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“The cycle of creative action begins with a concept we carry in our minds of what we wish to do. The next step is to outline on paper some plan of how to accomplish this. The final step is action in carrying out the plan.” – Harold Klemp – The Language of Soul

Stephen Covey discusses the first and second creation in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. He discusses this while covering the second habit: Begin with the End in Mind. The first creation is what we visualize in our mind. It is the pictures, sounds, feelings, and smells of our end product. This end product could be a goal, a destination, or a situation. The second creation is when we breathe life into the first creation by taking all the actions necessary to make our vision a reality.

If you examine Harold Klemp’s process, it is simple. Visualize. Plan. Act. If this were so simple, why do so many people fail to accomplish their goals? My guess is that they can visualize a better life, but ignore the planning and acting parts of this equation.

What’s the reason? Why do people dream about things to do, achieve, or accomplish, yet fail to do anything about these dreams? FEAR.

We fear trying new things. We fear failing. We fear we aren’t good enough. We fear we lack the skills, time, or money. We fear what our social network will think. We are so fearful of these things we continue to dream and hunger for change, but just don’t get around to it. We are so comfortable with our current situations that we prefer this comfort zone, rather than those scary “wilds” outside that comfort zone. These wilds are so scary we just can’t step into them to pursue something that could transform our lives for the better.

How do we overcome this? First, your desire has to be stronger than the fear that is holding you back. When your desire is stronger than fear, you’ll act. Second, your current circumstances are no longer comfortable. Here, your discomfort outweighs the fear you have of the wilds.

You are the only person who can make a decision to act. You are the only person that can risk venturing into the wilds to find your personal pot of gold.

One thing you can do, if you are still hesitant is to take small steps into the wild. If you have a good visual of what you want, start with a brainstorming session. Don’t commit to anything, just begin exploring what you would have to do if you ever got around to doing something. This is the first step. Once you begin brainstorming and thinking about potential solutions, the wilds will be less intimidating. They will be less scary because your brainstorming session will begin to show you what actions you could take to get where you are going. In other words, the wilds become more familiar because you are starting to chart a map through the wilds to your vision or goal (plan).

Once you have brainstormed, you can begin to evaluate and organize these steps into an action plan. Then all you have to do is the act. This action is like sticking your toes in the cold water. Commit to taking one action on your list. Once you’ve done this, take another, and another. Before you know it, you’ll be closer to your goal and those scary wilds will be less intimidating. You are acting and getting closer to your destination.

Eliminate fear by taking small steps. Brainstorm, plan, take small actions. You will bring that dream into reality. The first time you explore the wilds, it will be uncomfortable, but the more you do it, even if they are small excursions, the more this discomfort will dissipate. The territory you thought was scary is not so bad. In fact, it is less dangerous than the predictable, boring, and complacent comfort zone you now occupy.

The people that attain their dreams are not better than you. They just took a leap of faith before you did. They have failed more than you have been comfortable with. They have failed so many times, failure no longer has a hold on them. They’ve figured out what everyone figures out. Failure is part of the growth process. You’ll never learn or do something new without screwing up. So enjoy failure. Enjoy the process. Every time you fail you learn something–you learn what doesn’t work.

I hope you have a terrific Wednesday!

Until next time…