January, a month that means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some it is a time to recover from the December of celebrating that came before. For others it signifies new beginnings. While for some it means pressure, unmet expectations and is a reminder that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed.
I have spent the last month reflecting on 2015 and setting goals for 2016. I have prayed and thought and slept on it and prayed some more. This morning I sat down for my quiet time and I found myself filled with emotion but really happy. I felt calm but excited joyful and at peace. I was ready to take action.
In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead James 2:17
Action is everything. It does not matter if you have spent months writing the best goals, researching the best nutrition plan or reading every leadership book on Amazon. If you don’t DO anything with that knowledge you have wasted your time.
That is where I get stuck in this process. Taking action is the scary part. That is where there is risk. What if I mess up? What if people don’t like me? Fear is the enemy of action. But action cures fear.
So how do we rise above the fear and take action. Rip the band-aid off fast, jump into the deep end? I can only speak to my own experience and what I have seen work for my clients and friends but here are some things to think about:
- Just do it. Nike is on to something. For me sometimes it is as simple as that. I don’t think I just do. Close my eyes and go for it. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. Which brings me to my next point.
- Failure is about perspective. My just do it approach sometimes backfires on me and I fail. But before I go for it I put potential failure into perspective. If I fail will someone other than my own ego be hurt? Will I die? Will it matter in a month? If I am honest with myself what I thought was a terrifying outcome is really just fear of looking silly if I mess up.
The first Crossfit competition that I did I signed up for the RX division by mistake (I had been doing Crossfit for about 3 months. RX is the harder division for the more experienced athlete) When I found out about my mistake I had a choice I could quit and not do it or I could treat the event as a learning experience and just go for it. I came in dead last but had the time of my life!! When the pressure of winning was removed I was free to just have fun. I decided that failing was ok so it allowed me to act.
- The bigger fear is regret. I compare this to a workout. Did you ever do a workout and not go as hard as you could? That pang at the end when you know you could have pushed harder that is regret. Now imagine getting to the end of your life and knowing you could have done more, pushed harder just went for it and you didn’t. For me that is not an option
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith