Without the motivation to get off your ass and take action, nothing is possible. Taking action is where all progress happens. It is where you will “learn” as well as “do”.
All action and inaction is driven by motivation, which is made up of two opposing forces. One that wants us to be more, to have more, to be better. The other wants to keep us safe, psychologically and physically. They fight over everything we set out to do, and each battle can have only one winner. We need to give ourselves more of a reason to act than not, if we are to chase down our goals. We must NEED or WANT enough, so that staying safe is not enough.
After forcing the initial effort needed, habit comes to help us carry it on. Once you learn to master this initiation phase, the world is your playground.
Learn from TAKING ACTION
The feedback you get from doing is where all your education lies. Don’t be scared of testing boundaries, see what works and what doesn’t. Go about your actions with purpose and in a systematic manner so you can keep track of successes and failures.
Overcome fear of failure
If you fear failure, then you have to be prepared to undergo something of a mind shift. Redefine what failure means to you. Failure can only occur if you throw in the towel, if you are using it to navigate the path to your goal, it just becomes part of the process.
Think of it like finding your way out of a maze. Having a reliable map is great, but not always possible, so in the absence of such a map you might have go down a few dead ends and participating in a little trial and error is as effective as anything else, in such situations.
The three groups of people
Now some people are happy to take action, they have found a purpose that they are enthusiastic to pursue. They wake up excited at what lies ahead of them. Motivation is not an issue for these people. Sure, they might be somewhat fearful of the unknown but they find not taking action much more scary. Their fear of inaction outweighs their fear of action, hands down.
The next group of people, find they have their backs to the wall, they have to take action because of necessity. They might be facing financial or social pressures that are threatening to ruin them, or they might have reached the end of their tether, and just can’t take their present situation any longer. If they stay put, they are finished, emotionally, financial or in some other way. Again taking action is far less risky then not, at this point.
The third group of people are the least likely to be motivated to take action. They might have a burning desire to do something, a dream they want to fulfil, but their fear of change, of the unknown, of the possible risk that might, could possibly be waiting for them further down the road, is too great to take a chance. They might not be 100% content with their present situation, they might even be unhappy with it, but it feels safer or more comfortable to maintain the status quo.
So how do you find enough motivation to initiate action. Well first understand that like pushing a car from a standing start, the hardest bit is starting. Once you build up some momentum, a little thing called inertia takes over. Inertia is where the very act of movement helps propel you forward, requiring less and less effort from you. Inertia comes through the habits and rituals that you do daily. They might be small in nature but doing them daily, means you are using less conscious effort, just to take the action, you just do it, cause it’s what you always do.
It gets easier
So knowing that the first day of a new you is going to be the hardest, but give it a couple of weeks, you will have a new routine that kind of, takes care of itself, without you having to force yourself. If you still have to force yourself at that point, maybe it’s not for you. It’s important to have some self awareness of what you like and don’t like and why, check out my piece on self awareness for more information.
Move from indifference to WANT or NEED
Well going back to our groups of people, those that WANT enough to take action, those that NEED to take action, and the third group, these I call INDIFFERENT to taking action. The INDIFFERENT group as highlighted previously, are the least likely to act, because their fear of taking action is stronger than their fear of not taking action. So, if you’re in this group and are wondering how you find enough motivation to move you towards your goal, you have to push your mindset into either the WANT or NEED groups.
One of the best ways to increasing your WANTING, is by setting yourself goals.
Without a goal to aim for, you will lack direction, and it becomes difficult to effectively gauge if you are doing the right thing at any given moment. With a goal, you can develop a plan of action for achieving your goal and feel that you have a sense of purpose in the pursuit of it.
One of the masters of goal setting Zig Ziglar, outlined a seven step process for effective goal setting:
- Identify exactly what you want and write them down
- Spell out why you want to reach goals
- List obstacles to overcome to get there
- Identify the people, the groups and the organisation you need to work with in order to get there
- Identify what you need to know to reach your goal
- Develop a plan of action to reach your goal
- Put a date on when you expect to get there
On the other hand, manoeuvring yourself into a NEED state is for sure, a more high risk option, and not one that I would personally recommend. It includes things like leaving a regular day job that you might hate, to build your dream business, so that you have to make it work, or sink. I would prefer to work in the evenings to test the idea and build it to a point where it becomes less of a risk, but taking this all-or-nothing approach remains an option that some choose to take.
Over to you
You should try to find a purpose that pulls you towards it, rather than you having to push yourself to do it. Alternatively you have to cut your options so that you “HAVE to” take action, and give yourself no other choice.
One thing is for certain, if you stay in a state of INDIFFERENCE, you’re unlikely to take the necessary actions to leave your present situation. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”
Now I’ve given you some pointers, the details of how you go about it, are unique to you and your circumstances. Good luck. Please sign up to our mailing list if you want more tailor-made content, and share this article with your friends and family if you found it useful.
For more about motivational influences, check out our Motivation guide.
If you would like to read more articles focused on INITIATING MOMENTUM, click here.