In 2013 I had an idea to collaborate on a speaking engagement with a DC area organization with a great reach. I hoped that working with them would allow me to get my message out to more people. It was a good idea, but it sat towards the bottom of my to-do list for two years because I felt intimidated to reach out.
Eventually, I grabbed my courage and sent a proposal. It was accepted and we were able to put on an event together. To my surprise, the event wasn’t well attended. I learned that this organization was not a great fit for the work that I do.
On the surface, this sounds like a bad thing, and I did feel disappointed. However, this failed endeavor actually turned out to be a wonderful turn of events.
Because I took action and cleared this organization off my to-do list, I was able to move on to other organizations I could work with. It helped me to move forward. If I had continued to sit on my initial idea, I would have wasted even more time getting to the right groups.
Taking action always brings clarity and takes away illusions. It’s better to try something and have it not work out than remain in the dark about the reality of a situation. By taking action you’re able to learn. You’ll get a better sense of whether you’re on the right track or not, and you get the opportunity to improve your strategy.
Here’s another example. A friend of mine wanted to change roles within the company where she worked. She took action and told the right people she was interested in moving from administration to finance. She was met with blank stares. There was not an opportunity to make this transition within her current company. By asking her bosses about the possibility to make the switch she learned that she would need to seek a role outside of her current organization. Taking action cleared away the illusion that she would be able to stay at her current company and opened the door for her next step.
When you learn the reality of a situation you are one step closer to finding the right action that will yield great result.
Where in your life do you need to take action? Is there a task you have been putting off because you are afraid it will not work out? This inaction is holding you back from finding out what will actually work. Take action today and start removing any illusions.
What do you need to take action on? What have you been setting aside each week because you are afraid of the outcome? What steps do you need to take to check this task off your to-do list so you can move forward?