I buy a lot of books. A lot. I download them. I get them in audio. I frequent the bookstore.

Martha Beck jokes that if the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) were to classify my little habit as an officially recognized disorder, it would be called…

Delusional Literary Purchase Syndrome

“The conviction that buying 20 books per week is the same thing as reading them.”

But I do read some of them.

Sometimes though I wish I could be like Edgar Cayce — put a book under my pillow and wake up the next day an expert.

But even if I were able to read by osmosis, it still wouldn’t get me too far.

As Martha says in Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, “We’re culturally conditioned to assume we can understand processes by reading about them.”

It’s why I like to read recipes. In my mind, I have succeeded to prepare an exquisite meal. No trip to the grocery store required. No clean up. I don’t even have to set the table.

And after years of reading how to articles about perfect party hair and make up, you’d think I’d have mastered the smoky eye or the French twist by now. Not so much.

Which brings me to the problem.

As a coach, I work with a lot of stuck people.

People are stuck because…

* They think they have to have a clear, well-formed goal, so they do nothing.

* They think they have to make the “right” choice, so they do nothing.

* They think they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, so they do nothing.

* They worry they don’t have anything new to contribute, so they do nothing.

* They worry they might fail or look stupid, so they do nothing.

* They feel overwhelmed by too many options, so they do nothing.

Can you relate?

Here’s my ridiculously obvious advice:

Stop reading, studying, signing up for more trainings and…

Just do something!

Brilliant right?

Take it from marketing/sales guru Dan Kennedy:

“It would probably amaze a lot of people if they could know the inside story of a lot of ‘rags to riches’ entrepreneurs’ lives as I do, to discover that just about the only reason for their meteoric success was simply getting into motion, ready or not.”

In other words, “successful” people aren’t better than you. They don’t know more than you. They aren’t more talented or hold some magical powers you do not…

They execute.

So I repeat. Just do something.

Here are my 5 favorite tips to get you moving:

1. Repeat after me: You can’t course correct if you’re standing still.

According to Jeff Olsen of The Slight Edge, “on its way to the moon, a miracle of modern engineering that is the Apollo rocket is actually on course only two or three percent of the time; for at least ninety-seven percent of the time it takes to get from the Earth to the moon, it’s off course.”

This will be true for you too. So count on mistakes. Don’t expect things to go the way you expected. Every “mistake” you are afraid to make is in reality feedback. Successful people know to just fail faster.

2. Choose your regrets.

Sounds counter intuitive but I really love this one. After all whenever we choose between one out of many potential courses of action, there will always be an opportunity cost…

In my business, I choose to invest in growing it. The regret is that I don’t get to spend my cash on other things like that cute denim floral sundress at Savvy. Sigh. But I gladly choose this regret.

Because as one of my mentors Stella Orange likes to say, “being an entrepreneur is the most lucrative form of therapy available.”

So take a look at your list, what regret are you most willing to choose?

3. Ask yourself, “What can I do that nobody else can that will make the most impact?”

If your list is long. This might be a helpful way to prioritize. For me, hands down, it’s my book. I have a lot of other things I want to accomplish but I can get other people to help me with those ones. But writing my book? Not the case.

Check your list. What can you do that no one else can? Which brings me to number four.

4. Get over your inferiority complex.

Here’s how to create an inferiority complex. Create a social standard. Compare yourself to it. Find how you don’t measure up. Assume it is because you are inferior.

But let’s unpack this a bit. Sure you might be inferior when it comes to under water basket weaving, but you have it covered when anyone needs a synchronized swimmer, right?

The point is, some people are awesome at some things but suck at other things. It doesn’t make them any better or any worse than you. We all have something to contribute. Because we are all incomparably one-of-a-kind.

Quoting Maxwell Maltz in the book The New Psycho-Cybernetcs, “The truth is you are not inferior. You are not superior. You are simply you.”

5. Find Your Power Tribe.

In my free e-course, I teach what I call the one-thirds rule of tribes. It’s an extremely simple way to start now to attract the group of people who will be your source of support and encouragement.

But when it comes to playing big, I also think you need a power tribe. This is a group of people within your tribe, who inspire and motivate you. They are not afraid to execute and they will encourage you to put yourself out there in a major way.

Your power tribe might be a coach or mentor you hire or it might be a group of inspiring friends. Or both. Whatever you do, get a power tribe.

(Bonus tip: Read all the books I mentioned in this post. Are you catching the irony?)

Got any tips that help you get moving? Please share in the comments section below! I LOVE that!

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6 Responses

  1. Amber says:

    Great post, Amy!!

  2. Fantabulous post- I am such a fan of knowing where one wants to go and then leaping off a cliff at the first inspired idea I get- many things have gone well- a few not so much but EVERYTHING I have done got me to where I am today- which feels like a pretty happy place to be. I too have DLPS:) In my work with clients its all about direct learning- through DIRECT EXPERIENCE (not books) how to FEEL GOOD…. and once they do they always teach me new things because they find their own way! Pure magic:) I love you and what you do!

  3. Adriane says:

    “I can do anything for 15 minutes.” I got this idea from a website about how to do housework, called flylady.com. When I am really stuck, I set a timer for 15 minutes and just do what I can in that time. It is oddly really exciting. If I am ultra stuck and scared I will do 5 minutes. I actually got a lot of good insights from that website. It is very practical and helped me get into the groove of using every day to do a little something to advance what I want. Can’t wait for your book!

    • Irina says:

      July, I do too, like a 5-15 minutes activities, I read about this in one of home improvement forums how to get unwanted chores to be done. I’ve come to think that why this rule actually works so nicely, it is because not even knowing it, we stay in the moment for that amount of time, another words – we stay present, which is the key to a flow in any activity:)

  4. Hi Amy,
    Great article! As a budding entrepreneur I know I get stuck in analysis paralysis, fear of failure, and a general complacency of work finding me and not me finding work. And if reading a book made one a successful business person, then I would be a billionaire three times over. :)
    Your article gives me heart to DO ANYTHING to proactively move forward. Today, and everyday, I vow to do something, big or small, but always something.
    Thanks for the (soft) kick in the pants!

  5. [...] Perfectionism is just a form of procrastination in disguise, I’ve heard it said. Go with good enough. And just do something! [...]

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