I don't know what to do

I don’t know what to do.

One of the biggest barriers to achieving what you want, both professionally and personally, is knowing how to turn intentions (I want a promotion, I want to feel confident, I want to be a more effective communicator, I want to change careers, take on a new project, speak up, etc) into action.

A common excuse is – I don’t know what to do.

First up, I’ll call this one out for what it is. It’s a lie.

I’m pretty sure you do know what to do-you just don’t like the thought of doing that thing. And, if you honestly don’t know what to do, it can be as simple as googling it to find out. For example:

  • How to be more productive – google results 191,000,000
  • How to be more confident – google results 410,000,000
  • How to get promoted – google results 285,000,000

So not knowing what to do or how to start isn’t the ‘real’ problem. This excuse is really just masking the fact that you don’t want to do the thing you need to do – either due to fear (it won’t work, I’m not good enough) or not being fully committed to your goal or outcome (because it requires you to change and step out of your comfort zone.)

To work through this excuse, the first thing to do is uncover the thoughts you have about yourself and this goal. Write those thoughts down.

Now, imagine you’ve achieved this ‘thing’. What thoughts do you have about yourself now you’ve achieved it? What did you tell yourself on the way to achieving that goal? How do you feel now you’ve achieved this?

Practice these thoughts and step into this feeling regularly. Find the smallest, most simplest thing to do that will move you towards your outcome. Action breeds more action which breeds motivation.

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