Ever had a thought hang around for months or even years? I’m not talking about everyday thoughts like, “Oh, I should go back to the gym,” or “I should call the dentist and make an appointment,” I’m talking about the bigger thoughts; the much bigger thoughts. The ones you obsess about in secret.
You know, the kind that linger for what seems like an eternity. For example, “I’m going to run my own company one day,” or “I’m going to go back to school and get my degree,” or “I’m going to invent that app…” Those kinds of thoughts.
The kind of thoughts we think about often, but file in the back of our mind and keep promising ourselves that “someday” we’ll bite the bullet and take action. But in reality, we allow these dreams to collect dust somewhere in a dark corner of our minds. Why? Because we’re scared. Scared we’ll fail. Terrified to death that others will laugh at our dreams and joke about us behind our backs at the dinner table.
So, instead of taking the plunge into the deep unknown we “play it safe." We quietly live a life of mediocrity, secretly dying inside, yearning for more but we're too scared to actually do anything about our goals; too afraid to “pull the trigger.”
And what is that trigger I’m referring to? I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s action. It’s surprising just how many people are scared to actually take steps to move toward their goals.
They’ll talk about their dreams. They may even write them down in a journal, or lay under the stars on the hood of their car and tell them to their best friend or their sweetheart. But, the point where people stall is the action part.
For many people, actually “doing” something – actually leaving their comfort zone is the most uncomfortable part of the whole dream realization process. After all, I like most people, have been there so I speak from firsthand experience and observation.
Leaving the comfort zone is where so many people fall on their face, tuck their tail in between their legs and run back home to their “comfortable” life, no matter how much they detest the monotony of it.
Once people actually step outside of their comfort zones, the scary goes away rather quickly. They become more comfortable not only by doing, but by familiarizing themselves with an area. And this applies to all aspects of life. That being said, I'm going to break down the "success formula" into simple, actionable steps...
Step 1: Get Comfortable With the Uncomfortable
When we first approach new things, new challenges, and new experiences, we don’t have sufficient data to arrive at the appropriate decisions. So, we’re naturally hesitant and unsure of ourselves. We’re uncertain and we don’t want to make a mistake or be wrong. We're afraid of looking foolish.
Interestingly, once we thoroughly research an area of interest and learn about it, we can control it and command it. This process applies to any aspect of our lives – schooling, computers, learning a new job or skill etc.
Step 2: Confront the Area
In order to command or control any area of our lives, we must first be able to confront it. We must be willing to learn about it. I’m not talking about “dabbling” or only doing 50 percent; I’m talking about commanding it, dominating it. Owning it.
Want to learn how to sell? Read every book you can get your hands on about selling. Take sales training courses, watch sales webinars – devour everything you can find about selling.
Take responsibility for an area of interest and learn all about it. Don’t blame your lack of time, your spouse or your kids, or anyone else for not making it happen up until this point. Only you can make it happen; your success comes down to shifting your mindset and taking full responsibility for your future.
Step 3: Take Action
Action plays a critical role in the process of transforming goals into reality. You can earn multiple degrees and read hundreds of books but they’re useless if you don’t go out there and put the pedal to the metal. You can “talk” about losing weight for years, or you can change your diet and hit the gym and actually do it.
Simply put, you can’t expect to “minor” in something and be a raging success. It’s going to take a lot more focus and effort on your part to transform your dreams into a reality – but it’s completely doable.
You will have to invest an enormous amount of energy and effort in order to succeed; more than you ever imagined, but the universe has a magic way of rewarding those who don’t give up on their dreams.
Step 4: Refine Your Craft
Before I became a writer, I was an art teacher. I was trained in the “method of the Renaissance” by a wonderful art school in Los Angeles. I spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours perfecting my craft. From an outsider’s perspective, I made it look easy, but people didn’t see all of the hours and hours of hard work I put into my fine art training. The concept of hard work applies to every area of life; no pain no gain.
Whatever you pursue in life, be it business ownership, cooking, marriage, parenting, acting, teaching, or being a manager, you must continue refining and perfecting your craft. Strive for excellence, and you’ll be bulletproof.
Success in any field or endeavor comes down to this formula:
- Confront the area; step outside of your comfort zone.
- Educate yourself on the subject until you command it.
- Take an astronomical amount action.
- Continuously practice and refine your craft.
- Don’t give up on your goal, practice the art of persistence.
- Continue educating yourself on the subject, especially as technology advances.
- Always continue learning and growing.
- Strive for excellence; mediocre never cuts it.
Do you have something that you’re dying to do but you’re scared to do it? Or, perhaps something is holding you back, and you don’t know what it is. If fear of failure is keeping you in your comfort zone, or if you just don’t know where to start, follow the above formula for success.
The "formula" is shockingly simple, and yet so effective. Accept the fact that the only thing holding you back from achieving your goals is you, and watch how quickly your life turns around. I dare you to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and start enjoying the life you deserve.
Elainna Ciaramella is an independent journalist, business blogger, and ghostwriter for entrepreneurs and business professionals nationwide. She has written extensively on the topics of business, entrepreneurship, law, and medicine. She is well-versed in search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and Instagram.
Originally published on LinkedIn.