Have you ever had an a-ha moment? That split-second when something previously unclear, frustrating, even confounding, suddenly makes sense. 💡 You feel a rush of energy, clarity, and exhilaration as new avenues and possibilities open up to you.
I’ve heard clients describe these moments as divine downloads, a random neuron firing, even the voice of God speaking to them. Whatever your unique experience, it feels like magic, doesn’t it?
Magic is all well and good, but doesn’t feel like a particularly solid base for building a profitable creative business. Am I right?
What if there were a way to break the magic of a-ha moments into a more predictable phenomenon? Would you be up for creating more of them? Heck yeah, you would!
OK, let’s give it a whirl. We’ll break it down the following way:
- What a-ha moments are
- How to cultivate the conditions for a-ha moments to occur
- How to turn this flash of awareness and clarity into meaningful action
If you’re ready to transform your a-ha’s into actions that move your business forward, read on…
1) What an a-ha moment is
An a-ha is that kapow! moment when something that was previously foggy and frustratingly out of reach suddenly makes sense. It’s the moment when it all suddenly clicks.
Damn, it feels good, doesn’t it?
While an a-ha moment might feel obscure or conceptual, it’s really not. It’s a new awareness. That’s it. And awareness is something we can cultivate. Woo hoo!
If you’re on board with the idea that a-ha moments are simply cultivating awareness (and therefore, neurology rather than magic), let’s take it one step further and talk about creating the conditions for cultivating awareness.
2) How to cultivate a-ha-friendly conditions
Here’s why this step is SO important. A-ha moments (aka flashes of awareness) are a bit like dreams, completely real and sense-making in the moment, only to completely vanish moments after waking. The more understandable and repeatable the awareness the cultivating process becomes, the easier it will be to take action on those revelations before – poof – they vanish.
This step can feel obscure, so I’m going to start with its essence (this is a good one to write on a post-it and tape to your monitor!).
In my experience, turning a challenge into a well-formed question is the first step to breakthroughs and progress.
With me so far? Great! Let’s use a framework and example of this process in action so you can try it for yourself:
- Put words to the challenge
- Name the feelings/emotions associated with the challenge
- Brainstorm awareness-evoking questions
Now, let’s work through an example using this framework.
- Put words to the challenge:
No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get my financial act together.
Name the feelings/emotions associated with the challenge
I feel a little embarrassed/silly/ashamed that I still haven’t figured this out at my age/stage of business/level of expertise.
- Brainstorm awareness-evoking questions:
- What is the specific outcome I want to achieve with regard to personal finances?
- How would I describe an ideal state or reality e.g. financial freedom?
- What would it mean to me and my family to achieve this state?
- What would I need to believe to achieve this reality?
- Who do I believe I might alienate or upset by achieving this new financial reality?
- What identity would I need to assume to align with this reality? e.g. a saver not a spender, a successful business owner, a person who makes smart money decisions, a person who understands the basic principles of personal finance, etc.?
Do you see how this process helps you bridge from unclear and stuck to clear and empowered?
Action step: Now it’s your turn. Pick a challenge and turn it into a question.
3) Turn your a-ha’s into action!
If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you know my purpose is helping brilliant creatives like you turn your ideas into profitable creative businesses.
The most critical link between brilliant ideas and a profitable reality is action!
Here are a few suggestions:
Talk about it (but choose your people wisely)
Have you ever noticed how something becomes real once you put words to it? Putting a new idea out there can feel vulnerable, so I encourage you to choose your people with care. Growth and change inevitably require some courageous action and leaps of faith on your part, so we don’t want any fear-based nervous nellies extinguishing your fire. I cannot emphasize this enough: choose your confidants with care.
Action step: List the people you can fully trust with your innermost thoughts and ideas
Do your research
A-ha’s are a lightning bolt. They don’t come fully formed with instruction manuals, so you’re going to need to become a bit of a sleuth. One year ago, I had the a-ha that I should look into becoming a certified ADHD coach. All I knew at that point was there was a strong correlation between creativity, entrepreneurship, and ADHD. As the mother of a son with ADHD I was personally invested in supporting neurodiverse people. But other than that, I didn’t really know what I was looking for. So, I took to Google and typed in “ADHD coaching,” which led me to ADHD coaching programs, which led me to understand there were some credentials that were better than others, etc., etc. I followed the breadcrumbs until I had three training programs to investigate and consider. One month and a sizable investment later, I was enrolled in a one-year program.
Action step: Bridge your way from a fleeting idea to viable options to a concrete next step.
Find your support team
This is probably the most important piece of advice. We all need high-level, consistent support to make our big ideas happen. Depending upon the resources available to you, find the people you can count on to brainstorm with, give you feedback, support you, and hold you accountable. Maybe your list includes a friend, professional peer, mentor, group, or coach.
Action step: Brainstorm and list them all, reach out to them, make the request, and see what happens.
If you’re ready to find your group of growth-minded, thought-expanding, action-supporting peers, I invite you to check out my Creative Business Accelerator group coaching program. Equal parts coaching, learning, industry-specific resources, and a wildly supportive community, this is a group you can count on to help transform your a-ha’s into action. Here’s what one of our group members had to say:
“Justine’s group coaching sessions are lively, interactive, inspiring, and fun. I always look forward to them. Each one is packed with useful information – the kind that sets off “oh my God” lightbulbs in my head. After just a few months, I’m living in “the land of wins.” I know what my business is about (it’s simpler than I thought). I know who my ideal clients are. I have a set of goals and a concrete way to get there. I just wish I’d found Justine’s coaching program sooner!” – Maggie Parr
Ready to live in your “land of wins”? Check us out here.
2 thoughts on “A-ha moments: how to harness the magic + turn ideas into action”
Brilliant! As usual, Justine you are a lightning bolt. I love hearing your new direction, I have always wondered if ADHD was an evolution of the species. And the rest of us are just trying to keep up. Excited to hear more about it.
Hi Melissa, thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm! I love that thought – you might very well be onto something! I hope you’re well and continuing to blaze trails in business and life!