In my last article, Managing Your Mind – 4 Keys to Successful Thinking I talked about the power of our mind to move us forward. But if all we do is change our thinking, what purpose does it serve? Although I would much rather live life from a positive perspective than a negative one, the point is to LIVE LIFE, right?
So how do we take our thoughts and feelings to the next step? What is the next step? As discussed last week, our thoughts produce our feelings and our feelings move us to action. ACTION is what is required to make positive changes in our life. But saying it can sometimes be much easier than doing it. There are many reasons for a lack of action in a person’s life. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Not Knowing What To Do
There are times when you have a desire to do something but you just don’t know what to do. You don’t know what steps to take to accomplish your desire. It might require some time, effort and energy on your part and you have to decide if it is worth it. Maybe you need to do some research or ask some questions. If it is something big, it can feel overwhelming but the key is to just start. Take that first step toward your goal.
Remember that joke about eating an elephant? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s meant to be funny but it really illustrates an important truth. You can do anything you set your mind to do. It just needs to be broken down into actionable steps.
I hate to mention this one but it really is one of the reasons for lack of action. I have struggled with being lazy myself. What it comes down to for me is a lack of priority. I may choose to read rather than go to the gym or I may want to watch TV instead of cleaning the house. It is not that I am incapable of doing those more difficult tasks. The fact is that I’m not really lazy, but I lack discipline. See Self-Discipline Leads to Success for more on this subject.
3. Lack of Purpose
A person can live a long time without purpose and just meander through life. This is how I spent much of my life, not feeling like I had a purpose or understood what my purpose was. It can cause you to live in your thoughts rather than taking action and getting results. For me, it caused me to feel bad about myself like I wasn’t measuring up or succeeding at anything. It wasn’t until I decided to No Longer Be a Bystander, that I felt I had purpose and direction in my life. When you know your purpose, what you are meant to do and be in life, it drives you to action. It’s part of the reason I started this blog and it is what helps me continue to grow and learn and strive for more.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to taking action in life is fear. Fear comes in many forms from second thoughts to crippling anxieties. Fear can keep us from achieving our goals and from living our best lives. Have you ever thought of fear as a self-made prison? I have been challenged by fear at times but I am learning to not only conquer it but eliminate it from my life.
Fear begins in our thoughts so when we learn to manage our thinking we are learning to manage our fear. Each of the 4 Keys to Successful Thinking is important in order to eliminate fear from our life. First, we have to want it to change (Desire to Overcome). Without this desire, we are destined to remain stuck. Second, we must Eliminate Negativity. But we don’t stop there. We don’t just want an empty mind. We have to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones (Focus On and Cultivate the Positive). Last, we must Renew Our Mind in order to keep the positive cycle going and producing new, positive thoughts, feelings and actions.
We overcome fear by new, positive thinking but also by being willing to try something, even if we aren’t sure of the results. Mel Robbins, a popular motivational speaker, believes that confidence is not about being sure of the outcome but rather confidence is the ability to try. It’s being willing to take action by taking one step toward your goal, followed by another step, then another.
I would love to hear about your experience with taking action. What are the tools you use to get you going? Do you struggle with any of these 4 challenges? Feel free to comment or send me a message and share a bit about yourself. And if you haven’t already signed up to receive articles and a monthly newsletter in your inbox, please use the form below to do so.