Speed of ActionThere’s plenty of evidence to suggest speed of action is critical in bringing ideas to fruition, and I believe this is a real differentiator between people who do ok and those who really play their bigger game.

Success is all about the action you take not the ideas you have – although good ideas help, right?  Think about it, how many times have you had what you believed to be a great idea, a game changer even, only to find it added to a list of ‘one day maybes’.

You start with a great idea, after a day or so you realise the enormity of the task (in your head). By a couple of days you start to see why it might not work, after a week you have a great set of excuses lined up, like no time, too many other things on the go, or not enough money etc. The great idea gets relegated, binned or worse sits on your shoulder as you say to yourself ‘I must get round to this’. That is until somebody else does exactly what you thought of, or something very similar. Then the real damage sets in, you feel cheated, self righteous – you had the idea first, you’re better than they are, it won’t be as good.

While all the above might be true, they took action while you thought about it. Here’s the thing. If you want to do something new, if you want to move out of your comfort zone – even a bit – there is only so much mental preparation you can do, most of this stuff is just procrastination. Worse than that, when you consider your brain’s purpose is mostly to keep you alive and safe, you are predisposed to a fear driven thinking pattern and to repeat activities and patterns you know you can survive. This is why you become so attached to your ‘stories’ about what you can and can’t do, your beliefs about success, money etc. and your version of reality.

Taking action is often predicated by two things: how much the issue matters to you and your perception of your ability to succeed (or the level of personal risk attached). If it matters enough, you will take action, if you are not sure, then your perceptions kick in.  The thing is, your perceptions are influenced by your level of confidence which in turn is determined by your belief in your ability to succeed. The only way to improve that confidence is to take some action, prove you can do it or learn from experience. Both have the potential to build your confidence.

On the other hand, a sure fire way of reducing your confidence is to beat yourself up for not taking action, or undermine yourself with self limiting stories and excuses. Come on we’ve all been there from time to time, but if this is your default reality take this as a friendly kick in the pants to get moving and do the things you are here to do.

Life is short and we all have a difference to make, so go play your bigger game – don’t sit thinking about it.