Overcoming Fear and Inaction

September 6, 2011 — Leave a comment

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare” Ancient Proverb

The lack of action is one of the biggest killers in business. You can have a clear vision and know what and how to accomplish that goal but if you take no action nothing gets done.

What keeps us from taking action?

Some people are just lazy so they never get around to doing what they know they need to do. “The lazy desires and yet has nothing”. (Proverbs 13:4) But in the business world, as far as owners go, this is a rare condition.

The more common condition is they are too busy to take action. You can be too busy doing so many urgent tasks that you don’t take action on the important tasks that will have the greatest impact on your business.

We need to learn how to set priorities and say NO to many things so we can do the most important things.

Fear is a big hindrance to action. Fear can immobilize us and keep us from accomplishing the tasks that need to get done.

I have a certain amount of experience in this area. In 2008 I went through a series of trials that crippled me mentally and emotionally for a season, and the time of recovery was slow and at times very frustrating. In the process I gained some personal insight into how fear paralyzes a person. Up to that point I was a go getter having started a dozen businesses, been involved in ministry and raising 12 children. One of the great things I learned in going through my trial was empathy, before I would tell someone just to gut it up and get going but I learned through personal failure that it isn’t always that easy.

What are we afraid of?

We can be afraid of failure, that our decision will bring ridicule raining down on us. We can be afraid of success thinking I don’t deserve for this to work out. Perfectionism can keep us from getting the ball rolling. And then there can be those irrational and unknown fears that come on us like a dark cloud that drives us under cover and incapacitates us.

How do we overcome fear?

1. Know that you are not alone and that many successful people have battled the same things and have come through to the other end.

2. Ask for help and prayer. Don’t try to be the strong one. Look for encouragement from those who have experienced fear and won the battle. “But encourage one another daily less any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews

3. Read inspirational and motivational books. They can give you a few minutes of reprieve from the battle in your mind and stir up hope within you.

4. Drive this idea into your mind. “Imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time.”

5. Get clear what your vision and calling is and take time to think deeply about that on a regular basis

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2Timothy 1:7

Battling procrastination

Sometimes it’s the overwhelming picture of what we need to get done that causes to freeze up. Here are some simple steps to help you overcome that problem.

1. Take your big project and break it down into 5 to 10 minutes tasks, choose a task and do it right now. Often doing something simple and easy will motivate us to keep moving and before you know it, you’re half way there.

2. Learn how to make the pain of inaction greater than the pain of action. Visualize the pleasure and satisfaction of accomplishing the task that is intimidating you. How will you feel once it is done? Make a movie of your joy and satisfaction of getting it done.

Now dwell for a while on the pain you feel, right now, because you’ve put it off; the depression, discouragement, feeling dumb and overwhelmed.

Do you want to be in control? Which feelings do you want to have?

Now take a small action step that moves you toward your goal. You’ll be surprised at how it motivates you to take even more action.

The pain of regret is always greater than the pain of action. There is less pain in trying and failing than in the pain of regretting having never tried.

Nothing scatters fear and anxiety quicker than action.

“Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.” Lloyd Jones

 

Jeff

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