I think I have probably read as many articles as humanly possible that include steps to try and magically make me successful. I’m like Oprah and her diet plans. I’ve tried everything that has promised success, happiness, and wealth. I’ve read articles such as “12 Steps to Rock Social Media.” Really? There are hundreds of social media platforms and just 12 steps to “rock” them with? That seems about as likely as an article on “12 Steps to End World Hunger” actually ending world hunger.
I honestly started to read, “Fifty Steps to Higher Productivity at Work,” but got overwhelmed around Step 20. I’d probably spend most of my time trying to recall what fifty things I’m supposed to do every day which would only lead to frustration and anxiety. In which case I’d just end up with a glass of wine and spending hours of searching for dog shaming photos on Pinterest.
My favorite was “100 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” What?!?! There’s only one step I have between getting out of bed and eating breakfast……making breakfast. (Food is a HUGE priority for me.)
Because I’m competitive (and have some form of attention deficit disorder) I’m going to break down the process of success into ONE step. That’s right just one step.
Right now you’re thinking about the seconds you’ve wasted reading the first few paragraphs of this post when you could have been reading “101 Ways to Successfully Send an Email” or “Top 10 Ways to Correctly Answer Your Phone.” But let’s put this into perspective really quick….
How many times has your alarm clock gone off in the morning and you IMMEDIATELY, without any hesitation, threw back your blankets, stood up, and started your day?
Most of us turn off the alarm clock, lay in bed, think about our upcoming day, and ponder over the things we fear are probably going to happen which, statistically, won’t happen anyway. We have fake conversations with people in our heads. We check our email/facebook/twitter on our phone. We think about what we are going to wear. We mentally tell our boss/spouse/kids off. If we aren’t doing any of those things it’s because we’ve hit snooze and fallen back asleep.
Try this exercise: Tonight set your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier than you usually do. When it goes off tomorrow morning, turn off the alarm and IMMEDIATELY stand up and then start your day. ZERO hesitation.
I love you too much to lie (and I don’t just say that to all my readers)…. But it’s going to suck. BIG time suck. In fact, the only thing that might get you through the first 30 seconds of you stumbling around in the darkness is your anger that is directed at me for challenging you to do this.
The same amount of suck-titude required for immediately getting out of bed is the exact same amount of suck-titude required to take ANY step towards changing your life. (Suck-titude….I’m liking my new word. I’m going to be using it more often…like daily. Consider yourself warned.) Want a new body? A new relationship? A career change? More money? Any of those changes require you to drag yourself from the warm, cozy, comfort of your bed into the cold, dark room. You aren’t going to “feel” like it….ever.
(Side bar: It’s probably too late to warn you that this isn’t a hold-hands and sing “Kumbaya” type of post.)
Many of us have an idea, an opportunity, direction, a lead we should follow up on and when that “alarm” goes off, we lay in bed, ponder it, think about our fears that will most likely never come true, we have conversations with other people about it. But more often than not, we hit snooze and fall back asleep.
People want to wait until they “feel” like taking action before they take action. They want to feel in the right mood to make a phone call or write an email. They want feel excited about taking chances and getting uncomfortable.
I have bad news. IT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. You may be excited at some points, but eventually you will run into something that feels uncomfortable or isn’t on your “fun” list of things to do and you’ll have two choices…you can hit snooze or jump out of bed. Successful people have ONE step. They don’t hesitate. They don’t think about the fear. They take action…immediately.
What actions have you been putting off because you don’t enjoy them, they scare you, you are worried about failure? It’s time to suck it up and throw back your warm blankets. No successful person has ever enjoyed every step of their journey. But they continually moved forward because they continually take ONE step.
Later this week I’m going to share my personal story of suck-titude that is required for my upcoming weekend. What events/situations have you encountered that required serious suck-titude to move forward?….the moment you had shut off your brain and just take action?
Katherine Keller has a passion for empowering leaders and inspiring them to live out the life of their dreams. She is an entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and a single mother who believes that there is no better marketing than authenticity and self-confidence. She is a weekly contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a member of the ANMP, NAPW, and DSWA. Through her wit, wisdom and humor, Katherine has endeared leaders and entrepreneurs around the globe.