There are two types of people in this world; those who think about doing great things and those who actually do them. Often, all that separates them is that one started doing the thing whilst the other procrastinated. I am the sort of person that likes to take action. If I decide I am going to do something, I make sure I follow through with it. This has lead me to doing some great things in my life but also some very silly things. But hey, I learnt lessons from the silly things (note to anyone reading: box dye bleach isn't worth it. Go see a hairdresser!)
Now, as much as I feel research, careful thinking and due diligence are important when making decisions, I am a firm believer that you can get stuck in a state called "analysis paralysis." This is where you start over-analysing or over-thinking a decision to the point where you are incapable of actually making the decision or taking action. How many friends have told you about their business idea that has never come to fruition or that round the world trip they've just never got round to planning? In this world we can be bogged down by analysis paralysis and fear that stop us from achieving what we want to. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, impostor syndrome or fear of ridicule can lead us into this state where we simply just do nothing.
However, I believe that the best way to move towards your goals is to just start. Just to take that first step and see what happens from there. Here are 5 reasons why I believe you need to do this too:
1. It will never feel like the perfect time
There's a quote I love that states "the best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now." You can tell yourself a story that now just isn't the right to to execute on that idea. You can always find a reason to put something off "until" you've achieved something else. I don't want to start my personal training business until I've got a studio in my garden. I don't want to start dating until I'm fully happy with the way I look. I'll start posting to Instagram more regularly when I've got more free time to take photos. There will never be the perfect time. The stars will never be aligned and you will never have your life perfectly together. The perfect time does not exist, so now is just as good a time as any to take action on your goals.
2. You can learn as you go along
One of my favourite books is "Start Now, Get Perfect Later" by Rob Moore. It is an ideology that I heavily believe in. When you started walking, you weren't very good at it. It took you years to learn how to write and spell as a child. When you did your first ever fitness class you probably came away thinking "That was so hard. How did the instructor make it look so easy?!" You learn new skills and develop as you go along, but if you don't start, you can't ever get 'perfect.'
3. Waiting builds up more mental barriers
This is the idea behind analysis paralysis. The longer you wait, the harder it is to make the decision. You start to over analyse every little detail, your brain plans out a million different scenarios of every eventuality. You start to lose the perception of what a realistic outcome might be. Your brain has too much information available so instead of deciding what to do, you just forget about it altogether. Our brain likes easy, easy is comfortable. But easy doesn't get you to where you want to be.
4. It’s ok to make mistakes
Making mistakes and fear of failure is a big reason why people don't take action. Nobody wants to be ridiculed or made fun of, whether in person or online. Putting yourself out there is scary. People will scrutinise and question, but why does it matter? Does your action directly impact them? If not, why are you wasting your brain power worrying about what they think?
As I've mentioned in previous posts, perfect doesn't exist. We all make mistakes, it's part of being human, learning and growing. You never did something perfectly the first time you did it. How many failed attempts at air travel were there before the Wright brothers built the first plane? You can learn from your mistakes or the mistakes of others. They shouldn't stop you from taking action.
5. What's the worst that could happen?
When I'm trying to evaluate whether a decision is good or not, I often ask myself this question. If the worst that could happen is I look a bit of an idiot, a few people judge me or I lose a bit of time and money, then I'll tend to go for it. If, however, there is a strong chance that I'll lose a limb, break a bone or have to file for bankruptcy then maybe I'll think twice. What is the worst than can happen if you take action on this idea? Then, think what the best outcome might be. Maybe you'll gain some new friends, maybe you'll become more confident, maybe your business will take off, maybe you'll be able to afford another holiday every year. Maybe none of this will happen, but how will you ever know if you don't start?