Feel the fear and do it anyway...
The book written by Susan Jeffers is after all a classic. It may be a slightly “old saying” now but to me it remains one of the best! How many people do you meet in life that are full of passion and ideas yet don’t commit to actually doing anything about it? Are you one of them? I was for quite a few years. I had buckets of ambition, loads of ideas and plenty of fantasy. What prevented me from putting my ideas into action previously was good old-fashioned fear.
Let’s break this down.
Without focus you can’t take healthy action. Yes, you can kid yourself you are busy but there’s a massive difference between being busy and being effective.
If you have focus you can prioritise, manage resources well, measure you success against a plan, take courage from the progress achieved and build confidence as things are coming together nicely.
You need to set your expectations so they fuel you not freeze you. Often, people looking to make change, focus solely on the “big idea”. It’s great to have a big dream and goal but without breaking this down into manageable steps, it’s impossible to work out your plan of action. It is also so much more scary setting yourself up to leap across The Grand Canyon in one go than start to build a bridge that will get you across safely (not to mention you can enjoy the view along the way!). There’s a great book called “Taming Tigers” which is all about committing to the big idea, throwing yourself into the challenge but breaking it down into manageable steps. What I liked about this book is the message that with solid commitment to your big idea you actually make great stuff happen. If you manage your expectations to be achievable, yet still stretching, then you are far more likely to succeed.
We’ve touched on action already so I‘ll keep this brief. A dream is just a dream without a plan. Stop making excuses and put your dream to paper. Have fun working out the various routes and options available. There’s a great saying from the world of NLP “if you do what you have always done you will get what you have always got”. Even if you make mistakes (and isn’t that part of the whole deal anyway?) you will learn, grow and move forward with your life, career, relationships, development etc. Another great book is “Who’s Moved My Cheese”. You can play it safe and build a great “cash cow” but after a while even the most glorious “cheese” can become stale and smelly!
Recruit great people into your support network that will help your dream become reality. When you feel the fear and do it anyway, guess what, it is scary! Having people around you to help when the going gets tough, that believe in you and this great thing* you are committed to achieving keeps you focused, brave enough to take the action required and celebrate when you hit key milestones of your brilliantly managed expectations. Your support network should also include fantastic mentors. People who can help push you out of your comfort zone, equip you with learning, contacts, self-belief and challenge you, in a positive way, to be the best you can be.
(*great thing by the way, is entirely down to you to define. Often it is small things done brilliantly that make the biggest difference).
So I hope this post helps you to feel the fear and do it anyway. I am so glad that, after years of pondering and procrastinating, I jumped. And yes the net did appear!