Nearly all people, even some accidentally very successful people have it all backwards.
People often wait for fear to disappear or talent to appear before acting, but this is backwards.
How often do you wait to get confident before you act? How often do you wait to build up your training before taking part in some competition? How often do you wait until you are absolutely certain that you won’t get rejected before approaching some girl? How often do you wait until your financial situation is completely safe and secured before you try to start some new business or venture or important purchase? We are programmed by our very genetic make-up and our social conditioning from birth to listen to our fear and act after the fear has gone. We feel we should wait, wait, prepare, prepare, analyse and study and plan and plan before we act, after we have ultimate confidence and after we have put in enough time and planning and patience that the fear has completely evaporated.
THIS WAY OF THINKING IS BACKWARDS and counter-productive.
Action needs to come first. Before fear, during fear and then some more after fear. Do not wait for fear to disappear before jumping into something. If you wait until you are completely comfortable and confident before acting, you will never get anything life changing accomplished. Fear is there for a reason, no doubt. It is a good warning sign, a good caution. Preparation and studying a situation is useful. You should take the fear cue as a signal that there are some potential risks in whatever you are facing, whatever you are considering jumping into. But take that signal, double-check your risks, rewards, honest assessment of abilities, worst case scenarios and then jump in and do it. Act. Act.
Act. Action always comes first in success.
ACTION CURES FEAR
Fear can be a good thing, a good signal, a good warning to be careful and assess and re-assess. But it is often given too much power and becomes the kind of fear that is crippling, paralysing and haunting. It paralyses you by sending you into a nervous state of OVER-analysing a situation, far beyond the point where you are getting any useful new information. Analyses and planning are good, but only to a point. honestly, in the amount of planning that I have done in the past and that I have witnessed clients and friends doing in the past, it is often ten times longer and more in depth than it needs to be. After you get past the first tenth of what you usually do, the extra 90% of your planning is adding an extra 10% of information that is going to have very little impact. The time wasted in paralysis, as you fear you don’t have ALL the information however, that will have a big impact via all the time wasted and action NOT taken.
Scared of something? Take action.
Deadly afraid of some result? Take action.
Fear can only fester and grow strong enough to grip you and hold you back in those inactive times, in those times when you are waiting, thinking, analysing, pondering every possible outcome.
ACTION CONQUERS FEAR
ACTION BUILDS TALENT
You may know what you want, and even better, how to get it, but realise that you do not have the talent to achieve it right now. The gap between the 0 you are at now and the 100 you want to arrive at is huge. You are very serious about making a change and working hard to get what you want.…but you don’t have the tools, the skills, the abilities, the necessary internal equipment to bridge that gap from where you are now to the heights you want to be at. So you stave off taking any kind of big, bold or meaningful action. You wait until you have the necessary talent to reach that.
It seems to make logical sense: “I need a certain level of talent to achieve what I want, but I don’t have that talent yet, so I will wait until I have the necessary talent and then I will be able to take those big actions that will get them there.”
The only problem is that talent is built through action.
If you don’t have the talent, then you don’t want to take action, it seems useless to take tiny, weak ineffectual actions until you have the requisite talent. But if you don’t take action you will never get that talent.
There is a misconception about talent that it is something you have or don’t have, something you are born with, or born without. This is far from true. Behind the seemingly effortless, natural ability shown by top level athletes, musicians and performers lies hours and hours in days and days over years and years of hard work. ACTION BUILDS TALENT.
Talent is not a gift you receive. It is a prize you take, by grit, hard work and bold action. The world is not your oyster until your prize it open with sword. Take action. Then take action again. The take action again and again and again until the talent is birthed, slowly, growing and growing with each successive action taken.
ACTION BUILDS CONFIDENCE and DESTROYS FEAR OF FAILURE
You may even feel you have some talent and that it’s not too dangerous, but you’re not quite confident yet, or you want to do it perfectly without failing. When you take your first big action, you will fail. Sometimes spectacularly. This is not something to fear to the point of crippling yourself. Don’t get me wrong, fear is there for a reason, and fear of failure is there for a reason. If we didn’t fear the social shame, the physical pain or the financial loss of failure, then we wouldn’t learn from our mistakes and we wouldn’t have that drive to succeed and to do something well. The fear of failure gives us the drive to do something as well as possible, with a full heart and a focussed head. But the fear of failing is given far too much power. It should be treated as your coach, your mentor showing you how to adjust and what to do better next time, not as some monster stopping you from taking any action at all.
Taking action, especially taking big, bold actions with uncertain outcomes can often lead to failure. And that is fine.
Failing is embarrassing. But failing magnificently shows you that no matter how hard you fall you are still alive and stronger for the knowledge that failure is not the end of your life.
Action also builds confidence. Continued action, over and through the failure brings you eventually to a small success. Maybe followed by some more failure and then some more success and more success, each building upon the last. As the failures continue you find yourself no longer so beholden to the fear of them, but rather knowing that the next success is just a few more actions away. The confidence that you can fail and continue, and the confidence and sure knowledge that you will eventually succeed, is a powerful thing, rare for anyone to hold.
The greatest lesson to be learned from success is that you can succeed.
The greatest lesson to be learned from failure is that you can fail and still carry on, moving on from any shame and pain in the short time.
ACTION ALWAYS COMES FIRST
Everyone, ever, anywhere at anytime, at any place, who has ever succeeded in any way, big or small, has taken action first. Action always comes first. It is a very simple and yet very fundamental concept. Action comes first, then the fear, and the fear of failure loses its sting and drives you on rather than hold you back. With continued action confidence builds and you feel tougher and more sure of yourself as small successes eventually build and come to equal the failures. As you continue to act first, before complete knowledge or perfect talent, that ability and instinct in your mission starts to grow.
It is important to remember that you are running out of time to act.…people live day by day, with one day blending into the next and no clear markers of time, no sense of the reality that your time to act is slipping away day by day.…