We are at the pinnacle of the 7 Day Challenge, the last day. We have slowly worked through various topics and have finally reached the moment to take action to make a change….scary, right?
For some of you who have followed the challenge over the past six days, you have probably been at this point many times. You have prepared yourself for action, you have done the right things up to a point and then…well, then we know or can guess what happened..nothing! It could be the case that someone reading has successfully gone through the previous six steps, checking their hurdles, thinking and commitment and will still find it difficult to move forward in terms of action. This, in my experience, is the place where most people get stuck and they often don’t know why. It might be fear, lack of awareness, apathy, the consequences of not changing are not clear or the real chance that they really don’t want to.
There are various schools of thought that talk about finding a catalyst that will move someone from awareness and commitment to action. Jordan Petersen states in the 12 Rules of Life that if you are knowingly aware that you are doing something (or not) that is stopping you moving forward, stop it right now and start doing the right thing. Some could and will. A regular commenter on my blogs states that if you are in therapy, it might be the responsibility of your therapist to not only bring you to the point of action but to make sure you take that leap of faith. This is a sentiment I fully agree with and it is something you can demand and expect from a good therapist. However, not everyone is in therapy and will have to face this alone.
I am going to make a bold statement here that I truly believe:
“Nothing will bring effective change and success more than taking positive action. No amount of reading, thinking, attending seminars and talking will stop you procrastinating and getting stuck unless you commit to definitive action”
People who do take action do this consistently and effectively every day. Whether it is a case of setting boundaries in a relationship, working on a relationship, job issues, procrastination or any other issue that needs change, they just do it with commitment and courage. They do not think, consider or talk themselves out of it. They use their energy to be in “doing mode” because they see the advantages of that approach, they recognize the consequences of not taking action and they choose not to face them. They realize that the longer an idea sits in your head without being acted upon, the weaker it becomes. After a few days, details will start to become hazy. After a week, it is forgotten completely, and will likely never be touched upon seriously again.
You will find that once you commit to motion, that is taking action, the motion will carry you forward and you will find it difficult to stop because you will see the advantages and you will want more as you see results. I have said many times that the simplest way to increase self-esteem (instead of buying the thousands of books available) is to make an effort to face your fears and get through them or deal effectively with the consequences if you cannot. Additionally, focus on what you can do in the present moment. Don’t worry about what you should have done last week or what you might be able to do tomorrow. If you speculate too much about the past or the future, you wont get anything done. Tomorrow or next week turns into never more often than not.
The bottom line that is important to understand is that you are not your thoughts. Your thoughts are “emotional traffic” on a superhighway that mostly move through your mind as you observe them. You are, however defined by your actions. They are you.They are mostly the things you choose to do. However, we often choose to sit on the edge of the highway observing rather than walking our own path. Start today. Choose action and choose it now.