In order to be successful in anything in life, you need to take action. That begins by deciding on what it is you want to be successful at and this is the biggest hurdle of all. Yet all it takes is a little time to sit down and think about what truly motivates you, what makes your heart sing, your stomach turn over with excitement, passion and desire. we all have something in our lives that has this incredible effect on our mind and body, even when we haven’t realised it yet.
Once you know what that thing is, you can begin to take action and if you haven’t figured it out yet, almost of our learning in life comes from doing. If you want to learn how to talk in front of people, then find opportunities to talk in front of people as often as you can. If you want to learn how to do presentations, do more presentations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to seek as much knowledge as you can get your hands on to help you become successful at what you want to do, it does mean you shouldn’t wait for complete knowledge before you take action.
A big reason for people avoiding taking action is fear of embarrassment. If you want to be successful at anything, you must learn to set that fear aside, because, it’s very difficult to look good and get better at the same time. Face the fact, you are going to screw up from time to time, that’s life and we learn by making mistakes. Instead of being afraid of how you look as you learn and grow, be afraid of not taking action and living your life at a fraction of your true potential.
As the saying goes from one of the presuppositions of NLP, “There is no failure, only feedback.”
When I was just about to leave school, and I left early, I had an appointment with my guidance teacher who sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do when I leave. Now I had known for a long time that I wanted to join the Royal Marines and I was at the bottom of a pile of former Royal Marines in my family, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect. Well sort of, as nothing can really prepare you for the 8 months slog of basic training.
All I knew was that I had to be fit, so I had trained really hard for this and to the detriment of my exams. So I ultimately failed every exam and obviously my guidance teacher knew this and in this little conversation, when I told her my plans, she said “You’ll never be able to do that, you’ve got no qualifications and if you can’t get that, how do you expect to become a Royal Marine?”
This was like a red rag to a bull and needless to say, being a stroppy teenager, I told her exactly what I though of her opinion in no uncertain terms and walked out.
I was taking action, I had become extremely fit physically, however mentally I was letting myself down by not focusing on my exams and I let a nae sayer get under my skin because despite my stubborn streak, she got under my skin and knocked my confidence.
I did join the Royal Marines despite that and I lacked confidence which showed as mentioned by my training team on several occasions. They also told me that to work my way up the ranks, I would need to get some qualifications, so I took advantage of the Royal Marines education system and while I learned my job as a Royal Marine, I studied for my exams and, bit by bit I achieved far more than I ever thought possible with my education and personal development. I was taught many invaluable skills in the Royal Marines that have stood me in great stead and will for the rest of my life and one of those is the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. To understand myself, what I’m capable of, because it’s always far more than we realise or think.
When we plan properly, take action and then review what we’ve done to learn from our mistakes and use that learning in our next plan, this is how we grow and become experts in what we do. It’s not an overnight process and it can be done.
What I’m saying is, embrace that fear, that uncomfortable feeling and take a leap of faith in yourself. You are capable of so much more when you push yourself and expand your comfort zone so that it incorporates more and makes all that feel normal and comfortable. The best thing is, this never has to end, it is a continuous process for the rest of our lives if we want it to be.
Here’s to your success.