“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it.” – Goethe
Goethe has said it beautifully and in this post we’ll expand on this.
I’d like to thank ICA one more time for their inspiration and assistance with this post.
In order to achieve a goal, we must first conceive the idea, create a plan and know what it is we want. Having the idea is the first step in creating what we want. We then must create a personal plan of action that will make it possible for us to reach the goal. But this is not enough, it doesn’t stop just there. The only thing that will move us forward beyond a strong desire to our personal success is action…and usually massive action
Action is the single thing that will bring about results. We can have a great idea, but ideas without action are worthless. We can have the best and most well thought-out plan in the world, but if we do not take action, the plan is not worth the paper it is written on. Taking action is the only thing that will get us closer to our goals. By taking action, we create the movement that is necessary to make things happen.
You’re probably reading this and thinking, “So what? I know this.”
I think we all know this: Action creates results. The problem is that somehow just knowing it isn’t enough. Knowing that we need to take action and actually taking action are two different things. Most people know what they need to do; it is the not doing that gets in the way.
If we all know that action creates results, then why don’t we take the actions we know we need to take? What happens to many of us is that fear steps in the way and stops us from moving forward. Some of us fear failure, are too disappointed to move on, or fear making mistakes. We may have all the good reasons to fear all of these issues. Our thinking may be along the lines of “when we begin to make changes, we might experience failure and disappointment, and make mistakes.”
If you want to make changes in your life, you will have to face fear and build your mental strength. When we honestly accept this, it makes it a little easier to move forward. When we begin to make changes, we might face disappointment. Do not worry. No one has died of disappointment yet, so expect it but move on. Finally, when we begin to make changes, we might make mistakes along the way. Celebrate the mistakes because it means you are moving forward and get on with it! Once you realize that facing failure, disappointment and making mistakes are all part of bringing about change, you can be prepared to move forward and take action.
Remember, if we want to create something new, we must take action. Having a great idea and a well thought-out plan are not enough. Action is the only thing that will move us forward.
As we act and create change, we will have to deal with fear, disappointment and mistakes. You can also think of these as “results”…they might not be the results you were looking for, but they are results never the less. Think of this as simply a part of the process. Embrace it and move on. Become good at facing your results. Accept disappointment and learn from your mistakes. This is all part of learning the many lessons which life offers.
1. What action do you need to take right now to move your life forward?
Post your answer in the comments below or in your personal success journal.
Why take action?
In action there is life because life is dynamic, active, full of movement and progress.
Motion creates emotion and new circumstances and awareness which allow us to experience life fully.
Without action we may observe and experience life from a passive rather than an active position, in the same way a spectator watches a sporting event from afar. Sometimes, observation and inaction can be very powerful for moments of enlightenment. But if indulged, it can become boring very quickly, and also lead to apathy and stagnation.
Obviously what we all need is synergy in life.
In my coaching practice, sometimes I find that the only thing my client needs is Action. Not strategies, not the right action, not validation, not even results.
Just action…or as Nike says “Just Do It!”
Action get’s them unstuck.
What causes delay?
When delay occurs, it is most likely because we have some kind of belief, judgment or Underlying Automatic Commitment (UAC) that is holding us back. Whether we see it or not, a UAC may be hindering us from taking action. For example, an underlying automatic commitment might be to be unsuccessful, to feel safe, to not become responsible or “blamed” for something; or to avoid “failing” at something from the very start therefore taking no action.
We use these belief structures to hold us back from taking responsibility and from taking action and our personal success. But these beliefs are based on fear and the only way to overcome them is to think clearly through the false reasoning of fear itself. The only way around fear is to move through it.
Techniques for Action
Here are some mental strength methods to help shift from inaction or Delay, to Action.
- Goal Setting and Specificity
Sometimes all that is missing is an inspiring goal. Many times when I help paint an exciting future for my clients and they create a future pull and “automatically” move forward. Something I use another technique to help my clients move forward and that is to create a pathway. If my client can see what major steps need to be taken, and where they need to start, it’s much easier to begin – it may even make the goal seem doable or achievable.
I help my client break a goal down into small and manageable pieces. Every goal has sub goals, which are steps that need to be taken in order to reach the final goal. I help my client create a structure with the necessary steps to be taken. Often times, the larger goal may seem overwhelming. But once the goal is broken down into manageable steps, my client can simply follow each step towards the final completion of the goal.
- Address Fears
Examine the underlying fears and help my client create an personal empowerment and a new perspective.
I assist my clients to overcome their fears by tackling whatever seems to stay in the way of their progress.
Address Underlying Automatic Commitments (UACs)
- Is there a UAC sabotaging the stated goal? Is the client committed to failing?
- Avoiding failure?
- Is the client trying to prove their unworthiness?
- How about just seeking sympathy?
- Or trying to stay “safe” by avoiding something?
- Set up Accountability
Set up accountability – particularly using structures – to empower a person or a relationship. By holding someone accountable to an action they promised to take, may be all that is required to keep them in Action.
- Create a shift in Perception
I often help my client create a new and different way of looking at a situation. I usually do this by asking a question, pointing out a different point of view, or creating a compelling vision.
Here are a few ideas that I use to support my client in creating a shift in perception:
- You could die tomorrow; if you did would you regret not doing this?
- What would you do if you had your courageous hat on right now?
- You’re scared and living in your comfort zone – and it’s okay to do this. But how many more years would you like to do this for?
I also often my clients see the consequences for not taking Action or falling into Stagnation. Yes, there could be a risk in taking action, but what is the risk involved for not taking any action?
Which is worse?
1. Which of the above approaches to generate Action most appeal to you, and why?
2. Think of one more approach, and post it in the comments below.
Action vs. Delay.
Some techniques in coaching can be quite “push” oriented. Others such as making the goal more attractive or fun are “pull” oriented. Deep down there may be a reason as to why you’re avoiding a specific action. I make sure that my client’s are truly willing, ready and able to take action. Otherwise, it may be best to put the action aside until they can truly commit to it.
Coaching is about being in action. If something else is happening, then there may be issues that are not being addressed. If my client is not willing to move forward and take action they may not be coachable at this time. I’ll always check in with my client and let them know what you are observing. This insight alone often helps them see what they need to see to be able to move forward.
On the other hand, something’s my client’s past is blocking them from moving forward, then I take out the ‘big guns’ like NLP, hypnosis and Time Empowerment®, and this combination assists them to remove whatever it is that is blocking them from making progress.
Mental Strength Question
This exercise may be somewhat confronting, but prove to be a very enlightening one:
1. Let’s pretend that you’ve been told you are going to die in one year’s time. You’ve been informed that you will be healthy until the time of your death, so nothing will get in the way from doing what you really want to do. Write how you would change your life right now. Are there different actions you would take? More actions perhaps?
2. What actions have you been delaying that you would now do?
Post you answers in the comments below and/or your personal success journal
Remember, action brings results and personal empowerment; it makes us live life to its fullest potential, it elevates our confidence and worthiness, it keeps us active, joyful, hopeful and allows us to help others who are ready to be blessed by our experiences of achievement. Take action, make progress and reach your personal peak potential.
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