‘ACTION – Get It Off The Page’
‘A. in the LEADERSHIP Series’
Webster defines ‘Action’ as ‘the doing of something’. Interestingly, the conversation about taking action is often about what keeps us from taking action. A very sobering quote to remember is “Your inaction is holding you back, not a lack of talent”.
As 2014 winds down I’ll bet many of you will do a personal recap of your year – what you accomplished and what you didn’t accomplish. In the ‘accomplished’ column you’ll see healthy habits, empowering thoughts, discipline of process and rigor as contributors to your success. In the ‘didn’t accomplish’ column, I’ll bet the ‘two cousins’ below were at play.
This wins hands down as 2014’s “most talked about”. It’s shocking how too many people wear perfectionism as a badge of honor like it’s something to covet or aspire to. Quite the contrary. It is an insidious form of self-hate, which thrives on self-doubt and low self-esteem. “I won’t do this right”, “It won’t turn out” are based in fear and lead to debilitating paralysis to do anything. Perfectionism is THE confidence killer, and women are 25% more prone to perfectionism than men. Not wanting to fail translates into 1) not learning from mistakes and 2) missed opportunities because you were too paralyzed to act. A very impactful truth: Action is the antidote for despair.
So it follows then, that not everything has to be ‘perfect’ – sometimes good enough is good enough. In the book, Improv Wisdom, Patricia Madson speaks to the fifth maxim Be Average. I couldn’t believe how that chapter unleashed me and gave me freedom to act and get out of my own way. It reminded me that ‘done is better than perfect’, to ‘get it off the page’, and that ultra-organized people let go of perfectionism.
The continual putting off doing something can give us a false, if perverse, sense of purpose, like having something to do yet. More often it keeps us drained and uneasy, burdened with those dreaded tasks hanging over our heads, slowly chipping away at our self-esteem and happiness. It’s so much better in the long run to tackle them as soon as possible rather than pushing them off. Get a ‘do it now’ mindset. Nothing is so heavy as the consistent weight of tasks undone.
Look at what’s behind your procrastination – maybe its perfectionism and fear based, maybe it’s just a bad habit that’s outgrown its usefulness. Perhaps the task/item just isn’t that interesting or relevant any longer – then get it off your list or reframe it so it excites you. There’s freedom from the burdensome ghosts of tasks undone.
As 2015 looms large, let’s replace perfectionism and procrastination with boldness and commitment to help us take action in the New Year.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative, there is one truth – “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way”. W. H. Murray from the Scottish Himalayan Expedition
How committed are you to your business, your career, your relationships, your health, your success, your life?
I invite you to commit to action and watch the impact you’ll have. Check out the website, and see how you can learn more and integrate it into your leadership.
Next month I look forward to sharing the D. of the L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. series –
DIRECTION – “Strategically and Personally”
~ Victoria Raymont