by Sonya Derian
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Take the action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
A few months ago, I challenged myself with Adventure Boot Camp. I thought, “What would be more challenging than waking up at five in the morning and working out with a group of ladies for an hour, four days a week?”
And I have to say, it was tough! I couldn’t walk for 3 days.
But as the days progressed and my muscles acclimated, it occurred to me: I’m someone who can roll out of bed at 5 AM and within a half hour, lift 8-pound weights over my head while jogging a track. I didn’t know that I could do that!
That’s the thing about taking an action. You don’t know that you can do it until you do it. And then you become someone who does it.
That’s how we grow into new lives.
How often do you stop yourself from doing something, waiting for something else to change before you move forward? You think you need to wait until you’re more prepared, knowledgeable, financially savvy, confident, secure—or insert excuse—to take the action. But then you never get to that place and never take the action. Then 5 years pass and you’re still talking about it, feeling “not ready yet.”
Maybe you feel a sense of urgency to step out, own your power and live our out loud, but aren’t sure what your purpose or path is. So you stop yourself because of the feelings you might confront. It’s easier if you know what you’re doing first. That lets you feel more confident moving forward. Like you won’t make a fool or yourself. Like what you’re doing is “right.”
But what if there’s never that guarantee? What if the only way to find out is by doing it? What if the only way to gain confidence is to do the thing we you’re not yet confident enough to do? What if the only way to gain knowledge is to jump in and find out what you need to learn? What if the only way to get more prepared is to prepare as much as possible, and then learn the rest as you go?
There is always something in us that knows and knows that it knows. We have an inner compass that knows the way. The only way to get feedback from this knowing is through being engaged. Not in our head. Not in our mind. Not in theory but in action. In real time.
It’s like that game we played as kids. Someone hides something, and you go looking for it, waiting to hear “hotter” or “colder” or maybe even “boiling hot!” as you move. Those little pieces of guidance help you figure out whether you’re getting close or not.
The only way to find that item is to start looking not. You can sit around and plan, waiting for the stars to align just right. But you won’t get any feedback until you actually start moving and looking.
Your inner compass does the same. It will always give you feedback on what you need to know, what you need to do differently, what you need to do next—as long as you get out of your head and get moving.
Whatever it is you want to do, it starts with getting out of your comfort zone. You’re not one small person waiting to create big change. You’re a powerful person wanting to create small change. You have tremendous power to create in this world; but just like the energy vortex that exists behind an outlet, that power is useless until you plug it in.
Plug it in.
Sign up for that class. Make the call. Face your taxes. Put up that website, even if it’s not perfect. Pay for the membership—just get on board. Have the difficult conversation. Place the ad. Send off the resume. Go to that networking event. Make the introduction. Get your book-keeping in order. Dust off the manuscript. Distribute the flyer. Get rid of the clutter. Go on that date. Take the trip. Call the publisher. Make the collection call. Ask for the raise. Publish the article. Make the speech. Take the test. Schedule the visit. Call the creditors. Fill in the blank—it’s yours to determine.
Do that thing you’ve been putting off. Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Just take the action and see how your feelings change.
And remember: you are not doing this for the outcome, although there will be an outcome. You are doing this because you are the creator in your life and you have decided that now is as good a time as any to jump in.