This is pillar #4 of a 5 pillar series that I’m writing for adventurous risk-takers looking to change their lives by taking more chances.
Anyone can do something crazy, but it takes a little more finesse to do it great and the steps aren’t as well known as you might think.
Be sure to sign up for free updates to keep up with the lessons and get some unpopular but very effective knowledge about turning your scary ideas into reality.
- Pillar #1: Embrace Uncertainty
- Pillar #2: Forget About the Odds
- Pillar #3: Make A Plan With an Escape Hatch
- Pillar #4: Make the Leap
- Pillar #5: Throw Away Plan B
Make the Leap
You’ve learned to embrace risk, forget about all the odds against you, and to plan on tossing your plan. The next logical step in the process then, of course, is to execute it. It’s easy to understand, but don’t be too surprised if the easiest part of the process to understand is absolutely the most difficult to actually do.
When you’re finally standing at the ledge and its time to act, a lot of the latent concerns that you thought you’d dealt with all of a sudden come back to confront you again. Wave hello to your lizard brain, because there he is.
It could be a harmless comment from a friend asking you how it’s coming along. Maybe at the last minute you realize that there’s a better way to do it and now you want to work that into your plan. Maybe you’re second guessing whether you should even be taking on such a crazy idea. Either way, the fear is back and you’re unsure of yourself again.
I don’t know if there’s a way to avoid this type of last-minute, cold-feet syndrome. If there is, I haven’t found it. In fact, I nearly lose my breath every single time I hit publish and release an article for you to read. I’m even struggling right now as I get ready to send this post out to the world.
What if you hate it? Even worse, what if you ignore it? I thought I’d gotten past this, but without fail, there it is again.
Don’t panic about your panic.
This is just your friend, Mr. Lizard Brain (or in my case, Sal), giving you one last opportunity for self-sabotage. Your best bet is to simply thank him for his concern, take one last breath, and remind yourself that you’ve already committed to this. Then get on with it.
Pull the trigger. Push the button. Make the call. Take the leap. Do whatever the hell it is you have to do to set the plan in motion.
[callout]Remember: Ideas have no power; actions do. Everybody, and I do mean everybody, has world changing ideas. But very few of those ideas will ever get their chance to actually change the world. If you have one, and I know you do, it is your responsibility, your duty, to unleash it.[/callout]
Ideas are plentiful. Actions are scarce. What’s scarce is valuable. You want what’s valuable.
If you know that you’re going to have a hard time following through on your own, I highly recommend public accountability. Tell your family what your plan is. Tell your friends. Tell complete strangers if you want to. Get your plans out there.
You’re not looking for advice (you’ll get plenty of it anyway), and you’re not looking for validation (everyone will be too scared to give it). You’re just looking for people that will occasionally ask you, “Hey, how’s that coming along?”
I had a friend, we’ll call him Mark, who is a fountain of really amazing ideas.
Every time I see him, he’s got the answer to one of life’s big problems. I’m not exaggerating either. When he’s not coming up with new ways to solve global warming, he’s figuring out how to make tons of money helping people with very real problems.
Here’s the thing though, and it pains me to say it: Mark is never going to do any of those things.
He has no follow through. He gets a kick out of coming up with great ideas, but he lacks completely the motivation to turn them into reality. The ideas flow freely to him like they do to most of us, but taking the action to actually transform them into a real movement or product is hard work and he’s pretty averse to that idea.
Let me be really, really clear:
Your world changing ideas that came to you in a 5 second fit of brilliance will take tons and tons of really hard work to get them to exist outside of your head.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can do it little by little and making that initial leap is what gets it all started.
Most of the time, just having someone to ask you about it is enough to motivate yourself to follow through. If you’re particularly masochistic, you might even tell your biggest critics. The “I’ll show them” attitude can be hugely successful for the right people.
Danger: You should know already if you’re the type that will benefit from this approach. If you have to ask yourself if this is you, it isn’t, and you should not use this method. It will zap your energy and blow up in your face. I’m definitely not this type of person, so I tend to carefully choose who I share my plans with.
Whatever it takes, you must make the last step to set your plans in motion. You’ve come too far now to waste all that effort.
Whatever the odds are that you’ve ignored, they’re insurmountable without action.
If you want to increase your odds of taking action in the face of fear, try setting your plan so that you have to stop it rather than start it. Instead of saying, “On this day, I’m going to do this,” say “On this day, I’ll have to stop myself from doing this.”
Maybe that means buying a plane ticket. Maybe it means telling the world what you’re launching. Whatever it is, make it automatic so that on the big day you have to turn it offrather than turn it on.
Remember, your fate is not set just because you flipped the switch. Taking the leap is the first step to testing and tweaking your plan to success. The possibilities are endless now.
You’ll never have all the answers until you commit to asking all the questions. So push the button and get to work.