The time is never right… So, what are you waiting for? Many of us spend more time thinking about the powerful leaps we want to take in our lives, than we do with actually propelling ourselves into action. Every day, we are surrounded by opportunity, but we often take our time for granted, underestimate our abilities, and let fear color our perception of the current situation.
Overthinking is a national epidemic among young and middle aged adults, but grows less debilitating the older we get. 73% of 25 – 35 year-olds overthink compared to 52% of 45 – 55 year-olds. Overthinking contributes to anxiety, depression, and interferes with our ability to problem solve.
When we’ve been stung by the procrastination bee, we let our creative energy and dreams build up in our minds until the pressure surmounts our ability to break through it. Whether the idea you’re wrestling with is a creative project, a career shift, a big move, or ending a relationship, the longer it lives in your head, the scarier it will become.
What does it mean to “adrenalize”?
At its core, to adrenalize means to excite, to stimulate, to activate. Epinephrine is another name for adrenaline. It is a stimulant, and while high doses can be harmful to our bodies, in the form of medication it’s used to treat severe allergic reactions. But, when it comes to harnessing its power to catapult us out of procrastination with enthusiasm, it’s a life saver.
Adrenalizing our ability to take action occurs on both an internal level with our mindset, and on an external level with our routines and the tools that trigger the physical sensation of being energized in our body. To burst through the fog of overthinking, we need to focus on the things that genuinely pique our interest and choose an intention that holds real meaning for us. If we continually stimulate that perspective, over the voice of fear, we will stoke the fire of our passion and create organic momentum that builds upon itself.
Instead, many of us fear our failure so deeply that we fail to try at all. We pour ice water over the flames of our excitement. We give into self-doubt and sabotage our momentum.
There are so many excuses that the voice of fear will make to prevent us from starting or sticking with something. Our minds process this fear as logical or realistic information and so we often give it far more weight than it deserves. Fear is an important advisor to help us avoid danger. But, when we allow fear to become the CEO and call the shots, our excuses are often just barriers to us achieving our goals rather than a valid threat.
When was the last time you made an excuse, and it robbed you of success?
Here are 7 ways to adrenalize your ability to take action:
- Stop overthinking it
I hate to break it to you, but your thoughts are getting in the way. The more mental energy you expend circling around a problem or a goal from every possible angle, again, and again, and again… is only stirring up more dust in your mind. It’s making it harder for you to perceive the situation accurately, which creates more fear and stress.
- Stop the distractions
It starts out innocently. A five-minute scroll on Instagram. A twenty-minute TV break. It spirals into you hour after hour, day after day, always finding something else that feels more important than making real progress. Of course, breaks are healthy and you don’t need to burn yourself out to accomplish something massive overnight. But this is why making continual progress in small steps is so healthy and important.
- Stop choosing the easy thing to do instead of what you should do
Again, if you’re constantly finding something else to do that feels easier because you’re not motivated to do what you know you should, this is your reminder to knock it off. Be honest with yourself, if what you’re pushing off just doesn’t matter to you, then don’t waste your time. However, if it really does mean something to you and it’s just the fear, laziness, or overwhelm steering you away, then it’s time to take control of your life.
- Be intentional
Continuously get clear on what matters most to you. What do you value? If this task you’re failing to take action on is one of those things, then it’s critical that you prioritize it. The more you can focus on why this is important to you and remember what you’re hoping to experience on the other side of this task, the easier it will be to push through.
- Jump in the water
Dipping your toe in will take forever and only breed more excuses. In situations like this, the best thing to do is just jump right in. Do the work you can prepare yourself, mentally and physically, but beyond that, you need to trust and hit the ground running.
- Change your perspective on failure
If the idea of failing creates roadblocks to your momentum, then you need to ditch that perspective. Instead, see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Think of it as another step to mastery – because it really is. Beating yourself up about failures or mistakes along the way will only slow you down.
- Just start
If it feels “easier said than done”, that’s probably because you spend more time saying it than just doing it! As they say, imperfect action is better than no action at all. Whether you block out 30 minutes a day to sit down and tackle the beast in front of you, you book that trip, you quit that job, or you have that difficult conversation, the only way out is through. The quicker you start, the quicker you can be onto the other side.
You have everything in you that you need to take action, accomplish big things, and make the hard moves in life. Don’t let fear and excuses take away your opportunity to experience success and true fulfillment.
Tom Marino is a highly respected thought-leader, life transition coach, speaker, and author. He helps high achievers navigate seasons of transition by recognizing the power of their choices. His book, Bridge to Change, guides you through the simple process of transformation that will catalyze a greater appreciation and enthusiasm for your life. He is the host of The Adrenalized Life Podcast and the Tom Marino Radio Show on 103.9FM LI News Radio. Learn more about his work at www.tommarino.com, on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.