Posts

Just do it

There is something to be said about “just doing it.” I sometime refer to it as “Fake it till you make.” Alternatively, in plain English this means: “Doing what you said, even when you don’t feel like it.” Sometime it feels like: “Doing what you don’t like doing in order to achieve what you do want to achieve.”

It seems a simple enough concept. However, so many people struggle with this personally and/or professionally.

One of the biggest reasons why people don’t achieve what they want is lack of sufficient action. Most people fail to achieve their dreams and aspirations because they don’t make the effort, they don’t take the action or they don’t stay the course with their actions. They give up too quickly.

I have heard different statistics about this, however it is said that it took Thomas Edison around 5,000 to 10,000 trials before he invented the light bulb. If it were up to most of us, we would still be in the dark ages.

One of the biggest reasons people don’t take action is because of the numerous stories, explanations, justifications and excuses we fall prey to when it is time to take actions.

As I have written in previous blogs, our mind – or: our inner voice – tends to go out of its way to subtly and smoothly get us out of any vulnerable or uncomfortable situation. And, as we know, most things that are worth doing or accomplishing require at least some degree of vulnerability and comfort.

Have any of the following things ever happen to you?

  1. You are sitting in a meeting and you know that some important detail is being avoided in the dialogue because of internal politics. You want to say something to put things straight, but your inner voice says to you, “Don’t do it! It’s risky! You are doing so well, why do you need the trouble? Let someone else be the sucker!” You sit there and don’t say a word.
  2. You are trying to lose weight and as part of your program you have committed to getting up early three times a week to exercise before you go to work. Your alarm clock wakes you up at 5:30am, you feel groggy and your inner voice says to you, “Getting up this early is crazy. You barely slept enough. It’s unhealthy. It’s much more effective to exercise in the evening or midday than this early in the morning…” You turn to the other side and fall back to sleep.
  3. You are trying to lose weight and as part of your program you have committed to stay off all sweet things and desserts, which you really love. You have kept your discipline for two weeks now, but it is not easy for you to avoid the temptations. In fact, you’ve lost more weight than you had planned this far. You come home late in the evening after another long day. You are tired, cranky and hungry from eating lettuce all week. You open the fridge and you see a slice of your favorite cake that someone didn’t finish. Your inner voice says to you, “You have been so good this week, plus you are doing so well in your diet. There is no harm in eating just one piece. It won’t ruin your diet. You deserve it!” You take the cake and eat it up.

There is a reality out there and then there are all our internal conversations about that reality. Our internal chatter is usually geared around why we shouldn’t or can’t do or have things. Unfortunately, you cannot stop the internal conversations. They are a built-in feature of being human.

However, if you understand this internal human mechanism, you have the option of bypassing it. What that means in reality is “just do what you say, regardless of how you feel about it or what your inner voice is telling you.”

It’s easier said than done. However, if you can overcome this, you will have a big advantage and power in achieving your objectives and dreams.

The good new is that the more you just do it, the easier it will become to repeat this behavior, because your inner voice will have less control over your actions.