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🌟 Take Initiative: A Personal Journey in Partnering with Yourself 🌟



As a consultant and leadership trainer, I've often seen incredibly talented individuals hold themselves back by waiting for the 'perfect' moment to take action. They believe that a perfect alignment of circumstances is necessary before launching a new project or making a critical decision. But let me share a truth I've learned both personally and professionally: perfect timing is a myth.


In my own life, I've encountered the all-too-common excuse of "needing" to wait be it on someone — a partner, friend, or family to take action or waiting until I felt I had the perfect plan, knowledge, and skills to proceed. The list of "waiting" for the "right conditions" had no end. This pattern of waiting became a significant barrier to my progress, leading to frustration, resentment, isolation, stagnation, and depression.


Get really honest with yourself.

Do people really hold you back, or is your narrative about people holding you back? When I became radically honest with myself, I realized that the only person holding me back was myself. This insight was a rude awakening, and the deep resentment I felt was toward me, not anyone else, because I knew I could do better. My frustration was with the person that I was, and the only person who could solve this problem was me, so I let go of the invisible hold.


Why You Shouldn't Wait


  1. Action Creates Opportunity Fact: Research in behavioral psychology shows that taking action leads to increased motivation and better problem-solving skills. By initiating projects or decisions, you create momentum that can unveil opportunities which were not previously visible.

  2. Learning through Experience Example: When I launched Faithful Consulting, I didn't wait for an optimal economic climate or for complete readiness on my part. The early days were challenging, but the real-time learning and adjustments made the venture more resilient and responsive to client needs.

  3. Momentum Builds Over Time Observation: In the development of the Emerging Leaders Program and the Hmong Civic Leadership Program, we started with what we had and where we were. Each cohort built on the last, refining our approach and expanding our impact. This iterative process was only possible because we started – imperfectly but earnestly.

  4. Life Waits for No One Reality Check: Time doesn't stop. Every moment spent waiting could be a moment spent doing. Whether it's personal goals like health or professional aspirations like starting a new business venture, the clock keeps ticking. The longer you wait, the more you have to rush when you finally begin. I'm waiting for no one now!


Here are some focused strategies to help you start taking more initiative in your life today:


  • Take the First Step Immediately: Procrastination is the enemy of the initiative. As soon as you set your goal, take at least one small action. Momentum is key, and starting quickly reduces the chances of losing motivation.

  • Embrace Learning Opportunities: Initiatives often require learning something new. Embrace this as part of the process. Whether it's a new skill, a new piece of software, or a new business strategy, learning is integral to progress. Some learning will be hard, but it won't get easier if you don't have a positive attitude.

  • Stay Accountable: Share your goals with someone you trust to help you stay on track and committed to your objectives. Regular check-ins can help you stay on track and accountable.

  • Practice Decision-Making: Strengthen your decision-making skills by practicing regularly. Start with smaller decisions and work your way up to larger ones. This builds confidence and analytical skills.

  • Seek Feedback and Mentorship: Don't hesitate to ask for feedback or guidance. Engage with mentors or peers who can provide insights and advice. This will not only help you refine your approach but also strengthen your network.


Conclusion


Once you start going, the momentum will carry you through and then you will develop the habits and discipline it will take to succeed. Your partnership with yourself will strengthen, and trust will be built, and on days you don't think you can't make it through, your partner (you) will get you out. Additionally, the side effect of your actions to accelerate your personal and professional growth will be kicking in by this time, and those around you will be cheering you on because they have been inspired to be proactive initiators, too.

Remember, if you don't like being put on hold, don't do it to yourself.

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You are so correct Yengyee! I imagine many of us have had great idea which we did not act upon, only to discover years later that someone else came up with a similar idea and used the idea to impact the world and/or turn the idea into a fortune. The time to act is now! Mark Sanders

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