Do you ever just wish you could stop, leave all your thoughts aside, and just start taking action towards your goals?
The worst feeling is when you have a goal in mind, and you take all the necessary steps — only to fall short. It can make you want to give up on your goals. I know this struggle from experience, and it can make starting again very demoralizing.
Let’s say, you want to write a book, start losing weight, or learn a new language. You commit to one of these ideas in your head. After you choose something you want to commit to, you begin the process of reading, discussing, and thinking, but miss out on the most essential part of the process — the execution.
Why is it that we do this?Personally I believe it’s our hesitation towards action. We are constantly doing everything but taking action. We have been avoiding taking action for so long, that after sometime our whole process of wanting to do something, is just that: wanting to do something. We dwell too long in hesitation, which makes starting very difficult.
I’ve come to one conclusion about action. Thinking will only lead to more thinking, and my ability to take action will be dominated by my continual thoughts.
I myself have always wanted to start a website and share my experiences about life and the ways in which we can simplify our own lives. I’ve always put this off because I carried around a heavy feeling of fear. I talked so much to myself that all I did was talk — nothing ever got done. But this self talk was becoming too much, and I had to take action. And instead of taking action, I only found a way to cope. I fell into a loophole of instant gratification. I went to T.V, Movies, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, you name it. And guess what? I didn’t end up doing anything, except finding alternative ways to waste my own time.
This was my turning point and what lead me to realize that the longer we stay in our conditioned minds, the longer we will remain there. The only way to get out of my mind was to take action, and just make the damn website. To this day, I’m working on tweaks and ways to improve the website to make it a better experience for my readers. My only regret is that I didn’t start earlier.
To fight fear, act. To increase fear — wait, put off, postpone.
– David Joseph Schwartz
Here’s how I learned to take action:
Through meditation we give our minds a mental break. We stop thinking so much and we stop listening to our thoughts — they no longer seem so serious. Fear starts out as a thought and progresses into an emotion. So if we learn to think less through meditation, we will fear less. I’ve found the more I meditate, the less I hesitate. I no longer think about how I’m going to do something; I just do it.
2. Understand your fears.
If we do not understand our fears, they will only grow. Take a piece of paper and write down what it is that you want to start doing. Then write down what it is that scares you about doing this. Our most common thoughts are about fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of people not accepting you for what it is you want to do. If you see your fears in front of you, you can begin to understand them. This is the only way to work past your fears.
3. Realize the importance of failure.
Failure is just a stepping stone. The more failures, the more stepping stones. For every stepping stone, you learned and understood what hasn’t worked. Don’t see failure as you not being able to do something. Failure is a process that you can use to analyze your actions. It’s an automatic feedback system that provides detailed accuracy. And remember, you cannot say you failed because you decided to take action. The only guaranteed failure comes from not taking action.
4. You learn as you go.
You can’t expect to be an expert on your first try. You learn by taking action. It’s okay to think, read, and talk about what it is you’ll be doing, but make sure you can still take action.
5. Combat your fears with action.
The only way to fight your fears is by taking action. I was scared of starting a website, so starting a website was the only way to fight my fear. I did what my fears said I shouldn’t do. For example, If you are scared of playing a the piano, just have a go at it. You don’t have to be Mozart by tomorrow, but just play your instrument. You will see that failure is not as bad as you think it is, and you’ll be happy you decided to play the piano.
6. Forget your goals.
I’m not saying to forget what you want to achieve, that would be nonsense. Just try to forget your desired outcomes; try to remove your idea of what you want to accomplish, and just go for it. Our ideas of where we want to be in the future will only limit the present moment. You can only take action now. Because if not now, then when? This is why if we start to focus on a reward system, we limit our own ability to take action. Instead of wanting to write to become famous, we should want to write because we enjoy writing. This will also remove the whole concept of fear, because fear cannot exist if you enjoy what you are doing and aren’t driven by an end result.
7. Avoid instant gratification.
You will find at times that you want to do something else instead of taking action. The mind is very powerful, and can trick us into believing we are doing something worth our time. For example, logging onto social media or browsing the internet while we’re trying to write won’t help us write, but it will give us that feeling of instant gratification, if only for a couple moments.
8. Keep taking action.
This may sound repetitive by now, but action is the only way to overcome your inability to act.
9. Take it slow.
There is no finish line to taking action. There is only one step in front of you, and once you finish that, only then is it possible to focus on the next. You can’t rush through time. Take it slow and focus on the one task.
Don’t try to conquer the world in one day. The point of this is just to start, not to reach any desired outcome (but if that happens then great!).
Fear is not as bad as we make it out to be. First and foremost, fear begins as a thought in our heads. It will be a constant thought that keeps repeating, and if we accept the truth of the thought it will succeed and turn into an emotion we feel. But, if we see it as fear, then we can begin to understand its deceiving powers. Fear begins as merely a thought that’s trying to crawl into our minds; if we let it, and accept that these thoughts are fact, then we will feel fear.
Is taking action something you struggle with? How have you learned to take action? What’s worked in the past for you? Let me know in the comments below!