Categories
Inspiration

3 Reasons I Chose Not To Act (And What I Did About It)

“So, Why Haven’t you?”

These are the words asked by a dear friend recently when I brought up a longtime desire to write more on my blog and perhaps one day write a book. This question hit me right in between the eyes. The very thing I said I wanted to do, I wasn’t doing. And, like a good friend, he was calling me out. He knew he had a point, and so did I.

The question made me want to figure out why I was not acting on the very thing I claimed to want so much. The desire to write was not new, I had thought about and wanted this for a long time. So, why was I eager to do something but not eager to act on it?

1. Perfectionism

While I’ve known for years I have wanted to write and share my story, I have allowed analysis by paralysis to grip my thinking. “I’m waiting for the right time”, “I don’t feel like I have figured out my voice”, and “I am still trying to figure out the best thing to say” were just a few of lines I used to delay taking action. I fooled myself into thinking that somehow additional insight or time was going to be the fix.

In “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader”, Herminia Ibarra writes that insight is an outcome, not an input. In other words, until I sit down and do the thing – as in writing – then how will I ever develop a voice or ideas for what to say? Just starting to take action will lead to developing a voice and future direction of what I want to say and who I want to say it to.

As for timing. I’ve learned that when it comes to pursuing something you want in life, the only “perfect time” for action is now.

2. Doubt

This may or may not be true for you, but rejection is one of my biggest fears. When I feel there is an opportunity that I may not measure up or be acceptable to others, I am gripped. The interesting part is that, as a rule, I am a very confident person. I am stubborn enough to think the I am right in most debates (even though I seldom am) and if I am not looking to gain acceptance from a person or group, I care little of what others think.

I have, for too long, feared that others won’t accept me, my story, or my work. I’ve deceived myself with a narrative that trying will mean I will be rejected and being rejected will mean failure. The reality is that, yes I will be rejected. You may be reading this and not really like what you say. And I am learning that that is OK.

3. Laziness

All of these things have culminated to a whole lot of excuses to stay still, ignore my dreams and act like they don’t exist or that its’s not worth taking the risk. Over time, I allowed laziness to set in and become an unhealthy force in my life. Excuses, lead to laziness, which leads to inaction.

Pushing back and just doing

Since that pointed question from my friend, I have experienced a few other “I’ve had it” moments where I discovered that laziness and inaction has crept into other areas of my life and have become more intentional about improving in those areas.

I have also begun pushing back against my own prior excuses and started taking action. In December, I joined a 30 day writing challenge. I was far from perfect at developing a writing habit, but the process did force me into a position of action. In addition, the challenge also exposed other habits to improve on in order to accomplish more of what I want to do.

What about you? What is that thing you’ve strived for but never seem to get closer on? Are you fooling yourself that if you only had more time money or talent, you could act on it? What’s something you can start today that will get you closer to where you want to be?

Categories
Note

Focusing on today

As a rule, I am very much on board with being all in on the long game, as Gary Vaynerchuk often talks about. This simply means there are few decisions that I will make today that doesn’t take into account the future vision I have for my work and my family. This means I often am thinking 2-3 years ahead, at least.

Categories
Note

Zacchaeus Wesley

The past three weeks have brought about a myriad of changes, challenges, and triumph for my family. Although my wife was not due for another 2 weeks, she gave birth to our 3rd child, a boy, on February 11 at 7:57pm. He is a little person (dwarf) like my wife and I, and we named him Zacchaeus (yes, after the Bible character that you can read about here).

Categories
Note

When It Pours

When it pours

You wake up with stiffness in your aging back. The kids refuse to move as fast as you’d like, which is now making you late for work. You hurry to your car only to hear that dreaded sound, ‘click … click’. In a matter of minutes, your hopeful morning feels as though it is falling apart before your very eyes.

Categories
Note

Thirty One

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As I reflect on my year of being 31 and look ahead to 32, allow me to pay respect to my favorite number 31 of all time, Reggie Miller.

Much of my childhood was spent in Indianapolis during the 1990’s. During that time, the Indiana Pacers enjoyed a run of success that was highlighted by their central figure, Reggie Miller.

Categories
Positive Living

The one iPhone feature every father should know about

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In the span of a few short years, I have gone from a single (and broke) college student, to married with two beautiful children. I cannot begin to tell you how these new roles have totally redefined my purpose in life.

Categories
monday-motivation

What Are You Expecting Of Yourself?

Morning Jog
Photo courtesy of Flickr

Each week, Dan Miller’s 48 Days podcast is a must-listen. Last week, Dan asked a question that really stuck out to me.

What are you expecting of yourself?

Categories
monday-motivation

Hacking Procrastination And Time Management

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We’ve all been there. You may be doing it right now. You find yourself starring at your screen, mindlessly scanning through emails, Facebook, or Twitter. All while that age old feeling builds.

The feeling of work to be done.

Categories
monday-motivation

Your Labor Matters

Most of us think of Labor Day as the annual holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer. By now, most of kids are back in school, and the swimming gear has been put away for yet another year.

Categories
monday-motivation

Who’s With Me?

I have a confession to make.

I am not normal.

I build websites for a living. I love photography. I am a husband to a beautiful woman. A father to an amazing son.

There are a lot of things that I am. Normal is not one of them.