You Have Nothing to Lose
Do you ever find yourself in a position where the same thought or idea comes to you over and over again? It may come up frequently, or it may return to you over longer periods of time. What do you do when that happens?
When I was still in my old way of operating, I would tell myself things like, "I'll get to that later," "Now isn't the time," "I don't know how to make that happen," "He/she is unlikely to respond to my message," and so on and so forth. The thing is, that when something wants your attention, it returns to you repeatedly. Putting it off clearly doesn't work. When something remains unaddressed it stays on repeat in our minds, subtly urging us to take some kind of action.
Why is it hard to take that action? We tend to mentally fast forward downstream too quickly and instead of taking a small step, we imagine a whole series of steps that end in us crashing and burning. Therefore, we stay exactly where we are, unwilling to take a risk. But in all seriousness, what is the risk, really? Is it that the person you reach out to doesn't respond? That the idea you thought was awesome has some holes in it that you hadn't considered? Worst of all, is it the belief that you don't have what it takes to turn this idea or connection into a reality?
In each of these scenarios, often the worst thing that can happen is that nothing changes. So, you take a chance, it doesn't work out, and you are where you were to begin with. What's the big deal about that? Why do we make it into such a thing, this overly dramatic sense of "failure" that because you couldn't control something down to the outcome, it wasn't worth doing to begin with and now you're a failure?
I hope you're beginning to realize how freaking ridiculous it is to think this way.
An easy way to begin to break this pattern is with people. The next time someone comes into your mind, reach out to them. If it's a professional connection you're hoping to make and you've decided it's not worth it because you think they won't respond, what do you have to lose by reaching out? What if they DO respond? Well, great. That's fantastic. Take it from there. If they don't, so what? You tried. Maybe the whole point of that experience is to get your mind thinking about who else you could reach out to. It is not the norm that we travel the shortest distance between points A and B when we take action. Our paths tend to be a little more meandering, often because it's in our best interest! We learn at every step. You could miss out on some really good realizations if everything was easy and instant gratification was more common than not.
Start keeping track of the ideas that come to you. Write them down. There is something powerful about putting your thoughts down on paper. You may find that it opens up the floodgates and that ideas start rolling in at a rapid pace. Fantastic! Keep that channel open, write things down and consider whether the idea is something you're interested in pursuing or not. Is it for now or later? Does it have a quick and easy fix like reaching out to someone, or does it require a bit more thought? For instance, if you want to write a book, what are you telling yourself about why you can't do it or why the timing is wrong? What if the first step you take is just to brainstorm?
No matter what kind of idea it is, take some kind of action, no matter how small it may be. Make a habit of continuing to take the small next steps until it becomes a habit to act instead of to postpone.