I have to confess I have bought countless courses on public speaking, social media, productivity, meditation and the list goes on. For the most part I went through the course, made nice colour coded files and notes, sometimes reread when I thought I might have forgotten the content and generally immersed myself in the learning and research.
Funny thing is, I still haven’t done any implementation of what I learnt or read about … in fact before I wrote this blog I was on amazon investigating another research book to read!
I have gotten so used to using the “research excuse” to avoid taking action I don’t even realise that I do it anymore.
I came to this conclusion today after researching why I cannot get things done!
Honestly this is not a new conclusion I have had about myself as I followed the exact same storyline when I started working on my finances a couple of years ago. A lot of research was followed by very little action.
I have dusted off the strategies I followed with my finances to apply to my current inability to take action, I hope you find them useful.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Failure is such a scary concept. However the fear of failure is much more damaging than the event could ever be. Fear of failure holds us back and prevents us taking those faltering steps to the next level.
We get stuck in research mode trying to find the easy route that will guarantee our success and we listen to that little voice in our head demanding we are not enough and don’t know enough to proceed.
Acknowledge your fear, but then consider what NOT taking action can result in. Focus on what you may lose or lose out on and stoke the fear of missing out.
Focus on one aspect at a time
What I found with research is it leads to more avenues and the more you follow the new ideas, the more you find yourself off track with no clarity as to which route to pursue.
Choose one aspect of what you are aiming to learn. Set a time frame to gather the information you will need to take your first action and limit your research to that time frame.
Avoid being derailed by new topics
The research process is a breeding ground for new areas of investigation and what may seem like a productive direction to follow is more than likely to turn into the never ending maze of ideas.
Our brains are curious, but the prehistoric overprotective part is also a notorious procrastinator ever on the look-out for ways to divert us from danger.
Taking action is the ultimate danger because it is outside of our comfort zone and our brain will consistently try to deter us from proceeding.
Complete the research on the original area and then trust your judgement and take action.
Don’t get lost in the detail
It is very tempting to try and create a play by play, paint by numbers checklist. This is just another one of your little mind games to hold you back.
Take a handful of the most useful tips and ideas from the research. Limit yourself to this outline and commit to refining the plan as you take action.
Each refinement should be intentional in that it lays out the next action step.
Be open to flexibility
Accept that your action steps may not go according to plan. Keep this in mind and avoid letting the frustration and fear caused by uncertainty drive you back to research mode. You have done the research, you have the knowledge but more importantly you have the creativity to adapt the knowledge you have to the changed circumstances.
Trust yourself to figure it out. Our access to information is a wonderful part of the age we live in. but the quantum of the information can lead to a bottomless wormhole of analysis.
Be a learner but never forget you are an adventurer at heart, be open to where the journey leads you.