By: Jess Berger, Regular Contributor
Image from therealkenpatterson.com
Hi. My name is Jess, and I’m a trigger-puller.
Last week I was having a lovely night out with some good friends. As we chatted and chewed, we got on a roll of brainstorming some fun summertime outings: camping, traveling, concert-going, sight-seeing, etc. In no time at all, we had a nice long list of group activities with zero concrete plans of action. As the excitement settled, and the reality of busy schedules and previous commitments set in for all of us, it was clear that without directed effort, none of these ideas would ever come to fruition. Abruptly, one friend turned to me and said, “Jess, you be in charge! You’re a trigger-puller; if you plan it, it will definitely happen.”
At first I giggled at my new label, “trigger-puller,” but when I began to think about it, my friend was spot on. Indeed, I do make plans and follow through on the necessary action steps to bring them to life. But my experience as a coach has shown me that most people talk a big game, but rarely walk their talk. So what gives?
Anthony Robbins, a master action-taker explains, "Often we are caught in a mental trap of seeing enormously successful people and thinking they are where they are because they have some special gift. Yet a closer look shows that the greatest gift that extraordinarily successful people have over the average person is their ability to get themselves to take action."
Visioning is a critical first step that allows us to imagine the joy and fulfillment of a mission accomplished. The good news is that as long as you have a brain, you can engage in the visioning process (which is really just a fancy way of saying dreaming so big you can hardly keep from jumping up and down!). The bad news is that dreaming big can trigger some major overwhelm and fear which ultimately block us from getting into action at all. (Say “I” if this sounds familiar...)
If you have ever felt stuck, unmotivated, or confused about how to turn your dreams into reality, you’re not alone. Sometimes even the smallest of visions have an uncanny ability to freeze us in our tracks. And of course, in true coaching fashion, my immediate response is, “So what can you DO about it?!” The next time you have a goal, idea, or vision you want to tackle, try these simple strategies on for size:
1. Break it down: Big dreams, projects, or goals can’t be accomplished overnight. Grand plans like “building a website” or “writing a research paper” can be easily broken down into smaller, manageable tasks. Assign yourself one small task per day to defend against overwhelm and paralysis.
2. Focus on the task at hand: Your focus plays a huge role in your ability to take action. Even after you’ve broken your project down into bite sized pieces, if you continue to focus on all of the pieces at once, or attempt to multitask in hopes of streamlining, your attention will be divided and nothing will get accomplished. Focus on one action, and only one action, at a time.
3. Start before you’re ready: Everyone wants to feel ready before they dive into action. We want to have all the right resources, education, financing, research, confidence, experience, etc. before we actually DO anything. This instinct does make sense, but unfortunately it’s a mindset that will keep you stuck. Challenge yourself to create an action plan and jump in, even if you feel uncomfortable. Discomfort in the name of accomplishment is worth it every time!
About Jess: Jess Berger is a Certified Teen Girl Life Coach who supports girls in maximizing their potential. Jess' coaching provides girls a space to deepen their self-awareness and truly value themselves as confident, powerful and insightful young women. For more info on Jess and her process, check out her website here: www.MyCoachJess.com