This is a guest post from KW Stout at Health Mind Power
You have some great ideas, but you never pursue them. You’ve wanted to start a business, but can’t seem to motivate yourself to get started. You have big dreams, but even bigger fears of failure.
You fail to take action.
You’re not alone.
This is a topic that strikes a chord with me, because I see people hesitant to take action far too often and it bothers me. I hate seeing people hold themselves back.
A big part of the reason that it bothers me, is because I have been guilty of this myself more times than I can count.
Life is going to throw so many obstacles your way that slow you down – the last thing you want to do is be an obstacle to yourself.
So why is this such a common problem? There’s a lot to it and I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers, but I have some ideas.
Convenience Breeds Complacency
As generations have passed and technology has progressed, daily life has gotten easier. Much easier.
We live the most convenient lifestyles that man has ever known. What that equates to is a lot more spare time on our hands. Ironically, the more time we have, the less we do – since we lack a sense of urgency.
This lack of urgency and my introverted tendency to over-think things is what prevented me from taking immediate action in the past. If you’re an introvert, you likely second guess yourself from time to time. It’s ok though, that’s a quality you can work on and improve.
All we need to create a sense of urgency is a simple shift in mindset. Although our lifestyles are more convenient than those of our elders, time continues to pass at the same rate.
Time is constantly ticking. It is the most valuable currency you could ever use. Time is more valuable than money ever will be. We can always make more money, but we will never get time back that has already been spent.
This is one reason why successful people make decisions quicker than average people. They know that spending time making a decision is expensive. Successful people make the decision now and then improve it later if they need to.
We live in an age where we have an abundance of time, meaning we are time-rich. So if we agree that time is more valuable than money, we can agree that we are far richer than our grandparents were – despite the effects of inflation on the value of the dollar.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to not take advantage of that abundance?
Maybe you already appreciate the value of time or maybe you don’t have much time to spare. Then what keeps you from taking action now?
It could be a number of things.
You Fear Bad Ideas
Perhaps you are on the fence about a decision. Not sure if it’s a good idea or a bad idea.
I can tell you that when I was younger and more hesitant, I was usually just being a pussy. The best rewards in life are accompanied by risk.
We fear what challenges us, because challenges require change. We naturally don’t like change. We have to learn to seek change and growth.
Embrace the risk and it becomes fun.
What story would you rather tell your grandkids? How you had a smooth path to success with no challenges along the way? Or how you overcame the odds and destroyed every obstacle in your path? Hopefully the latter.
Well, you have to earn the right to tell that story by taking the risk now!
You Don’t Trust Your Gut
Successful people make more gut decisions. Average people make gut decisions too. The difference is – successful people make better gut decisions.
Your gut is an incredible source of information. Don’t take this for granted.
How many times have you had a gut feeling that you should pursue something, ignored it, and then later regretted it? I know I have done that many times.
Let that be a lesson to you to listen to your gut next time.
Developing trust in yourself is a big part of taking action. You’ll never reach your full potential if you don’t allow yourself to.
Stop worrying whether or not you can accomplish something and prove to yourself that you can.
You Lack Discipline
Successful people take action whether or not they feel like it.
Sometimes you just have to force yourself to do something that you know you need to do, even if you don’t want to.
Motivation is a luxury that comes and goes. Enjoy it while you have it.
If you rely on motivation to take action, you will never reach your goals.
There always comes a point where the challenge is stronger than the motivation. That’s the point where discipline is required to push through.
Average people need to find motivation to get started. Successful people get started to find motivation.
The idea that successful people are motivated 24/7 is a misconception. Successful people are more disciplined than average people.
Their discipline gets them more results, which leads to higher motivation. They weren’t born with more motivation. They aren’t lucky. Motivation is earned through discipline.
Adapt as You Go
I had a different guest post in mind for you guys, originally. Then Aaron sent that tweet my way. There’s so much value in that quote that it inspired me to write an entire article about it.
Here’s the thing guys, not every decision you make has to be perfect.
You don’t even have to be right.
You just need to move yourself closer to your goal. That’s it.
Then you can adapt along the way. In business, it’s called a “pivot” when you change directions and companies do this ALL THE TIME.
My first business started as me freelancing in the oil industry and evolved into something completely different. Instead of selling my services, I ended up selling entire projects to major oil companies.
However, I would’ve never been able to jump into that kind of work from the start. First I had to get started. Then I learned, adapted and seized opportunity – in other words, I took action.
I created and closed 2 mediocre blogs in the 4 years before building my current blog. They weren’t right for me. I made the wrong decisions. But from each one I learned a lot and I kept adapting. Now I have a blog that I am proud of.
So relax a little, take the pressure off of yourself. In chess you don’t attack the queen on your first turn do you? No, you move a pawn 1-2 spaces.
Making the right decision isn’t the important part. Making the first decision is the important part. You will figure the rest out as you go.
Very few people are truly special. The #1 thing that sets apart the people who live their dreams and those that live a life of regret is that successful people take action.
They don’t wait for the stars to align just right. They take action now and chase each star down and line them up themselves.
You will make mistakes. We all make mistakes. That’s where we learn the most. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will make mistakes and the sooner you will learn.
Act now and adapt as you go. Or continue living a life that others have dictated for you and never experience true freedom and fulfillment. The choice is yours.
Make progress or make excuses.