People often point out that I complete a lot of tasks. Usually, it is because while others are waiting or debating or ... I take action. Crossing items of a big to-do list makes me happy. I love making progress, accomplishing goals, and moving forward. I am a doer and today, I want to help you get things done.
I think that people don’t take action for a lot of reasons… fear, overwhelm, intimidation, fear of imperfection, and lack of knowledge.
Which is it for you?
The first step in moving forward is identifying your reason for inaction. Once you’ve done that you can bust through it and move forward.
Let’s take publishing a book, for example.
Some people don’t move forward because they are afraid. Afraid of writing a bad book, afraid of hearing what people think of their work once they share it with the world, afraid of wasting money. There are so many things of which to be fearful.
Some people don’t move forward because they are overwhelmed. There is just simply too much to know and do. Completing ALL THE STEPS feels impossible.
Some people don’t move forward because they are intimidated. Who are they to publish, let alone write a book? They think they don’t have an educational degree or life experience to back up a story or book.
Some people don’t move forward because of the fear of imperfection. They are afraid that they’ll never be able to produce a book that is GOOD ENOUGH.
Some people don’t move forward because they lack the necessary knowledge. This is a step that tripped me up for a long time. I knew WHAT I wanted and I knew I wanted it badly… I just didn’t know HOW to make it happen.
And if you think about it this way… with all of these fears and negative emotions at the front… it’s really easy to see why people struggle to move forward, to make progress, and achieve their goals.
Give me a second while I dismantle these roadblocks in your path.
For the people who are afraid I would say anything new can feel scary. Remember when you were first learning to ride a bike or swim? The corner seemed so far away, and the deep end seemed straight-up dangerous. But then, after a few lessons, you were circling the block and jumping off the diving board. All you needed was a coach and a little practice, a few experiences to erase your fear and build your confidence.
For the people who are overwhelmed, I would remind them of the Chinese proverb from Kung Fu Tze. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Even the largest of chores can be chunked into do-able tasks. With the right plan, you can make big things happen, one small step at a time.
For the people who are intimidated I would tell them that the current trend in publishing is asking for stories that ONLY YOU can tell. The world wants (no, NEEDS) your perspective. When we share our world view with the creative collective, we invite more people to understand our lives, our hopes, our obstacles, our dreams. No degree, job, or position can make you more than you need to be to share your story.
For the people who fear imperfection, I would quote Jenna Kutcher. “Imperfect action makes things happen.” There are several cringe-worthy things about my early attempts at self-publishing. Some even downright embarrass me. But you know what? I’ve let those errors go. I don’t let them haunt me, because, without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have learned what not to do. I wouldn’t have gained fans and confidence and experience. Without my earliest errors, I wouldn’t have been able to arrive at my current successes. In our culture failure is vastly underrated. Saying “I don’t want to fail,” is almost the same as saying, “I don’t want to learn”. And saying, “I don’t want to learn,” is saying, “I don’t want to grow”. And saying, “I don’t want to grow” is the same as being one hundred percent content with where you are at right now. (But I don’t think you are… are you?)
For the people who lack the proper knowledge to move forward, I would remind you that we live in the information age. Most everything you want to know can be found with a Google search. While an entire collection of specific information you’d like to know can be a bit harder to come by, never fear. You are saved. Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur puts it this way, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Forbes.com claims that the eLearning industry is trending through the roof and will reach a mind-boggling 325 billion dollars by 2025. This means that almost anything you want to learn, you can learn… from home.
So, see, you CAN do it. You CAN move forward.
Do you want to know the best thing about a story? Everyone has one to tell. And that’s why, as a word nerd, Amanda Zieba has the best job in the world. In addition to ten books written for children and adults, she works to help other writers tell their own stories through courses, workshops, and retreats. Amanda is a critique leader and board member of her local writing group, and also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two sons.
Learn more about Amanda and her Take Action Author plan at: