I want to be honest about something. Now, I make it a point to be very rational and pragmatic when I address a problem or decide to take a new approach to accomplishing a routine task. This is no secret to anyone who knows me or follows my social media posts. What may be a surprise to most is that I often have to drag myself kicking and screaming to make the needed change in order to be effective. What I’m saying is that I don’t always want to go through the burden and risk of doing something differently. I get comfortable in a routine and like not having to provide very much mental energy to be on autopilot. Changing my approach is my equivalent of jumping out the plane.
I can tell you about all the wonderful benefits of being objective and pragmatic when working diligently towards your goals. But in practice it takes a little more. Well, sometimes a lot more. Often times the most difficult step is the first one. That initial decision to move from a stationary position to a mobile one is made without true certainty of result, but we make that decision because we know without action (change) we cannot expect different(better) outcomes.
So, I too struggle to take action when it seems so much easier to stay put. But because I know that there is something within my mind trying to sabotage my success, I take radical steps to combat that. When I have a good idea I act spontaneously, not impulsively. Impulsivity is taking immediate, reckless action without regard to consequences. Spontaneity is an openness to new experiences and taking deliberate action. I am all about taking action. There’s a reason why I preach “Act now, somehow, anyhow, and perfect it along the way.” This is how you overcome your biggest barrier to success; yourself.
When you have a good idea you may feel this initial push to do something about it, because let’s face it; you’re awesome. But after that initial mental push towards action, your brain gets stage fright and pumps the breaks, big time. Your brain is very good at making excuses as to why your awesome idea won’t work and usually it only takes a couple reasons, but your brain won’t take any chances and will give you a dozen reasons to stop. So we are in this constant conflict with our brains, because while we want to be effective in our goal pursuits, our brain wants to minimize discomfort and risk. Focusing solely on minimizing risk will minimize your success. To be successful you may have to risk a little more than discomfort. There is a chink in our brain’s defense, however. Remember, you have an initial push when you have your new idea; the moment before your brain realizes it may be scary and tough. That golden period is when you have to act. You have to take action before your brain starts building its defenses.
You have five seconds. That’s right, 5 seconds to take some sort of action before your brain realizes that you are considering doing something different. Take advantage and make some sort of movement. From writing yourself a note, making the phone call, literally taking the first step towards something or someone. This will turn your thought into action and your brain will get on board as your body has already begun to depart.