5 Things That Keep You From Taking Action

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Have you had one of those mornings where you didn’t want to get out of bed?

If so, you’re familiar with that feeling that comes with being too scared or uncomfortable to take the next step.

Sometimes, it just feels impossible.

But why?

What keeps us from taking action to pursue our goals and finally make our dreams a reality?

There are many reasons that could be included on this list, however here are the top 5 things that keep you from taking action.

1. Fear

Let’s start with the big one – fear.

Fear can take the shape of many things,

but in the context of beliefs that keep you from taking action, it mostly concerns the fear of failure.

This could be anything from the fear of wasting money and valuable resources

that ultimately don’t pay off

or the fear of rejection or being made fun of.

It could even be a fear stemming from a self-limiting belief that the talents or ideas you want to share with the world simply aren’t good.

All of these can be true,

however, one fear that’s often overlooked is the fear of actually being successful.

It sounds weird, but many people operate with a “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality.

So, then, what happens if you work hard, get what you want, and it’s still not enough?

What if you’re still unhappy?

That fear can be immobilising and it can prevent you from taking action.

2. Feeling Overwhelmed by Environmental Factors

Sometimes it’s not fear or self-limiting beliefs that keep you from taking action, but rather very real and very complex environmental factors.

A good example is money.

What if you don’t have any?

What if you run out of it midway through achieving your goals?

What if you or someone you love gets sick?

What if?  … What if? … What if?

Life is always in a state of flux,

So when environmental factors such as illness, financial trouble,

and even something as common as collaborating with someone who you don’t always see eye to eye with

can lead you to stop taking action because it could overwhelm you.

And when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your daily responsibilities,

taking actions that could lead to more stuff being piled on your plate often leads to a failure to launch.

3. Low Self-Esteem

An article published by the NHS states that “If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging.”

These factors can certainly affect your ability to take action.

Remember, self-esteem is the fundamental backbone of believing in yourself.

If you listen – and ultimately believe – the negative things said about you

from peers and loved ones, can prevent you from pursuing your goals.

After all, low self-esteem tells you about all the ways you will fail.

If you’re in a vulnerable enough state, listening to that little voice gets a little easier.

I here to remind you, however, that you are worthy of your dreams and you can take that first step to make them come true

4. Anxiety

Like low self-esteem, anxiety can keep you from taking action.

Think of anxiety as self-esteem’s close cousin;

it exists to remind you of all the possibilities of failure rather than all the ways things can go right.

It’s important to make the distinction between the regular nervousness that comes from taking action and a foray into a new adventure and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD.

GAD can be extremely debilitating, as it includes difficulty focusing on the task at hand,

ongoing fatigue,

constant worrying,

and insomnia (among other physical ailments that can enhance these existing symptoms).

Anxiety is a very real condition that presents itself both mentally and physically that can keep you from taking action, regardless of how much you may want to.

It’s like the getting out of bed metaphor used earlier; your mind may want to, but your body tells you something totally different.

5. Thinking About the End Goal Instead of What Steps You’ll Take to Get There

Setting goals and having dreams are easy.

It’s putting them into practice that is difficult.

When you set out to do something, it’s easy to focus on the end goal.

What will life be like when I cross off X, Y, and Z?

That’s great and all, but you’ll never get there if you don’t map out A, B, and C first.

Failing to map out a plan, even mentally, can make it hard for you to take action

because you aren’t too sure where to begin.

Believing you can achieve your goals without thinking about what actionable steps you need to take to get there can keep your dreams just that…a dream.

Ultimately, when it comes to things that can prevent you from taking action,

a lot of it ends up being negative,

self-limiting beliefs,

feelings of anxiety and overwhelm,

or not mentally preparing ahead.

In many ways, taking action to achieve your goals is a lot like mind over matter.

You can do anything you set your mind to, but you just have to believe it when outside factors may want to convince you otherwise.