Monday, 4 August 2014

Don’t wait for certainty, just take action

How often have you said “One day I am going to...” and then followed this with a statement such as “...get in shape”, “...write a book”, “...learn a new language”, “ a marathon”, “...take up an instrument”, “...change my career” only to end up not doing anything about it because you are not certain that it is going to work. You then decide to put it off until a time in the vague future when you do have certainty. The problem with this approach is that there is no such thing as 100% certainty so more often than not people never get round to pursuing their dreams. Instead we sabotage our dreams by making excuses (“I don’t have time”, “I can’t afford it”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not ready”) and then carry on with our lives as they are.

One problem with dreams is that people tend to focus on their conclusion rather than the process of achieving the dream. This usually has the effect of making it seem far too big and unachievable. For instance, if your dream is to climb Everest and you haven’t actually done any exercise for two years it may be quite intimidating to think about getting to the summit. The best way to make a dream achievable is to turn it into a goal by breaking it down into small pieces and then focus on the smallest piece first.  So instead of focusing on getting to the summit of Everest, set a goal to scale a local climbing wall first and then move onto a slightly greater challenge. Focusing on the smaller parts of the goal gives you greater motivation, belief and energy to achieve your dream. Even the smallest step takes you towards your dream and creates a feeling that you are working towards something worthwhile. 

So what are you waiting for? Now is the time to take action.

Andy Barton
Performance Consultant