By Debbie Peterson – Founder of Getting to Clarity, Speaker, Trainer and Coach for the fed up midlife woman looking to fulfill her life’s purpose with confidence and clarity!
Are you a procrastinator? A perfectionist? What else keeps you from taking action towards what you want – because Taking Action is critical in creating confidence and here’s why.
I knew a woman once who really had a desire to do something meaningful in her life with her career. When you would talk to her the pieces of the vision of how she wanted to teach others naturally spilled out. She had thousands of hours of training and had designed and delivered workshops in her previous corporate career. She was certified. She was passionate.
She was scared.
And because she was scared, she was stuck, she was frustrated and her dream of making a difference seemed unattainable. She was great at making connections, she could network in a room but when it came to the next step of putting herself out there she would stop. She wouldn’t follow up. She would think “I know I can do all of this, I have all of this training, I want to serve others, why can’t they find me, why don’t they call?”
What I had to do and what I did do was Take Action and that is why it’s the 6th step to building confidence.
Have you ever been excited about something you want to do? You think about it, you plan for it, you research it and then when it’s time to actually do it, you stall?
“I need to think about it some more.”
“I need to do some more research.”
“It’s going to be too hard.”
“There are others out there doing the same thing.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m not good enough to do this.”
And then you go do something like clean out your closet so you’re still feeling “productive”. It’s a cop out!
So here’s what happened to me at a coffee meeting with a friend who was putting herself out there in a way that I aspired to. I asked her “How do you do this?” “How do you know what to do, how to attract your audience, create the right content for them?” Here are her words of wisdom:
Just do it.
I guess Nike really has something to their slogan. She said get inside the head of who you want to serve and put meaningful content together, book a location and just do it. They will find you. This all sounded good but I was still pretty nervous until she said this:
Treat it like an experiment.
That’s right, treat it like it’s an experiment. It’s not pass/fail, it’s just about learning from the experiment so you have a chance to make changes. If one person shows up that’s still more than you would have by doing nothing. So you know what I did? After I left our meeting I booked a local venue so I had a date on the calendar, put together a flyer for a workshop and sent it to everyone I knew via social media and email. That one little meeting with her seemingly simple advice was a game changer for me because it got me to take action!
Here are some tips for you to consider about “Taking Action!”
- Consider Patterns. Here’s what I mean. What is your successful pattern in taking action? Mine is knowing that I will be uncomfortable doing something for the first few times. The first time I had Thanksgiving dinner, the first time I entertained, the first time I drove a boat, and yes, the first time I did a workshop, I was very uncomfortable but it was worth it for me to power through that discomfort knowing I would feel better on the other side of it. Now I can entertain with just about anything in my pantry, family dinners are a snap and even docking the boat isn’t an issue. I’ve done it enough. Once I realized my pattern the discomfort was just a phase and I knew I would transition through it.
Do you need to “just power through” and take action? Will you eventually get comfortable? Do you need to have a buddy? Do you need to tell the world that you’re going to do it? Whatever strategy has worked for you in the past, re-employ it to take action towards what you want. Do you recognize your pattern? What is it?
- Treat it as an experiment. There is definitely something to be said for treating it as an experiment. It takes the pressure off. You tend to look at it in a different way because it’s like you’re doing research and it’s just something new to learn. I am grateful that I took action because it was a wonderful experiment where I learned a great deal (about myself and my potential) and I felt more confident because I actually did it. When you actually take action, you have firsthand knowledge, not speculation. You can then make different choices from what you learn. In my case the workshop was well attended, I was organized and I got great feedback on the content. I also learned some of the things I was missing and additional steps to take the next time. What do you want to create your own experiment around?
- Be fun and creative. This was an eye opener for me last summer. I was looking for ways to take action and get out of my comfort zone because I can very easily become a “navy suit” sort of girl and playing it totally safe, which means stagnant. I found a free hula hooping event at a public park and showed up. It was so much fun to be a kid again and I felt lighter as I left that park with a big smile on my face. Next item on the list was flash-mobbing. There is just something about having permission to be a total “Diva” while rocking it out to a great song, surrounded by 20 other people doing it with you.
If these activities sound silly to you, you need to know they helped my confidence because they got me out of my comfort zone and shook things up (literally and figuratively). The creativity outside of me woke the creativity inside of me and working within my business became easier. Its playtime and you want to try something new! Maybe it’s a new language, trying cooking, painting, travel – pick something fun and creative for you. What are fun and creative ways can you take action and get out of your comfort zone?
- One small step. I’m a BIG fan of the one SMALL step! Do you have something that you want to do but there is too much you don’t know about it that you don’t even want to try? Don’t let the process overwhelm you, just take the first small step.
If you want to change careers then perhaps you have coffee with a friend who has a job you are interested in. If you want to get into a relationship you might want to go out (because that is usually where the other people are) to a location that increases your chances of meeting someone and it doesn’t have to be a bar. If you want to lose weight and exercise more then go to the gym. Today. Just take one small step.
Here’s the key to small steps. You keep taking them. Day after day you take action with consistent small steps and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. What is the first small step you’ll take today?
- The Universe. What you send out to the Universe you get back. You reap what you sow, so to speak. If you are “waiting” for the perfect time to do something then the Universe will show you “waiting”. It will bring you circumstances in which you have to wait. If you are taking action, however, towards what you want, the Universe is going to fill the pipeline of opportunities to move you faster towards what you want. It’s like a compound effect.
Here’s the catch though. You say “I want to lose 30 pounds”. The next day you see an ad for a gym membership with no registration fee and you say “No, I’m not ready to do that, I want to fit in my clothes better first.” You have just “dissed” the Universe. If the next day a friend calls to ask you to go for a walk and you say “No, I can’t I have too many things to do.” Then you have just done it again. After a while, the opportunities will diminish because you aren’t willing to take action. You have to take action. What are you sending out the Universe?
Set aside the perfectionism, hesitation and over thinking that undermines your confidence. Get out of your head and go do something that moves you in the direction you want. Towards what you want and see how it feels. It may be uncomfortable at first but stick with it and soon you’ll see all that you’ve been able to accomplish while growing your confidence as well!
Leave me a comment below and let me know how you get yourself to take action!
Until next time, here’s wishing you the clarity you deserve!
Be good to yourself,
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