Steps For Taking Action
Our actions are part of a three-level process:
- Movement (Actions)
All three must be congruent and in harmony for you to fully benefit. If your thoughts are not in line with what you do, every step you take will be a struggle. But if you align your thoughts and feelings and actions, you’ll tap into an endless source of momentum.
For your actions to be effective, you must work with your thoughts.
This tactic taps into your consciousness and your higher self. Understand that thoughts are a choice—you have far more control over them than you realize. You can decide what, how, and how much you want to think about something. You can even decide to ignore your thoughts!
For the maximum power, it helps if your thoughts are:
- Focused on what you want to achieve. This is your intention
- Positive. In other words, be open to possibility
- Focused on the good, because what you believe expands. If you constantly look at the negative side of things, it will crowd out the good and you literally won’t see opportunity
To produce energy that helps you take consistent action, work with your thoughts. A good book that covers this topic in more depth is “Thinking for a Change” by John Maxwell.
For your acts to be useful, you must work with your feelings.
Feelings are the hidden power behind your thoughts. Feelings have resonance; they drive you and influence how you view your world.
Most people neglect working with their feelings; they give their thoughts a positive spin but continue to feel negative and hopeless. Changing your thoughts without changing your feelings is futile; when the two are in conflict, you may think one thing about a situation, but you’ll attract results that are consistent with the way you actually feel.
To gauge if your feelings are consistent with your thoughts about your target career, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my feeling about this topic? Am I ‘vibrating’ positivity (’I know it can happen’) or negativity (‘It probably can’t happen, but I’ll try anyway’)?
- Am I focused on what I want or what I lack? You can be sure if you’re focused on what you lack, you’re feeling bad. It’s nearly impossible to create good things when you’re feeling down.
To empower your thoughts and actions, make sure you’re feeling good! A great book on this topic is ‘Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting’ by Lynn Grabhorn.
To take action, you must actually move.
Once your thoughts and feelings are in order, it will be much easier to act in a way that is consistent with what you want. You will take great joy in those actions knowing (and feeling) that they are bringing you closer to your dreams.
Many people often talk about the actions they intend to take, mistaking the talking for action. Here’s the golden rule: TALKING IS NOT ACTION—DOING IS ACTION!
So how do you add action to your already hectic schedule? Here are some suggestions:
- Make it manageable: Break it down into 15-minute increments (i.e. I will spend 15 minutes surfing the job board sites). If it’s something you don’t particularly like doing but must (i.e. drafting a cover letter), use a timer and give yourself permission to quit when it goes off. Where can you find 15 minutes? Turn off that “Law & Order” rerun early—you already know how it ends! Tell your sister you can’t talk for long, because you have something to do. Decide that you’re only going to surf your favorite blogs for 30 minutes. Look for other time stealers in your day and cut back.
- Make it consistent: Small steps taken on a regular basis are better than overloading yourself. You may feel ambitious, but if you put too much pressure on yourself you can burn out. For example, don’t try to rewrite your resume in one 15-minute period!
- Make it realistic: Don’t tackle the ‘big picture’ every day (i.e. I’ll get a job)—you’ll feel overwhelmed. Instead, pace yourself. Setting your sights on smaller tasks (I’ll respond to this job posting), will increase your chance of actually accomplishing them. And each one counts!
- Make it possible: Keep your tools handy; don’t sabotage yourself by making it difficult to complete a task. For example, if you’re doing your daily success list, you may want to keep a notebook and pen handy by your bedside.
- Make it fun: Find a way to do your tasks in a way that you enjoy, or give yourself a reward for each accomplishment. Positive reinforcement always works!
- Make it optional: If the pressure is killing your initiative, give yourself an “out-clause”. For example, decide you will take action towards your target career for a month and then revisit whether or not you want to continue.