It’s one thing to come to the realization that you want things to be different. That moment when you realize that things aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Maybe you’re unhappy with being in a stagnant career or looking at a personal relationship and wishing it were more fulfilling. That moment when we recognize that something has to change in order for us to be happier can be powerful. There’s another side of that coin, however.
The late, great Jim Rohn said, “For things can change, we need to change.” Making that decision that we want something to change is a step but merely wishing for something is a dream. While dreaming is good, a desire that isn’t acted upon remains simply a wish. The next step in the process is turning thought into action. But how do we do that?
“A desire that isn’t acted upon remains simply a wish.”
I wrestled with this question recently. After starting my own business I had the roadmap to success,laid out for me by others who had already achieved great success with the same company I was working with. There was no question that I had everything they had. I had the same tools, the same marketing materials, the same products and services to sell, access to the same training, and so on. What makes the difference between their level of success and my own?
Most of us know what we should do to get what we want (at least if you’ve done any kind of study or research into how to reach your goal). If we want to become more physically fit we need to exercise more. Therefor we should exercise. If we want to be more successful in our chosen career we need to expand our skillset, our contacts,and our overall value in the market place. We should do those things. We all know what we should do. International speaker Anthony Robbins says that often times we “should all over ourselves.” He’s got a valid point.
I knew I should do the things necessary to see success in my business but the motivation needed to move myself to action was lacking. My “should” was not yet a “must,” as Robbins says. I had to reflect and honestly evaluate why I was frozen (because that’s what I was). I knew – I believed – with every fiber of my being that I wanted the results and I needed the results. So why wasn’t I taking action?
The Grip of Fear
If you’re not doing what you know you need to do – if your “should” is not yet a “must,” it could be for any of a number of reasons. But often it simply comes down to fear. Fear of the unknown is a powerful distractor. Often the known, even a painful or uncomfortable one, is difficult to let go of when the alternative is the unknown. “Maybe the alternative is even worse,” we tell ourselves.
Perhaps it’s fear of speaking to strangers or people we know,or speaking before groups. Perhaps it’s a fear of success. All the images of luxury cars,expensive homes,and the like,can’t always override the comfort that the known gives us. Perhaps we don’t feel as though we deserve success, no matter how much we want it. (That’s hooey, by the way; you do deserve success.) Whatever the reason and whatever the form, fear can create a huge wall between us and our goals. Don’t let fear stand between you and success.
To Overcome Fear, You Must Act
So how do we overcome that fear to do the things we need to do to be successful? It comes down to two things.
First, as I mentioned earlier, our “should” needs to become our “must.” There can be no doubt that we must do the things required for success if we are to have success. There is no question. Our motivation must be so strong that the alternative (not taking action) is inconceivable. We must not just want something. We must seek it out with all the passion and conviction that’s inside of us.
“Our motivation must be so strong that the alternative (not taking action) is inconceivable.”
Motivational speaker Eric Thomas tells a story with the lesson “Until you want success as bad as you want to breathe, you won’t be successful.” That’s powerful. If you think about it,wanting something so badly that you will do anything to achieve it virtually guarantees success. No matter what it takes,no matter how long it takes,you will have it. That needs to be your mindset.
Once you have the desperate,burning desire that turns your “should” into a “must,” the second part is easy. Take action. Without belief, desire dies on the vine. It’s the law of diminishing intent. The longer we go without acting on an idea,the less likely we are to ever see it to reality. You may have heard people say “Leaders act.” Considering ramifications is fine but endless analysis leads to paralysis. There comes a point when you simply have to act.
“Any leader who’s honest with you will tell you that before they became great they were just good.”
That was the difference between me and the others who had achieved success in my business. They took action. That’s not to say that they didn’t stumble at first. Any leader who’s honest with you will tell you that before they became great they were just good. In order to become good they had to rise from mediocrity. Before they were mediocre they more than likely sucked at what they were doing. It’s the same in any endeavor.
Think about your first day at a new job or a new school. You didn’t know what you were doing, you didn’t know anyone, and you didn’t know your way around. Let’s face it. You were less than mediocre! But eventually you got good at it. You got to know people and you even made new friends. You learned your way around so well that you could show up and navigate your way around while reading a book and drinking coffee at the same time! So it is with any new endeavor.
Find Your Why
Allow me to sum up this entire piece of writing very succinctly. To be successful you must have a burning desire that compels you to act despite any fears. If you do this, you will overcome the fear. The unknown becomes routine and, by continuing to take action, you will go from mediocre to good and eventually to great.
Nobody promised me an easy path. They merely gave me a map. The journey is mine to take or not.
Am I a business guru? Not by any stretch. Have I made mistakes? Absolutely. Those mistakes and failures are the very reason I am getting better and better each day. Nobody promised me an easy path. They merely gave me a map. The journey is mine to take or not. I choose to take it. If you take it, too, you can read the notes I’m leaving along the way so you know what to expect. That should make your journey a little easier.
Here’s to your success!
“Until the pain of staying the same is less than the pain of change, you won’t change.”
Originally published in JoinMeForSuccess.com