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In my virtual training presentation to fellow classmates recently, I asked them to read the cartoon (pictured above) and then answer the following poll question.

What is stopping you from taking action on your goals?

Among a list of choices, the entire class answered they’re waiting for something to happen. This excuse could be due to several reasons, whether the goals pertain to a career, lifestyle, relationship, or some other desire.

Possibly we are waiting for permission and hoping someone will come along and give it to us, like in grade school when some of us had to ask for permission to do just about anything, including going to the bathroom. Well, you have permission!

Another reason for not taking action is that we’re waiting for some inspiration that will motivate us.

“Trust your gut feeling about things, listen to what others are saying, and look at the results of your actions. Once you know the truth, you can set about taking actions to improve. Everyone will be better off for it.” – Jack Canfield, co-author of The Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul series, as well as thought leader in human potential

Don’t let another day go by, dismissing the possibilities of fulfilling your goals. As shown in the cartoon, we get bogged down in overanalyzing a situation, planning too much, and reorganizing our response to what it is we need to do. Sadly, many years may pass us by, realizing “if only” we had acted on what we truly set out to do.

Let’s explore another key point. What have we got to risk by moving forward? You could understand that one outcome would be the actions will not work out the way you thought or had intended. Sometimes you are not going to know that until you take action.

Imagine that everything does work out when you take action! Let’s use an example of going back to school to get an M.B.A.

To stop waiting for something to happen, know when to ask for help. Here’s what you can do.

Get clarity on your goal

Ask yourself, what are the questions you still have? You can do this exercise with a friend or partner. Do you need to obtain a school loan or can you finance your education from savings? Do you need to keep working and is there a graduate school that offers you a weekend or evening program? Make sure you are clear what the questions are and what will be the result of taking positive steps to gain clarity. The following decision tree analysis can help breakdown your questions and reduce uncertainties. Plug in your particular decision, choices, and results to obtain answers.

 

decision-tree-decision-analysis

Ask for help

Most often we don’t ask for help because it may be perceived as we don’t know what we’re doing. In fact, asking for help is the main idea in collaborating with others. Someone else may have more expertise who can help expedite your research, or offer a skill that you may not have. You can turn this situation into a collaboration or asking for help as an opportunity to team up with others.

Talk with a trusting friend, partner, or adviser

As soon as you begin talking with someone else about a situation, this will seem less overwhelming. Your fear of taking action may not seem as difficult when you have to justify your actions. An adviser would ask what it is you’d like to do and why do you want to achieve it. For example, if your wondering whether going back to school for an M.B.A. degree is worth your time and money. Your adviser would review with you the statistics of earnings potential and career choices. Your trusting friend or partner who may know you well will be supportive and help you see yourself taking on new career challenges. See Have a Heart Talk.

I am available for an introductory half-hour consultation for individuals. For groups, I offer a one-hour introductory session to ask questions, and to become better informed about my workshops on topics such as goal setting and taking action. Contact me at ann@annmaugustine.com and let’s start the conversation.

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To answer your questions and to get in touch, contact Ann at (561) 414-6503 or ann@annmaugustine.com.