I like words. I like to write about life, talk about feelings, and think lots of thoughts about why things are the way they are.
I am less likely to do than I am to say.
Last week, when I was thinking about my jealousy over other people’s success, I recalled the most basic method for overcoming such feelings: concentrate on your own work. Sounds simple enough, but when I turn my eye towards my own efforts and progress, I often get caught up in thinking and writing and talking about them.
Am I good enough to succeed? I wonder.
Are my goals authentic? I ask.
What’s wrong with me?
I spend time worrying about what’s wrong with me, and then more time convincing myself that I am fine. It’s a long and arduous process that can feel like success when it’s over.
But endless pondering and analyzing is not enough to affect real change or make substantial progress. While the pen is mighty, it is also a favorite form of procrastination and a convenient way to distract myself from all that I’m not doing.
The scary things. The tedious things. The hard and monotonous and grown-up things that must be done if we want to have what others have and be who we imagine ourselves to be.
I say this without judgment: I am not good at follow through.
I love planning, dreaming, creating systems, and making grand announcements. I don’t like picking up the phone, pulling out the paperwork, or sitting my butt in the chair.
Last week I decided to be better than that.
No, to do better than that.
The simple truth is that I am good enough, and I know it. I’ve spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in therapy, and not a moment or a penny has been wasted. I am worthy and there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s nothing inherently broken on the inside, no mysterious flaw that keeps me from success or achievement.
Neither am I lacking the know-how. I don’t know everything, but I know enough. I’ve read the books, attended the conferences, and taken the classes necessary. I don’t need more research to propel me forward right now.
The only thing left is to do.
I started thinking about how I might be able to create a habit of doing what must be done. When creating any habit, I know that repetition and consistency are key. What if, I wondered, I resolved to take action in some meaningful way every single day?
I decided to test out my idea last week. I was curious if the idea was at all practical; would I run out of actions to take? Would the structure of a “project” interfere with the doing or actually push me over that initial hump?
I completed the unpleasant assignment. I typed the chapters. I followed through on my promise to teach my daughter to sew. I contacted potential sponsors for a PTA event. I did the things that were not necessarily unpleasant, but that required me to walk more than talk.
I’ve decided to continue.
100 Days of Action
For the next 100 days, I’ll take action. Some will be big, some will be small. Some will be for work, some for money, some for clarity, some for community, and some for family. Some will simply be to make more space in my medicine cabinet. The goal itself is not the focus but rather becoming the person who does what is necessary.
My plan is to record the actions with a snapshot and collect the photos on Flickr and Facebook. I want to be able to look back on what 100 small steps can create. Also, I think I’m more likely to force myself to find one action to take every single day if I know I’m keeping track and sharing the evidence.
So, here we go. 100 days of action. 100 steps taken and not just talked about.
Here’s to walking the walk.