The 3 Reasons You Don't Take Action (and How to Take One Step at a Time)
As human beings, we are motivated to take action because we are in pain or because there's a reward to be had.
However, you may be scared of taking action based on these three reasons:
- It seems unfamiliar to you so you stay inside your comfort zone; or
- You don't know HOW to move forward; or
- You think it's hopeless (believe that you're not capable).
Here's a secret: As you tackle the first two reasons, the third automatically changes from, 'It's hopeless and I�۪m not capable,' to 'I'm capable and it's worth it!'
In the 2006 movie The Secret (featured on Oprah), the teachers spoke about Law of Attraction. That was the first time I had heard about this universal law, and I was intrigued, but what I felt was missing from it was the idea of taking action. The movie mostly spoke about visualizing your future and being positive, so you manifest easily. The intent of the movie was great, but I believe the message did not come across clearly.
It's a great idea to visualize your awesome future because it creates positive feelings, but nothing will manifest if you don't take action toward making that future become real. Taking action consistently is the key to building the future you want.
How do you start taking action?
First, by knowing what you want and why you want it. When you go shopping in the mall and are looking for a particular store, you go to the mall directory so you can find your way.
The first thing you look for on the mall map is the sign that says, 'You Are Here.' Next, you look for the store name and trace it on the map and then you find the easiest way to get there from where you are. Whether you know it or not, you just took a few solid action steps to get from your current state to your desired state.
When I decided I wanted to write a book, I was scared and excited. I was at the 'You Are Here' sign and had no idea where or how to get started, let alone have a finished book in my hand. I was terrified about pouring my life out to strangers and for them to get to know me intimately; plus, I was worried about negative book reviews. This is similar to reason number one, isn't it? The fear of unfamiliarity stops me from stepping out of my comfort zone and keeps me where I am, but something rattled my cage.
One hot summer day, when I was driving from an inspection I had to do on my job as a health inspector, I was lost in thought about my future, and at that time, I knew I wanted to chase after my passion of speaking and sharing my message. The windows were rolled up and the air-conditioning was turned up slightly, but it was serenely quiet as I drove down the lonely highway.
I recall talking to myself, in my thoughts, 'Zaheen, you have to write a book so it adds to your credibility, but what can you write and speak on specifically?'
All of a sudden, and I know this sounds eerie, out of nowhere I heard a whisper in my right ear, 'Fear.'
My heart raced as I pulled myself up in my car seat and literally looked in my rear view mirror. As I drove, I tried to dismiss it as my imagination, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. To this day I feel, that just for a second, there was a presence in my car that wanted me to hear that message. I don't know what or who, but that soul-searching rattled my cage, and I knew I had my WHY!
All my life I had spent in fear, feeling I didn't have a voice. And up to a few years ago, I still felt I didn't have a voice, and that I wasn't capable. But I kept stretching my comfort zone; I kept visualizing my future as an author and a speaker, and I kept taking small action steps to move toward that goal.
I want you to find your voice and rise above. I want you to live your life loving fear instead of hating it. I want you to know the endless possibilities outside of your comfort zone, and I want you to know that there's always a way when you are tenacious, ready to improvise and take one step everyday toward your goal.
When you are at a big mall and moving toward your goal of getting to your store, you may get distracted and go into other stores along the way, but you will get back on route and keep moving toward what you came to do in the first place. Similarly, life may present you with a barrier, but you can find a breakthrough and get back on track and move toward a goal if you are passionate about your WHY.
My goal was to have my book completed and to be able to share my message. It took one chapter at a time, but I took action by making the time to write every Sunday morning.
Look at your calendar, write down one action you will take each day or each week to get there. Set the intent and watch this video (under 2 minutes) where I share a set of smart questions to get you taking action NOW: