I talk to a lot of business owners who are stuck.
They tell me about their challenges and frustrations. They tell me about the things they want. Things like:
- More time with their families
- More self-sufficient employees
- Happier customers
And a million other hopes and dreams for their business and life.
We’ll talk about the changes they need to make to get those things. They’ll agree that they need to make those changes to achieve their goals.
Far too often, that conversation ends with some version of:
“I know I need to do that, but now’s not a good time.”
They go on to tell me why now isn’t a good time.
- It’s the busy season
- It’s the slow season
- I need to finish this other project first
- I need to hire someone
- I need to fire someone
- I need to increase sales
- I need to get some more money together first
- It’s better if I learn X before I start
- I’m waiting for Mercury to be in retrograde
- The Cubs need to win another World Series first
Most of us have used one of these as a rationalization for inaction. How many are you guilty of?
The truth is 99% of the time, these “reasons” are BS excuses. They’re the stories people tell themselves to avoid confronting the real reasons they are stuck.
It’s sad to see so many possibilities drifting away because an owner can’t take action.
It doesn’t matter how many great ideas you have if you don’t do anything with them. And, to be blunt, “I’ll do it later” is the rallying cry of a weak leader who settles for mediocrity.
I spend a lot of time helping my clients understand what’s really driving their need to defer.
It’s almost always fear.
- Fear of change
- Fear of failure
- Fear of success
- Fear of not being the same person they are today
- Fear of not knowing what to do
The way you break through that fear is as simple and as vexingly difficult as this.
You didn’t take action because you were not willing to do what needed to be done to get the result you wanted.
You weren’t willing to do what needed to be done because you were afraid of the result.
How do you stop being afraid?
You need to decide that your desire for the outcome is stronger than your desire to stay in your comfort zone. This requires either a change in mindset or a change in circumstance. Changing your mindset is the better choice.
When a change in circumstance spurs you to action, it’s almost always because you no longer have any choice but to do the thing for your own survival. That’s one way to get there, but why make your life harder than it needs to be?
Changing your mindset is mostly about changing the conversation in your head. You need to stop focusing on all the reasons why something won’t work. That’s your subconscious saying “I’m scared” and giving your conscious a face-saving way out.
Instead, the conversation needs to focus on what step can I take now to get closer to the result. When you have that conversation, you look at where you are and where you want to be. Then, you draw a line between them and take the first step. Then the second step. Then however many more steps are needed to get the outcome.
This is a hard thing for people to do. But, do it you must.
One way to quiet your sub-conscious fear voice to constantly look for ways to push beyond your comfort zone. You build up the experience of success doing things that are uncomfortable.
With that experience, stepping out of your comfort zone gets easier and easier to do.
What thing that you’ve been putting off are you going to take action on now? Let us know in the comments.