I’ve written about FEAR before. And, I say capital FEAR, because it was largely about overcoming or facing our big FEARs in life. Once you realise that all the best things in life are on the other side of FEAR, it’s easier to act.
But, that doesn’t mean we don’t still face lowercase fear each and every day. This can show up as not taking action, not making decisions. Our brains are wired to keep us safe, and safe means doing things that are comfortable, easy, and don’t require any challenge. The problem with this is that we get stuck on autopilot, and get stuck in our routines and habits. It also means, that, sometimes, even if we know we need to do The Thing, we don’t do The Thing.
And then we get into a cycle of frustration, knowing we want The Thing, and annoyed with ourselves for not doing anything about it.
My recent Thing has been email automation. I’ve known I need to get this sorted for months. This isn’t a big Thing, but I made it big because I couldn’t figure it out. I’m no means technically minded. I am teaching myself and have learned lots, but I am not an expert. So, I’ve researched and researched and read and read, and everyone says programs like MailChimp are easy. Let me tell you, MailChimp is not my friend. The more I tried to get started, the more confused I got. And the more this whole project seemed to be a daunting and intimidating task. So, I didn’t do anything about it. Except continue to worry and stress that I didn’t have it done.
The longer I stewed over it, the bigger it became and the more afraid I was. I was afraid I’d get it wrong, that my email wouldn’t be good enough and that I’d send some crazy email to the wrong person.
Until I decided to JFDI: Just Fucking Do It. Rather than continue to stew and stress, I figured out a way to get it done. I reached out for help and got the answers I needed. It wasn’t so scary after all. But I had built the fear up to be monumental and so hadn't done anything at all. Taking that first step felt awesome! A weight was lifted and I immediately felt more in control.
Taking action isn't usually the scary part - it's the fear of what happens when we do something new. And usually, we've built up all sorts of worst case scenarios in our heads while we're thinking about it. This leaves us paralysed, stuck.
In my case, I thought the worst thing that could happen was that I wouldn't get my email right, it wouldn't be perfect on my first try. In reality, the worst thing that was happening was that I wasn't doing anything to reach people and share my message.
So, what happens when we ask ourselves instead, What's the BEST thing that will happen when [not if] I do this? And, then, Just Fucking Do It.
What happens is this: We change the negative habit loop in our brains and start seeing results. Once we act, and take that first step, no matter how small, we feel better. And that propels us to take the next action, and the next. We create a positive habit loop, and momentum propels us to continue taking action.
Mel Robbins explains it like this when talking about the 5 Second Rule:
"And, the more action that you take, the better your life will become. This is a concept in psychology called “Do Good, Be Good.” It actually dates back to Aristotle. It’s the idea that you can’t just think yourself to change. You need to actually take action."
What is The Thing for you? Ask yourself what is the best thing that can happen when you do it. And, Just Fucking Do It.
Are you ready to take the next step and design the life you want? Get in touch with me at https://www.yourcompasswithin.co/get-in-touch/ and book a 45 minute complimentary connection call, or visit my website to see what I can do for you and to hear more of my story. www.YourCompassWithin.co