Long, long ago there was a young woman who was afraid of taking initiative. She had lots of great ideas and was a go-getter, but inside she was always looking for permission. She wanted somebody to tell her it was okay to just do it. She had strong opinions and a great sense of intuition, but didn’t want to rock the boat. She sat still and quiet, with the ideas brewing inside of her which led to frustration.
That woman was me. If I could talk to her from where I stand today, I would tell her that the key to true freedom is to express all of those great thoughts and ideas. It’s not about being pushy and there’s really no danger of complete failure, it’s just about opening the door to opportunity. I am a subscriber to Seth Godin’s blogs. For those of you who may not know of him he is a best selling author whose books focus on entrepreneurship and marketing. He has started several companies. In a recent blog post he says:
“It’s so easy to get hung up on reacting to incoming, on working through a checklist and on imagining what the boss wants you to do next. It’s far more productive, I think, to decide where you want to go and then go there. And the power and low-price of online tools makes that easier than ever.
The key difference between initiators and everyone else is the simple idea of posture. What do you say to yourself in between assignments? What do you do when you see something that needs doing?
Sasha asks himself (not his boss), “what’s next?” And that’s the shift. You look at a world of opportunities and you pick one. Initiative is taken, it’s not given.”
Far too many of us spend our time in reaction modes. We sit tight in meetings reacting to information, not processing what we could really do with it. The same goes for business owners, we spend a lot of time reacting to our bottom line that we often ignore what we could do to initiate more business by actually using our ideas. We very rarely listen to our bodies or our intuition and therefore are unsure of what even to initiate.
I’m not suggesting that you just throw out random ideas with no clear focus. It’s about allowing yourself to take a concept and develop it, then be brave enough to share it. From my experience there never really is a downfall to initiating, a majority of my business has been built that way. In the end if you don’t take that first step forward you’ll never have any notion of what could be. And doesn’t that seem sad to think in “could of beens”? Make a commitment to yourself to end the frustration and take imitative even if it seems small.