There’s something we want to achieve or do, but somehow we never seem to get around to it. The days and weeks pass, and it’s still on our to do list.
Why? Especially when we KNOW the action would probably make things better for us.
It’s actually perfectly natural. Logically we may understand the benefits of taking action, but at a deeper level, the brain is wired to prefer the status quo. However uncomfortable that ‘comfort zone’ may actually be.
This is why it’s perfectly possible to be held back by a fear of actually succeeding, as well as a fear of failing. Either way, it’s a change, and change is inherently risky.
But so is staying stuck.
Often though, we don’t let ourselves recognise that what’s going on underneath is fear. And it’s usually fear of something that won’t even happen.
Instead we dress up that basic fear in all kinds of sneaky ways. We tell ourselves stories to justify our inaction.
See if you recognise any of these stories.
It’s not the right time to take action
You might be right. It’s important not to unrealistically load ourselves down with too many things to do. However, if it never seems to be the right time, then consider this: either you are not prioritising it, and if necessary saying no to other things, or it will never be the right time because it’s actually not something you want to do, or it’s something you’re scared about doing.
How would it be if you decided that now was actually as good a time as any, and made time for it by re-prioritising?
I just need to….first
This is related to the previous one, but slightly different because it’s about something that you have to learn or do before you can find the right time.
But very often we learn best on the job, when we actually need to do something. I recently did a 21 day reels challenge , having avoided doing reels on Instagram ever since they were introduced. Within a few days I’d already learnt tonnes about adding captions, finding the right audio, creating a cover and so on, because I’d been forced to find out
Don’t wait to be perfect before you start, take imperfect action and get better all the time.
It won’t make any difference
Sometimes it’s hard to see at the time what difference an action is making, but, trust me, taking action ALWAYS makes a difference.
If nothing else, it will make a difference to you because you’ll learn so much along the way.
But the chances are it will also ripple out and make a difference to others. And, more often than not, that eventually comes back to you in positive ways.
I don’t know where to start
Clearly this is something you can get help and guidance on, but, even without that, the answer is always to just start anyway.
Choose a goal and ask yourself, what’s just one thing I could do to move towards achieving that goal? Start taking small steps towards that one thing and reflect on what the results are as you go along.
As you progress, if you’re consistent and paying attention, rather than flailing around wildly trying something new every other day, the path inevitably becomes clearer.
It’s not working
Human beings are naturally biased towards the negative, and so we focus on whatever we think isn’t working, rather than what is. Keep track of all the positive things that happen in your business (or your life), and look back at them frequently.
And remember that success is almost never a nice straight line. It’s usually a case of two steps forward, one step back (or more), but we get there in the end. Keep going.
This doesn’t mean you should continue on and on when something really isn’t working. You may need to pivot or change your approach, but don’t give up until you’ve properly tried it out. You need to have more than a negative feeling as evidence that it isn’t working.
What stories do you tell yourself to justify your inaction?