Why Taking Action is Key in Transformation
No Matter How Small the Step
One of my favorites distinctions from Master Coach Steve Chandler is Information versus Transformation. It’s all about how we can take in a lot of information from a lot of different places, but until we are willing to get the feedback the universe is sending us – which requires us to step outside of our comfort zone – only then is transformation possible. And, it doesn’t matter how small the step, we just have to take one.
This distinction, I love mostly because it causes me to reflect on my own process. It wasn’t until age 45 when I began taking intentional action to transform my life and really did begin to see real results. Today, just five years later, my life looks totally and completely different. And I would add, it happened from the inside out.
I was always a Spiritual seeker. Since the age of 15 I read a lot of books, attended a lot of workshops and listened to a lot of audio recordings, but I was taking it in as information, not really letting much of it penetrate and interact with my psyche in a meaningful way.
When you’re talking about your own blossoming as a human being, your own self-realization, simply taking in information from even the best sources are not going to have much impact. And this is why nothing really changed for me then until I starting taking steps, which I’ll cover in a moment.
Many of my clients share the same phenomenon. They’re well-read… but they haven’t actually taken the necessary actions towards achieving their ultimate desires.
Steve gives the best analogy to this, and it’s around when someone wants to learn to play the piano. You can read about it for years. You can study music and even listen to the piano being played. You can watch tutorials and listen to educational programming. But then, if you are invited to the stage to demonstrate what you have learned, you’d likely be in the shit. Playing the piano requires practical application. It requires making mistakes and being open to feedback, so you can tweak your process until your fingers are flying over the keys with ease and then you are sharing beautiful music.
The same is true for our life. READING about how to make changes to this life versus DOING it. I think Nike said it best, right? But how many people read those ads that say “Just do it” and think, “Ah, that’s for somebody else. That’s for the doers.”
In order to bring forward our dreams, we need to take steps in that direction. To experience change, we need to apply what we are reading or learning or listening to by doing something, by taking action. Even if we don’t yet know how, we need to get into motion. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has Genius, Power and Imagination in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe
I hear from a lot of clients that they read this book and they read that book and they took this seminar and that workshop, yet nothing changes for them. If you are not willing to risk the practical application of new ideas and concepts, new strategies, techniques, tools, etc. by doing something with the information you’re learning, then you are going to remain stuck.
Why don’t you take action then? Perhaps you don’t know how, or you are afraid. Perhaps you are unmotivated. Perhaps, even though you may be experiencing a great deal of discontent in your current situation, you find yourself in a place of familiarity. Even if you are uncomfortable and unhappy it’s easier to stay in that space because it’s familiar, or “the devil you know.”
Whether you know it or not, any time you’ve progressed in your life, anytime you’ve strived and achieved something amazing, any time you’ve transformed, it’s happened outside your comfort zone. This is the place beyond where we typically don’t go very often. And, this is precisely why our ego doesn’t like going there. It thinks it’s helping us by protecting us, but nothing worth getting comes to us without some risk or without some growth.
I recommend the following to encourage transformation:
- Acknowledge the need within yourself to go beyond merely reading and listening
- Step outside of your familiar box
- Take just one little tiny step (combine this with #2?)
- Be willing to take a risk
- Be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become (Charles Du Bos)
- Acknowledge yourself for taking a step
- Take another step
- And another.
What makes transformation transformative is your willingness to get out of your comfort zone. Your ability to be uncomfortable, to risk looking like a fool, to be willing to fail. Placing yourself in a vulnerable, perhaps scary place is the very place that opens you up to feedback from the universe is the only way transformation can occur. Dr’s Ron and Mary Hulnick call this place “The Divine Unknowing.” It’s the place that strengthens our inner compass and builds the muscle of self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. These are natural bi-products of transcending our fear into courage. They are the natural gifts we receive when we are willing to take action, embrace our aliveness, look at failure as feedback and step out of our comfort zone.
If you are seeking transformation to take action in shifting your life into a place of more joy, fulfillment, happiness and aliveness – reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got a comprehensive plan that can assist you in supporting how you want to experience your life.
Taking action is the only way we can get feedback from life and make necessary course corrections along the way. And, it doesn’t matter how small the step.