that i am interested in pursuing and was wondering if there uplifting accountability groups that can be formed?

    I can start with that first?

    Also want to check if this works
    too many issues to use this and to also synergize for some reason.

  10. I don’t know what is their budget but
    to save money they can use library internet to continue recruiting/prospectging and teaching?
    to save money they can go to free food distribution …we have some here so i am just wondering about there.
    and
    if you can barter with others your services with shelter and food etc??
    join a bartering services they have lots of people who have stuff and build on that.

    you don’t need to say that you have mental issues you just need to focus on your goals and synergizing.

    i actually want to also check if my reply is seen since
    i had too many issues here sending replies and creating synergies in this platform and i dont’ wish this anymore on myself or others.
    ty

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