Action, or better yet, “Taking Action,” is critical for a successful life. We know that sometimes we just need to get off our butts.
Dr. Phil on his TV show says that “LIFE REWARDS ACTION.” That’s actually one of his life rules.
Tony Robbins frequently says that we should “TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.”
One of my favorite quotes comes from Will Rogers, who used to say, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”.
** THE BIG CHALLENGE and a small BUT **
BUT, there’s a big challenge with “Taking Action,” and probably with all of the steps to success. Everybody knows you have to take action to get things done. That’s no secret. So we all know it, but most of us don’t do it.
We all know that we have to excersise regularly to stay in shape, but most of us don’t do it.
I want to share with you an unbelievable number. Federal statistics say about 60 percent of American adults are not regularly active, and about 25 percent are totally inactive. They don’t do anything at all.
Think about it. We all know that if we read more, we’ll learn more, but we don’t do it. We know that we need to take action, but we’re not doing it. Why not? There are a few reasons. Think about which ones are stopping you.
** THE FIVE BIGGEST OBSTACLES TO TAKING ACTION **
1. The first is fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success.
2. Another reason is plain laziness. Sometimes, it’s easier to sit and turn on the TV.
3. One more reason is complacency. If you think that life is good enough and adequate, why change and risk it getting worse?
4. Another reason is bad habits. If we are in the habit of doing nothing, we’ll keep doing nothing.
5. A final reason is despair. Many people are of the mindset that they’ve already tried to take action before and it didn’t work. Why should I do it now?
So, we all know that we need to take action. What’s stopping you?
Fear, laziness, complacency, bad habits or despair ?
Now, I am going to ask you to take a minute to write down what’s stopping you from taking action. You can write it down on a piece of paper or comment at the bottom of this article.
Take a moment to write them down and read them.
(***HINT: That's where the magic power comes from. If you write it and read it, you can begin to overcome your obstacle. Awareness is the first step.)
** HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEARS **
Fear seems like a very legitimate reason to stop action. Many people have all sorts of fears, and many times these fears stop us in out tracks.
Almost all of us have fears, and some are rational fears, such as going into a high crime rate neighborhood late at night by yourself. That’s a fairly rational fear. You should be afraid to do that.
And some aren’t quite as rational. We know which ones these are.
There is a simple process that you can follow that often helps dealing with fear.
When fear is stopping your action, take a cognitive approach.
** START BY ASKING YOURSELF QUESTIONS **
QUESTION # 1: What is the worst possible outcome of your action, in this situation? What do you really fear?
Maybe you’ll lose your job, or lose the woman or man of your dreams.
Maybe the presentation won’t go well, or maybe you’re afraid that you will just look bad. Take a hard look at your fear. Is it justified? It is rational? Can you live with the outcome?
QUESTION # 2: Ask yourself what you can achieve by taking this action. What are the benefits? What is the best possible outcome?
QUESTION # 3: Now, the final step. Ask yourself the following question:
Does the benefit outweigh the risk? If the answer is an overwhelming no, then don’t do it. If the answer is yes, take the action. Move ahead.
Now, give yourself a few minutes to think about this process as it applies to your own fears. What do you fear? What’s the worst thing that can happen? What’s the best thing? Does the benefit outweigh the risk? Think about for a minute.
Now write down the answers to these questions and read them.
(***HINT: That's where the magic power comes from. If you write it and read it, you can begin to get past them.)
As a follow-up, I am asking you to think about one specific action that you are going to take after reading this to improve your life, and then take it. If you do nothing else, at least do this. Write it down or post your comments below.
Now, in the immortal words of Nike sneakers, “Just Do It.”