Action Always Comes First

Take-ActionAction always comes first.

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.


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.



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.


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.


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.…

ACT NOW. Let the rest come later.

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