“Life is actually really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” – Confucious.
Too often we think “what if” and this stops us from taking action. “What if i fail” “what if it doesn’t work” “what if people don’t take me seriously”. All of these types of thoughts delay or stop us from taking action. But what I have come to realise is that any action produces results, whether good or bad, and even the bad results can be turned in to a positive, something we can learn from for next time. The important thing is to just take action, we are more likely to regret the things we didn’t do, than things we did do. Too much time is spent worrying about the end result, when in fact taking action, and perhaps failing, is better than taking no action at all.
I have been guilty of over-thinking things and becoming overwhelmed. For example when I was studying at university, I would sometimes spend more time planning my revision and projects, than I would actually doing them. I would also make my list of things to do far too long, and so I would get overwhelmed which would put me off even starting. I have learned to just keep things basic. Think of a few things that I need to do and do them, then move on to the next thing.
This can apply to simple, daily tasks too, it doesn’t have to be on a large scale. For example I have things to juggle such as housework, looking after my 9 month old son, keeping up my fitness, writing my blog, doing an online course and also finding some time for myself to relax. When I first became a mum, juggling all of these things seemed impossible, until I started to make lists for each day. And they can be very basic tasks on my list but they are things that I need to do, and I have a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day when I have accomplished them. I make sure there are only 3 to 5 tasks on my list, I tick them off as I go, and if I work through them quite fast then I might add one or two more, to take the pressure off for the next day. If I were to think about all of the things I needed to do in the week and tried cramming them all in to one day, I would just look at my list and think “woah I have so much to do I’m never going to get all this done”, and then I probably would make myself a hot drink and just sit on the sofa completely overwhelmed, feeling exhausted at just the thought of doing it all.
Keeping it basic can also relate to bigger aspirations and ideas that you have, things that you have wanted to do for a long time, maybe starting a new business, starting a project, starting a new diet, or a new course. Just trying something is the best way to learn, and keeping things basic helps to keep a clear focus on what you are doing.
For such a long time I have wanted to make a career change and re-train to work in the health and fitness industry. But I have been guilty of thinking of too many “what-ifs”, and that has stopped me from taking any action. Until last year when I made a list of the basic qualifications and things I would need to do to get started. I have an idea of where I want to be in a few years time, but if have realised that I need to start small and focus on the basic short term tasks first. So I enrolled on a fitness instructors course last year and became qualified. Now I am enrolled on a nutritional advisors course, and I will keep my full focus on that task until I have completed it, and then move on to the next item on my list. I have learned that this is the best way to get things done.
“Progression starts where your comfort zone ends” – I came across this quote a long time ago and it has really struck in my mind since. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable – trust me, it is liberating. 🙂