To do, or not to do?
noun:) the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim. a thing done; an act.
"Life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change. In order for your life to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better.” -Jim Rohn (1930-2009)
Our future doesn’t rest upon hope, it’s designed by doing, by courage, by action. Life has a subtle way of turning on the autopilot switch. We are caught quite often in the snare of apathy, becoming indifferent to the passions and dreams for life we once had. Most of us have a deeper desire of having something more, something greater in our lives, yet those desires tend to be just beyond the reach of our fingertips. Is it because those desires and goals are too lofty, too far of a stretch??? Or is it that we aren’t reaching far enough? Maybe we aren’t reaching with our full potential. Maybe we’re reaching with elbows still bent. Our potential to have focus in our lives, establish principles and priorities, to set goals and have strategies to accomplish them, to act, to do, to live intentionally, is far more than we give credit to. We just have to act.
So the question becomes, what stifles action? What leads to this so-called paralysis of doing? Insecurity, self-doubt, distractions, comfort, fear? As Seth Godin would say, its the “Lizard Brain” speaking to us, and we need to quiet it down. Each one of these could have its own designated blog, but for the sake of a long read and tired eyes, we will just scratch the surface.
I believe all of these are true. From personal experience of the past to current struggles, I see myself fitting in to each of those categories. The pendulum swings from one to the other, sometimes experiencing all 5 at the same time. Having a foot in both insecurity and comfort, my hands in distractions, my head in self-doubt, while laying in a bed of fear. In proper doses, these are all good things, part of the human experience. But when they begin to take root, when they linger around and grow, they lead to negative consequences in our day-to-day lives, affecting everything from relationships, to finance, health and wellness, and our own self-image.
Insecurity and self-doubt cause us to lose belief in ourselves, in what we are able and capable of doing. We all have this, from the most beautiful person to the most successful, insecurities plague us all. We are rarely ever vulnerable enough to share these. Instead, we architect behaviors and habits around hiding and masking our insecurities and self-doubts.
The attraction of distraction gets us too. If we aren’t intentional about where we focus our attention, we’ll get swept up in the “cultural current”. This current takes the form of social media, movies, music, mass marketing, other people’s lives/lifestyles. We get bogged down, majoring in minor things without even realizing it. While floating ever-so-gently down the lazy river of modern culture, we eventually realize something isn't right. We ask ourselves, “How did I get here?”. We look up and realize we’ve been duped, having wasted away minutes to hours sifting through social media feeds, days or weeks on irrelevant projects or hobbies, and potentially years in caustic relationships, jobs, or living situations.
Comfortable. For the faint of heart, for the road most traveled, for throwing in the towel, for kicking your feet up while flipping the autopilot/cruise control switch in to the on position. Not for me and not for those who want more from life. There was a time when I was seeking comfort. A life with limited stress, troubles and worries, steady finances, stable relationships, healthy, etc… a life of comfort. But what I found from chasing this false idea of a state of comfort, I realized all that it was producing was average. Average finances, average relationships, average adventures, average experiences, average health, an all around average life. While trying to hold on to comfort, we become passive. We sit real still, with a tight grip of control on everything we can in our life, not wanting to make a move in fear we will lose our comfortable spot. Being comfortable leads to inaction, passivity, loss of passion and drive, loss of motivation. Soon, that fire that burns in us is left to just a flickering flame. The longer we stay in comfort, the harder it is to initiate action again. If we want to grow, we've got to stretch, and when we stretch, it's going to get uncomfortable.
Fear. False Events (that) Aren’t Real. That powerful 4-letter word has been a driver of human behavior since the creation of life. It is an absolutely vital emotion living beings have, designed for survival of the organism, from prehistoric to modern day. But we give fear too large of a platform in our hearts and minds. Fear manifests itself in many ways. Fear of failure. Fear of being exposed. Fear of pain, both physical and emotional. Fear of letting others down. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being vulnerable. And one that most don't consider, the fear of success, achieving what we set out to achieve, becoming what we set out to become. The seeds of fear are being sown all throughout our day, from the news, to music, to events, and people. Whatever way fear manifests itself in our lives, whether it be one, or maybe all of the above, it’s vital that we recognize it early and do something about it quickly before it takes root. A weed needing to be pulled from the garden.
So lean in to your insecurities and self-doubt. Quiet them with positive words and actions. With distractions, be intentional with your time, set priorities in your day-to-day schedule and remain focused. With comfort, learn to stretch and practice doing something uncomfortable everyday. Let fear be your compass. What we are afraid of is usually the direction we need to go. Face your fears head on, and when you overcome them, you will be that much stronger. Don't allow inaction to be a part of your life. When stuck, self-reflect on the unseen forces causing the resistance. When we approach the obstacles of life, let’s get out the climbing gear to go up and over it. Let’s take a look to the left and right to see if there’s a way around. Let’s get out the shovel and start digging to go under it. And if those paths fail to get you there, it’s time to get out the dynamite and blow right through. Regardless, we’ve just got to move! When faced with inaction, analysis paralysis, self-doubt, insecurity, distractions, comfort, or fear, have the 1MORE Mindset and take a step, 1MORE step, in the direction you desire.