Last weekend at the Santa Cruz Pride Parade, I was reminded how literally “jumping into action” is sometimes the best way of starting something. I was enjoying the enthusiasm, rallies, and music of the all the organizations, groups and congregations in the parade. There was one, a veteran’s group, who was carrying a huge 20×10 foot American Flag. As it passed by, I was startled by a woman exclaiming, “oh no!” and looked to see a woman running over to grab her two year old daughter who had leapt onto the “floating” Flag.
Girl. Leapt. ON. The. FLAG!
While I took delight in the shock she created, I also loved that she did what she wanted without even thinking or asking about it. Ahhh, the essence of being a toddler. She was exactly the inspiration I needed – that good ole kick-in-the-pants – to do something I’ve been thinking about for months: start my website.
I’ve been coaching for a year now and the idea of my website has been percolating constantly in my mind with nothing to show for it. You know, I’ve been waiting for this to happen or that to finish or I just needed more information. Believe me, there was always a reason NOT to do it. That you’re reading this is proof of my “doing” success. Besides being inspired by a 2-year old (children always inspire me), there were key elements that guided me from “thinking” to “doing.”
We all want things in life. For me, I learned that what makes the difference in actually achieving what I want is my commitment to it. Commitment is a promise to myself to do whatever it takes to achieve that end-goal. When I committed to being a coach that meant embracing it as a profession AND a business (yikes!) – now there was no turning back.
Stop Thinking so Much
My mind was constantly spinning with “shoulds” and ideas that kept me up at night. My thinking, while brilliant, was worthless if I couldn’t DO ANYTHING with it. Of course, the more I kept everything in my head, the more it regularly changed and morphed and the less I felt I could actually do. I was overwhelmed with how I was going to get everything in place and if I was ever going to be ready. Honestly? I was never going to feel ready. When I finally realized I had to let go of “not being ready,” I decided to start with the baby steps of doing. I started writing. I made appointments. I shared drafts with people. I set deadlines and organized my time. I let go of my ego, got out of my head (so claustrophobic anyway) and started with baby steps.
Have a Champion
Some people have mentors, teachers, parents, or friends who care about us and want to see us happy. Champions are a bit different. They are the people who have faith in you and your ability to be a rock star without wanting something in return. They are honest, constructive (kick your ass when you need it) and hold you accountable. Rather than being invested with an outcome, they simply want you to TRY. Think about the people you have in your life. Who can you ask to be your champion? Share with them your goal or dream and ask them to hold you accountable for your “doing” around it. Chances are, they’ll be delighted that you’ve asked them for support.
Being Open to Failing
Fear of failure many times keeps us from doing what we truly want. For me, staying in my head can be safe. I mean, how can I fail by thinking, learning, and rehearsing all the ins and outs of it? In fact, I’m adding to the plan, right? The reality is, I’m going nowhere while at the same time mentally rehearsing disaster. When it came to my business, I told myself, “I don’t need a website right now anyway. I’m fine without it.” The reality is, I was okay if things didn’t work out because I would be the only one who really knew it…it was like staying in the closet. With a website, it would be public knowledge. It was like coming out again, waiting for people to reject me. Oh the horror! Wait, what was it like when I came out of the closet? Oh yeah, people embraced me. I was totally loved. Nothing bad happened. I stepped into the more authentic me. So same thing here. This profession is what I want and by embracing it completely means being open to failing at it. What is that saying? “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” So for me, failing means learning what to do better next time.
What helps you transition from thinking to doing? Successes? Tips? Please share what you think and welcome to Tanya Beat Coaching!
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Love the energy of your post and the ways in which your story affirms your strength, confidence, and I am sure ability as a coach. Jump into that flag!
Thank you Ric! I’m learning more about more about the benefits of just jumping into things before being “ready.” It’s been a tremendous learning experience!
This post is exactly what I needed to read as I am attempting to embark on a new profession myself, a yoga instructor. I’m certified but terrified to actually teach (what if I suck or worse hurt someone!). Self confidence or lack of it gets in my way. But as you I mentioned, I am committed so I just need to stop thinking so much, find a champion and be ok with failing. I’m on it! Thanks for the motivation Tanya 🙂
And have FUN! For me, coaching is so much fun and I look forward to it every day. I’m excited for you in your new venture. I would love to learn how your first class goes – good luck!