Just Do It

GUEST POST ALERT: Please welcome Marquita Hamilton again to the Thriving Thursday blog.

Just do it.

It’s a cliché now that it’s been adopted by a popular sneaker brand.  But the truth is, it’s also a directive that can be adopted whether we have the expensive shoes or not.  

I have a talent for outthinking myself.  

I will get an idea or set a goal, make a list of what to do to bring it to fruition, then almost immediately begin a second list of reasons why it’s better to wait or foolish to try at all.  Eventually, I’ve thought myself out of taking the first step.  

I’ve done that with lots of things… going to the market, enrolling in a class or workshop, taking a trip, and even writing.  Since I’ve been going to therapy, I’ve learned that I generally do this when there’s some fear or anxiety attached to the task… well, not the supermarket; that one I just hate doing.  But the other stuff, definitely.  

I’ve learned a few tricks to help interrupt that process.  They’re not always successful, but I’ve found myself being able to follow through with first and subsequent steps more often.  Just in case you have moments when you have the same “don’t just do it” tendency, I thought I’d share them with you. 

1. Identify the reason for fear or anxiety.

Are you afraid of not being successful in your endeavor?  Are you anxious about the reception of your efforts or work?  Are you worried that you may have to give something up to begin or gain something new?  Those are all very real concerns, and worthy of consideration when beginning something new or making a life change.  But give equal time considering the alternatives: What if you are successful? What if your work / efforts are well received?  What if what you gain is greater more rewarding than what you’re leaving behind. Don’t allow yourself to quit before beginning without giving equal time to imagining a positive outcome.  

2. Take a defined break.  

Don’t just put off thinking or planning for a “generalized later” time period.  Make an appointment with yourself within a few days or week, that you refuse to break.  Agree with yourself that you will keep that appointment to keep planning and come to it armed with a first step that can be completed that day.  

3. Invite someone else into the process.  

This can accomplish two things: one is to have someone else get jazzed about your idea!  A friend or mentor that will congratulate you on your idea or goal and encourage you to complete it is invaluable.  Their confidence in you will help built your confidence. The other thing that this accomplishes is having someone to whom you can be accountable.  I know, I know… you’re a grown up and don’t have to answer to anyone. But maybe you’re like me… maybe you don’t like disappointing folks or having someone think you’re not going to keep your word or follow through.  Having someone else challenge you to stay the course beyond your comfort zone is a good thing. A word of caution: this same person who challenges you should also be someone who won’t damn you for needing a break, or being nervous or anxious.   

4. Just Do It!  

I mean… you’re scared or nervous, so what.  You’ve reached the end of the break period. Your cheerleader’s on vacation or you couldn’t find one… just do it.  You at least owe yourself a try! If you’re not successful, rather than viewing your attempt as a failure consider it to be information.  You learned what NOT to do next time! Then, try again. You know the adage that idea comes from, so I’m not going to say it.  

Just do it!  

There are always a million reasons to not change, to not do something different, to not try that new great idea.  But there’s one reason to do it that beats them all: That idea… that thing you wanna do? … you were made to do it.  There is no one more uniquely qualified to give your spark to that new venture that will set the world afire!