Many people express frustration that they can’t get motivated. They think on something they need or want to do and they’ll regularly declare that they’ll “just do it!” but for some reason, they never actually take the action they want.
For many among us, the problem lies with procrastination — waiting for things to be perfectly aligned before taking action. Procrastination is fairly normal on some level, but if we endlessly wait for things to be just right before making a move, we’ll never be able to grow or develop in life.
Now of course, with some things, we do need to plan and strategize before taking action. But if we get stuck in a perpetual loop of the thinking and planning stage, we’re just spinning our wheels and far too often, we give up in frustration.
Making it happen
What do we do when we know and feel we need to take action, but we don’t know how to take that first step of implementation?
Taking action does require conscientious evaluation and determination and in this article, we’ll take a look at some ways we can get out of the planning stage and into the “doing” stage.
1. Know your personal ‘why’
First determine if you really need to take action in the first place. Give careful consideration to your reasons, because once you’re comfortable with the fact you’ve carefully worked out your reasons, it makes taking the first step easier.
2. Know the benefits
How will you or someone else benefit from the action? What good will come of it? For example, if you’re thinking of changing jobs, but fear change, make a list of the pros and cons.
3. Face your fears
You’ve given careful thought to why you need to take the action you desire, now address your fears. What’s holding you back? What are the risks? Are they legitimate fears due to risk, or are they perceived (emotional) threats and fears? If you realize that your fears are legitimate, getting the guidance of a qualified expert is always advisable.
4. Have faith in your abilities
Fear of change is very common and even the most intelligent, successful and confident people among us have moments of doubt. Trust in yourself and mentally prepare yourself — remind yourself that you are smart, strong and capable. If you get a promotion at work and fear that the action of accepting the new post will make your job harder, go over your strengths and abilities and if needed, write them down. Personal affirmations are powerful when we commit them to our psyche, so keep reminding yourself of your positive attributes.
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Peale
5. Plan your strategy
People today are loath to write things out. We often google the questions/fears we have to read what others say, or, we ask friends, hoping they’ll make the decision for us. Writing things out on paper is an incredibly effective tool. Once you’re ready to take that first step of action, write out your strategy — when will you take that first step? What do you need to prepare for it? Who can help you? What are your expectations? Facing the unknowns in advance is a great way to reduce its power over us and writing out their potential impact helps us to take the first step…action.
Whether it’s getting married, buying your first home, changing jobs or moving to a new state, big decisions can be daunting. Procrastination is actually good to a degree, because it means we’re still working things out in our mind. But at some point, we have to make a decision — that decision can be to leave things as they are, or, make the change. There may not be a “perfect time,” so don’t wait for it. Thinking, planning and strategizing are the steps to action, but at some point, that action has to take place.