I’ve been reflecting a lot about making changes this year. The more research I do, the clearer it is to me that there’s a distinct difference between knowing what to do, and doing it.
Now, before you roll your eyes and thank me for pointing out the obvious, think about how this applies to your life.
Maybe you’ve read a dozen different diet books, researched the web for hours on work-at-home ideas, or even went as far as creating a color-coded budget that will help you contain your spending. But, when you look back on it, you knew everything you needed to know yet you accomplished nothing.
Many of us were spectacular “Knowers”, but lousy “Doers.”
What causes this phenomenon?
Why is it that we can long for something, research all the options, yet not take any action to move forward in obtaining our goal?
The internal forces that slow us down from accomplishing our goals can often be identified as psychological barriers. They are limiting beliefs we hold that have convinced us we can’t achieve our goals. And it seems like one of the biggest differences between being a “Knower” and the “Doer” is our ability to expose limiting beliefs for the lies that they are and our determination to move past them.
Silence your internal naysayer, by watching out for some of these common psychological barriers:
Lie #1: I need more information so I can be sure of my success.
Fact: Only thing you will be SURE to accomplish if you believe this is NOTHING!
No matter how well informed we think we are, no one is ever going to be SURE of their success. Some of us are more prone to getting stuck on this one than others. I love doing massive research on things. I’ll immerse myself in Google, opinion forums, books, articles, and classes until I’m nearly an expert on the subject.
But, if I’m honest with myself, I’m using my busy research activities as evidence that I’m working on my goal when the reality is I haven’t taken any real, tactical steps toward accomplishing what I am focused on. One suggestion is to limit the amount of time you will allow yourself to research something (or perform other non-essential, unproductive tasks) before you have to take action and move forward. The only way you will ever be sure of anything is to at least try it!
Related Content: How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
Lie #2: I’ll start on Monday.
Fact: If you put off taking action you may NEVER take action.
I have a funny, sarcastic saying I use with my prone-to-procrastination teenager that goes like “Why do today, something that you can put off until tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that, etc?” I’m trying to lightheartedly demonstrate that it is very easy to get stuck in that sticky slope of procrastination, where we will serve up a million excuses as to why we can’t or won’t get started on working toward our goal.
- “After the weekend, I’ll start my diet.”
- “I’ll work on my budget after the first of the month.”
- “After I pay down some of my debt, I’ll start saving.”
And before we know it, weeks, months, even years have gone by and if we would have just gotten started on something, imagine how far we’d be. Take some productive action toward your goal TODAY and harness the satisfaction and momentum that comes from the first step and use it to take another.
Lie #3: It may have worked for So And So, but it’ll never work for me because…
Fact: If you say you can’t do something, you are probably right.
Many of us have these preconceived notions that things are harder for us than they are for other people, or, that we’re unlucky, or underprivileged, or whatever. The truth is the people who accomplish big things have usually worked really hard for their achievements. And though they may appear to be lucky, they would probably be pretty offended if you told them that their achievements could be chalked up to luck, because they know how much effort went into meeting their objective.
I’ve not read a success story yet, whether it was a financial success, physical fitness, relationships, or career aspirations, where perseverance and a belief that they could achieve their goal did not eventually pay off for them. You have just as many smarts, determination, and perseverance as anyone else … so put it into action!
Lie #4: It would be terrible if I failed, so, I don’t even want to try.
Fact: Failure only helps to clarify which path you need to take in order to achieve success.
Failure used to be one of my biggest fears until a life coach pointed out how failure was actually a huge blessing. The fact is failure helps to show you what not to do in order to achieve your goal.
- So, you didn’t lose any weight or had a hard time conforming to that diet? Then, time to try another tactic.
- That career choice was a bad one? Time to check that vocational option off the list?
- Nobody wants to buy the product your offering? Consider it VALUABLE market research.
Not only will your failures give you amazing clarity, but you will probably learn some wonderful lessons along the way. Plus, you can rest easy knowing your loved ones will still love you (and might even respect you a little more for having the guts to try something and the grace to learn from it).
What kind of silent objections do you hear when contemplating the goals you would like to achieve or the changes you’d like to make in your life? Take some time to really hear them, and then, give yourself a reality check. Defeat those psychological barriers for good by taking some sort of productive action toward your goal NOW!
What psychological barrier are you silencing by taking that action? Drop us a note; we’d love to hear from you!
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