Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.Dale Carnegie

Are you an Action Hero or an Inaction Hero?

This is a twitter-friendly quote, part of a longer quote: “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

What does that mean?
I think that this quote is fairly self explanatory. He says that if you sit and wait, your doubts and fears will come to the fore, and you will become those emotions. The longer you wait, the more time your mind has to manufacture doubts and fears, and to pile them one atop the next. This tends to be a feed-back loop, in that fear and doubt lead to inaction, and that inaction in turn, leads to more fear and more doubt.

The other half of the quote is that action breeds confidence and courage. Doing will help to silence the doubter, and in that, breed confidence. Courage comes from facing your fears, and that’s what action is all about. You won’t always succeed, so be careful of doubts and fears, they don’t need much of an opening to sneak back into your mind.

Why is action important?  
As I mentioned above, the quote implores us to work on our plans, as sitting idle will only allow our doubts and fears to multiply in the dark corners of our minds. Action will help build your confidence, and success gives courage great leverage to push aside doubts and fears.

The thing to remember about action is that not all results are favorable. There will be setbacks and things that don’t go according to plan. This is where your confidence and courage will be tested. Examine the results of your actions, make adjustments and get back at it. Don’t wait and let the fear and doubt come back. I hope this makes sense.

Where can I apply this in my life?
If you are at all like me, you have a number of projects in your mind that are either started, or formulated in your head or on paper, but not yet started. These are the things of which this quote speaks. While some may be waiting on resources (time, money, weather, etc), most of mine are waiting for me to quit procrastinating and do them.

I have things I want to do with the cars, things I want to do around the house, projects waiting at the electronics bench, programs I want to write on the computer, things to do with my kids, places to go with my wife, and so much more. I probably have a lifetime of plans already. I need to quit planning and start doing. How about you?

Grab some paper and write down a few of the ideas, plans or projects you have been thinking about but aren’t doing right now. They could be fresh ideas, or partially completed projects. Try to get some from different aspects of your life, so you can have a wide variety to choose from.

Next to each idea, write down how far along it is (by time to complete, percent done, or whatever measure makes sense for the item at hand). Also note why is is presently stalled, why you are not presently acting on it.

As usual, it’s time to look for patterns. Is there anything similar across a couple of them? Do you have a tendency to get about half way through and burn out? Do you get part way through and realize you have a bigger project than you thought? Did you start and then get distracted by having a family (my excuse for the Nova)?

We look for patterns to find a single point to work on that can provide benefit to a larger portion of your life than just the one instance you would otherwise be working on. Now pick something you want to work on. By that, I mean the reason/excuse for why things aren’t being acted on.

For me, the biggest problem is that I like to have a bunch of choices, I’m afraid that I might run out of things to do. So I stockpile projects. In the business world, it’s called a backlog, and used to be an indication of a robust business (demand was so great, there was a line around the block waiting for your product).

To help keep myself in the action, I’m not starting any new projects until the existing ones are completed. To help me with this, I have a short list of projects to work on that are going to be the first that I complete.

What is holding you up? Do you have too many projects to get any of them completed? (get focused) Are you stuck due to lack of skill or knowledge? (get a book, a class, a mentor, or hire it out) Are you at a fork in the road? (take the fork! just get busy) Are you low on time or money? (switch to a lower demand project or find ways to economize the project or cut back elsewhere to free sum up)

Brainstorm some ideas, and feel free to borrow from my (whispered) answers in the paragraph above. Notice that this quote could give you another excuse for not doing, as you analyze your present lack of action. Don’t do that. Choose a project and get moving. If you have a problem, take a moment to find a new path and then get back on it. Or swap to another project and allow the first one a little time to get sorted out.

Your life will be what you make of it. Get off the fence. Get busy. Action not words. The list of quotes, phrases and sound-bites goes on and on. That should be a clue that this is an important aspect of your life. Do it, have fun, learn, and do it some more.

From: Twitter, @motivatquotes
confirmed at :
Photo by levork


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in action, confidence, courage, doing, fear, procrastination and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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