How to Take Active Action
I read personal development and productivity books, just like most people that have been bitten by the personal growth bug.
Some of them are extremely good. But no matter how good they are, even if they tell you step by step exactly how to change the world, it may not help.
In order to change the world, you need to take active action. (not just checking your email kind of action!)
Actions that are the hardest gain the most rewards. I call them, Active Actions.
Active actions are items on your to-do list that seem hard, scary, or important. They are a lot easier to put off than to accomplish. They may not be massive actions; a simple phone call can be an Active Action.
Have you ever had one of those times when youÂ think about picking up the phone to make an important call, but stop yourself from doing it?
What’s scary about a phone call? Pick up the phone, push buttons to dial, it rings and you talk to someone.
It isn’t scary if it’s a friend. But if you put pressure on the call because it’s important, it becomes an Active Action.
What stops you from taking action?
It is easier to convince yourself not to call than it is to push past the fear and call. Convincing yourself that you don’t need to call them is a Passive Action. It’s definitely not scary, and it will save you from the fear of calling. Fear stops action.
Passive Actions are what we use to replace Active Actions. If you check your email instead of making the important call, you are switching action types. Passive action doesn’t involve fear, which makes them easier to accomplish.
What can we do about it?
The next time you are about to take an Active Action, be present and in the moment.
What does it feel like? Does your heart race? Does the voice in your head tell you how easy it would be toÂ do something else instead? What is the fear that stops you?
Do it more. Lots more. I love the Elanor Roosevelt quote, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do”. So if you notice that scary hesitant feeling before you take an action; take that as a sign that you need to be doing it more.
You grow from uncomfortable situations. The more often you complete Active Actions the less scary they will be. Fear diminishes when you can expect the outcome.
You have done it before and made it out alive. You did make it out alive right? The fear starts to dissolve once you face it more and more.
Create a Trial
Do it as a trial. Take one week to do as many Active Actions towards your goal as you can. They need to be the scary ones. The harder they are, the better the test will be. Think of a goal that you have that could really use some movement and momentum and write a list of Active Actions right now.
Write a lot more than you have time to do, because you will want to pick and choose. Pick some that are less scary and start working your way to the hard ones. Or take the hardest one first! It’s just a trial, you can go back to passive actions after the week is over.
Once the week trial is over take some time to reflect on the week. Compare it to the previous week and look at how you felt and how much you accomplished. As uncomfortable as the trial week was, it usually results in feeling better and getting more done!
I try to do a week trial every month of so because I find taking massive active actions at a time really moves me forward. It’s not a practice that I feel like I could keep up every week (nor do I want to!) As time passes I realize the things that were once hard for me to do become regular tasks during my regular weeks. They no longer are categorized as Active Actions.
What are your Passive Actions? What do you consider Active Actions? Would these ideas work in your life?
Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.Learn More