The other day this question popped into my head and when I shared it on social media several folks said it stopped their scroll.
“What if you focused on actions rather than outcome?”
Makes you think, right? I mean so much of the way we are conditioned to be productive and look at progress is focused on outcomes.
Now of course we want positive outcomes to arise from our actions. But it’s focusing on actions that creates that possibility.
Hear me out. I have come to realize that the “outcome oriented” mindset creates undo pressure and has us mistakenly focused on the wrong thing.
Isn’t it so much more freeing to focus on taking action without investing so much time, energy, and worry on what might come of it?
Doesn’t focusing on outcomes hold us back because we are so concerned about what might – or might not – happen that we take ourselves out of the game before it even starts?
Now I’m not saying take actions haphazardly without any intention or strategy, but staying stuck because you’re only thinking about the potential outcomes feels a whole lot like resistance to me.
Does this sound familiar?
“I want to write a book someday But I don’t know who would be interested in my opinion. I’m no expert.”
“Who is interested” in what you have to say is in outcome territory. You can’t even get there until you write your manuscript. Writing is the action.
“I can’t reach out to literary agents. They’re only going to say no or ignore my book proposal altogether. I don’t have a gazillion followers on social media.”
Whether the agent works with you or not is the outcome. Sending the query letter is the action. You have no control over what an agent will do but you have all the control over sending that query letter.
“I can’t get publicity until I have $20,000 to hire a publicist. Who am I to be on TV anyway?”
Getting publicity is the outcome. Getting your ducks in a row with education or coaching are actions. Ask yourself why you’re taking yourself out of the media spotlight when your voice matters and there are people out there who need to hear it?
Do you notice the resistance cropping up in these examples? Resistance keeps us focused on an outcome that we have no control of in this moment and then it ties our action to the future success we’ve already talked ourselves out of.
Sneaky isn’t it?
The good news: Action is the antidote to resistance. So, attach your energy to actions and detach yourself from results.
And let me challenge you to answer a few key questions:
- What outcomes are you focused on now that are preventing you from taking action?
- What action will you take today that can change that?
Feel free to write this down and let it inspire you to take action freed from the tyranny of what happens next. Or comment below and let me know your responses.
Now that’s action.
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