This article was not easy to write. In fact, it was one of the more challenging articles I’ve written in a while. Why? Because it deals with something that’s not easy for us to talk about: The reason why most people don’t take the action they know they should so that they can have the success they say they want to have.
The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. It’s an old-school, classic, tried-and-true principle: If you want to have success, you’ve got to work hard to make it happen. And hard work means taking action.
Why do you think most people don’t take the action that needs to be taken? I believe it comes down to two things: 1. Lack of Knowledge, or 2. Abundance of Fear.
Lack of knowledge obviously means that you don’t KNOW WHAT TO DO. That makes sense, right? If you don’t have the knowledge, how can you do what needs to be done? There’s a simple fix for that: Get the training you need! There’s two ways to get it – you either go to the school of hard knocks, where you go out, and try to learn it all on your own, OR you pay someone to teach you. Believe it or not, you will save SO much time and money if you just find the right teacher/trainer/mentor and pay them.
Which brings us to our second reason most people don’t take the action that needs to be taken, and this reason is a lot more wicked and common than the first: FEAR.
Fear freezes. It paralyzes. If you allow fear to rule your life, you’ll live a life of mediocrity – or worse.
A quote I once heard went something like this: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” I think I heard that in a movie, but it made sense to me.
There’s only ONE definite way to conquer fear: Take Action! Remember this: When you take action to face and conquer your fears, the fear of what you have goes away. It’s amazing, and I’ve personally seen and experienced it countless times in countless situations.
The best advice I’ve heard went something like this: “Feel the Fear, and DO IT Anyway!” Then ask yourself this: “What’s the worst that could happen, and what can I do to prevent that?” Hey, you want to be assertive & successful, not stupid, right? 🙂
Fear is a natural thing. As humans, we have a natural instinct for self-preservation. We don’t want to die, so we feel afraid when we face something that our subconscious perceives as dangerous. The unknown is one of those things we’re afraid of, hence the expression “The Devil You Know is Better Than the One You Don’t.”
So with all this fear floating around us in our everyday lives, what’s it gonna take for you to take action to conquer that stinkin’ fear once and for all? If you know what you need to do, why aren’t you doing what needs to be done to claim your success?
A few years ago, I had a personal moment of realization. At the time, I was educated but broke. I was working my butt off, doing what “they” tell us to do, but barely had enough money to feed my young family. Even though I loved what I was doing (Ballroom Dance Instructor), it was sometimes hard to put food on the table and pay all the other bills that needed to be paid.
So I decided to make a change. I got into real estate investing. I hardly knew a thing at the time, so I went out & got some training to learn what needed to be learned. After a little while & some luck, I found the best teacher & trainer I could – Ron LeGrand.
At first, I was terrified to do what needed to be done. Put up signs, mail out letters, go to meetings, and (gulp) TALK to people! Oh yeah, and make offers…and do what I said I was going to do. All that stuff. Scary as hell.
Even though I didn’t know everything, I knew enough to get started. So that’s what I did. I took massive action and kept going. Learned as I went. Made countless mistakes. Bent some rules a little bit, but I got deals closed and made money. All while being scared out of my mind.
If you know me, you know my story. In only a few short months of applying what I learned by taking massive action, I started doing real estate deals and became a millionaire!
What’s my secret? What’s the secret of so many people who have had success in this (or any other) business? There’s a lot of possibilities, but I personally believe it all comes down to ONE thing – this quote that I made up about 15 years ago. Write this down:
“Nothing Happens UNTIL… Someone (you) Gets MAD (or excited) Enough To DO Something About It.”
I’ve been saying that for years, and I really believe it’s true. I think it relates nicely to another article I wrote recently about how to get anything out of life by getting OUT of your comfort zone.
But think about that for a moment – chances are that nothing of significance is going to happen for you in your life until you’re so sick and tired of being sick and tired of your current circumstances that you make a personal pact with yourself that you’re just going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get to the next level.
Either that, or you just get so excited about something that you just have to take action to get what you want.
The first one is a negative/fear/moving-away-from-something kind of thing. The second is moving towards something positive. Either way works.
Most people in the world take action because they’re afraid of what might happen or would continue to happen if they don’t take action. It’s a shame, but that seems to be the reality.
So here’s the next secret you need to figure out: Which kind of person are YOU? Are you a moving towards kind of person or a moving away from kind of person? You’ve got to first figure that out for and about yourself before you really start moving forward in life.
Once you have that understood, you can start to play a game with yourself. Find ways to ‘trick’ yourself if you must so that you change your state within yourself. Ask yourself what will happen in your life if you don’t take the action you know you need to take. Chances are: Nothing. Nothing will happen! You’ll keep on doing what you’re doing and getting what you’re getting. And we can’t have that.
Follow “The Five Second Rule”
Have you heard of “The Five-Second Rule?” No, I’m not talking about when some food falls to the floor and you have 5 seconds to eat it. Gross. I’m talking about the book by Mel Robbins! This is a really great book with a very powerful central message.
Here’s an excerpt. Read This: “The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. … There is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5-second window.”
In other words, once you get an idea or you know you need to DO something (take action), count to 5 in your head. And then… JUST FREAKING DO IT!! Pick up that phone and make the call. Send out that offer. Raise your hand. Don’t overthink it, JUST DO IT!!
How about a nice, healthy dose of PERSPECTIVE? If you don’t mind, I’d like to share one of my favorite poems here. Trust me, when you read this, it will really help to put everything in place for you. Ok? So here we go…
I present to you the poem known as “The Dash.”
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent
alive on earth
And now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash.
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.
To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read, with your
life’s actions to rehash,
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?
Wow, right?! Talk about a powerful poem! What’s the take-away here? Quite simply this:
When you look at the DASH that you have to live your life, how the hell are you going to let a little bit of stupid FEAR hold you back from swinging for the fences and living the BEST possible LIFE you can live??
To close this up, I have one final quote for you. This one comes from the 1974 movie “Network,” one of my personal favorites. You’ve got to stand up and declare to yourself, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
Now, get out there & TAKE ACTION so that YOU can live YOUR DASH!!
Until Next Time,