Thinking is simple, doing is progress
My books, speaking and training all revolve around one key concept beyond awareness is action. It's all very well feeling inspired and motivated...but what's the point if life suddenly comes along and all that drive disappears? Worse still - you then feel you've wasted the x number of hours in that workshop. No wonder we trainers struggle.
As a rule of thumb, I always believe that if you want to know the best cause of action, then getting people to think or talk is not enough...see what those who are willing do...and follow that path. To think and talk is simple, to do is progress.
Saying that, I'm probably a bit too far the other way...even my husband finds me exhausting because of my propensity towards action. We're both rather lucky he keeps me grounded because I'm the sort of person who would probably find it easier to start a whole marriage afresh rather than iron out any kinks. (But a bit like ironing, while I hate it, I realise it's far more wise than continually buying new clothes.)
However, where the importance of action is essential is in progress. In growth. And I fully appreciate it's not easy. Not only that but sometimes the bigger barrier is not knowing where to start (and that's before getting into the murky psychology of knowing who to trust and why you may not want to.) It's also protentially more difficult as an adult, because there is also a fear of judgment. This alone can keep us paralysed in the zone of "If I don't do anything I won't be shamed." Embarassment, fear, a knock to our pride are all things which make us feel vulnerable. But it is through acknowledging a vulnerability that we are able to fortify and strengthen. We do that for our material posessions, why not for ourselves - the most important posession of all?
If you feel you are in a rut, or you want to make a change but are not sure how to begin do the following:
1. Just try one tiny action which is different to your habitual response...OR if you aren't sure what to try first, Google it, think a little critically about what you learn and pick one of the options you read. Don't make the mistake of going all out for it - start small. I was never a runner (I'd still not call myself a "runner") and one day, after toying with the idea of regaining my fitness, I did the first walk on the Couch to 5 k...then I did the second...then I had to repeat a few, but in 11 weeks (not the advertised 9 for me) I ran my first 5k...all the way round.
2. Spend some free time learning more - so that you aren't in postion 1 quite as often. If you're not keen on speaking to certain people - ask different ones, read about it, ask a forum (note: follow anything on the internet with some discernment!...including this I guess!)
3. If it doesn't work, try it again or try something else. It depends on how scientific (or stubborn) you wish to be. I tend to try again something which the majority have said works, but try once something I thought may be ok, but has little other validity than my whim as a cause of action.
Although an advocate for mindfulness and "living in the moment" - I always emphasise that being aware is just the start - in order to progress we need to do something useful with that information. Beyond awareness is action.
Audrey is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), and the author of "The Leader's Guide to Mindfulness" (pre order here : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leaders-Guide-Mindfulness-Skills-Results/dp/1292248408, Pearson & FT series) and "Be A Great Manager - Now" (Pub Pearson, 2016 and Book of the Month in WH Smith Travel Stores). She is a CPD Accredited speaker, trainer, and qualified FIRO-B, DBT and NLP Practitioner. She is the founding Development Coach and Trainer with her consultancy CLICK Training, and the resident psychologist on The Chrissy B Show (Sky191), the UK's only TV programme dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. She presents at National and International conferences in the fields of leadership and team cohesion, and is part of the Amity University conference panel. She currently lectures in Personal Development and Mindfulness at Brunel University.
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