Hi, friends, this is Elizabeth, and I’m so eager to share Episode 766 of Primal Potential with you today! Primal Potential is about you — your ability to change is not defined by yesterday and doesn’t need to wait until tomorrow. Your transformation is now!
Today, I’m pumped to share with you an important subject that applies to everyone: experience is the best education. Too often, we let overlearning actually keep us from taking action in our lives. We study something to the point of exhaustion so that it actually ends up weighing heavily on us, keeping us from making consistent changes in our lives.
Today’s episode is all about how to get out of your own way of success and practice action rather than overloading our brains with just learning and planning. It’s vital that we get into the mindset of putting what we learn into consistent action — only then can we start making permanent changes in our lives.
In what areas of your life is your knowledge actually keeping you from acting? Where does knowledge outweigh what you do consistently? Are you using learning to stay in your comfort zone rather than branching out and getting things done? Only you can change your life for the better by beginning to act. Friends, you can do this.
Don’t Let Knowledge Buffer Experience
People have different areas in which they struggle to take action and implement what they learn. Everyone is different, so it’s important to ask yourself, “What areas need action rather than thinking?” Where in your life is knowledge actually hindering your experience?
The poet Mark Nepo excellently describes the problem in The Book of Awakening:
“To always analyze and problem solve and observe and criticize what we encounter turns our brains into heavy calluses. Rather than opening us deeper into the mystery of living, the overstrained intellect becomes a buffer from experience.” – Mark Nepo
This passage presents the problem that we all suffer from, myself included. From all the thinking, planning, criticizing, observing, watching, and notetaking we create, these calluses and exhaust ourselves. It bogs us down from what we want to achieve. We need to be experiencing life and accomplishing what we want rather than be passive learners who merely gather information and not use it.
I used to be in this pattern of overlearning and inaction. I would take in tons of information from business podcasts and business events, and I would tell myself that I’m going to implement all these things, but instead, they ended up weighing heavy on me and became a hindrance. I stayed in this pattern of remaining in information-gathering mode without putting what I was learning into action. I buffered myself from growing my business because I was so focused on learning how to grow my business.
We overload ourselves with so much information that we actually fail to act with consistency. Where in your life has learning actually buffered you from experience? Has your analyzing, criticizing, observing, and problem-solving actually kept you from action? Have you been so focused on learning about growing your business that you fail to actually take action and grow your business? Have you been so focused on learning or thinking about your health that you didn’t actually make consistent changes to your diet or routine?
A wide disconnect can occur between what we know and what we actually put into practice. Friends, stop overworking your thinking brain and get out there and do it!
Practice Implementing What You Learn
A helpful way to start doing rather than learning is focusing on implementing a few things step by step. Don’t get overwhelmed in trying to change several things at once.
When I listen to a business podcast or if I attend a business event, I identify three things that I can start doing to improve my business that I can immediately start implementing instead of trying to learn too much. I told myself that I would start doing all the things that I was learning, but because I didn’t focus on just a few specific tasks in a realistic way, I failed to do any of it. I would forget everything that I learned because I didn’t experience the lessons for myself. I overtrained my thinking brain by just analyzing and criticizing the information while not putting it into action, so I didn’t retain it or use it.
Once I started focusing on three specific changes that I could implement, I was able to put what I learned into practice and actually start improving my business. Don’t remain in the habit of staying in information-gathering mode. Shift gears into action mode.
Forget a Perfect Starting Point — Just Start
It’s so easy to bog ourselves down by thinking about the many things in our lives that we need to change, whether it be related to our careers or our health or our relationships. It can be overwhelming. That’s why we need to practice shifting into the mindset of taking action by doing simple things that we can immediately implement.
Too often, we stress ourselves by trying to figure out what the most important thing is that we need to change in our lives. We fall into the trap of overthinking and analyzing what we need to do, and then we fail to act. Don’t get bogged down in evaluating what the most important thing is. The most important thing will always be changing depending on our goals, our circumstances, the amount of time we have, and what we’ve learned along the way. The most important thing will always be a moving target, so don’t stress about where to start and just start.
Just recently, someone was expressing to me that anxiety of not knowing where to begin. They texted me saying, “Can you help? I don’t even know where to start. Nothing in my life is going my way.” Friends, you don’t need to find the perfect place to start. You just need to start taking action, and changes in your life will follow. Maybe you want to lose weight, and you don’t know where to start. Instead of overconsuming information and stressing about a starting point — just start the process! Maybe plan your meals for the week or start walking daily. Start simple.
Start making changes in your life, and once you change something, move on to the next thing. That most important thing will get done if you get into the habit of doing rather than just thinking about what changes need to be made.
Be a Creator, Not a Critic
Don’t stay in your comfort zone of information-gathering mode. Don’t just read this or listen to my podcast and say, “Oh, that’s so me. I keep learning new things, but I just don’t do it.” That’s just being a critic. You’re not putting it into practice. You’re not creating anything new in your life or developing consistency. Approach what you learn by saying, “Yes, I can think of something that I can start doing consistently today. I can apply the information to my life, and begin to make changes.” Learning without action is being a critic. Don’t just analyze the information, apply it. Don’t let information overload weigh heavy on you by learning more and more things without putting them into practice. Once you start taking control of your life and implement what you learn then you become a creator.
Whether it involves a daily habit like resisting the urge to hit the snooze button or something larger like growing your network, you can choose to take action in your life rather than be a critic of what you learn. Get into the mindset of being a creator, and develop consistency in taking action. Just begin by taking the simple step of starting. You can do this.
Create what you want. Create the life you want to live. You get to choose whether you’re a critic or a creator. If you become a creator and start acting with consistency, not only will you change your life, but you’ll even learn more than you did when you were overworking your brain and creating those heavy calluses. There is nothing more educational than experience, so when you do rather than overlearn, you are growing as a person. Experience teaches you so much more than just analyzing, thinking, observing, or criticizing. You could study engineering your whole life, but you still won’t learn as much as you would when building your first house.
Don’t Let Fear and Uncertainty Keep You From Action
Fear and uncertainty often hinder us from pursuing what we want. We use overthinking, overlearning, and criticizing as a means for staying in our comfort zones. You’ve got to push yourself out of this negative funk and start doing. Action is the antidote to fear.
People tell themselves, “Well, I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t know if I can do it,” and that keeps them from taking action. The best way to fail is to overthink it and not do it.
You may feel fear and uncertainty when you start taking action, but they do not have to control you. They are not the driver of your life, you are. They might ride with you but they cannot drive. Even if you’ve let fear and uncertainty keep you from what you want at this stage of your life, it does not mean that it has to continue.
Don’t be a barrier for yourself. There will always be a degree of uncertainty and fear when taking action, but don’t let that keep you from pursuing what you want. Every person has fear and uncertainty when starting, but you have to do it scared. Otherwise, it won’t get done. The certainty will come later when you gain experience.
What You Can Do Today to Start Changing Your Life
Don’t overcomplicate it. Just start doing simple things. Again, don’t get bogged down in trying to figure where best to start. Just start. It can be something as simple as flossing or washing your face daily. You can start doing a simple lifestyle choice that you’ve been putting off. The most important thing is just getting into the practice of doing rather than learning and overthinking, and you will see results. Only you have the power to change your life. Start with one thing, and move on to the next thing.
So what can you do today? In what area do you need to stop learning and start doing? Does it involve your career? Or your health? Or your family? I urge you to not just learn from this podcast but to put it into action and start changing your life one thing at a time.
Right now, I want you to write down where in your life your knowledge has exceeded your practice. I want you to write down what it is that you need to change today. Tackle that unconscious pattern of inaction by changing your mindset. Develop consistency, so that you can create a pattern of action. Do not put it off. This is your year for action.
If you’re in need of additional assistance in taking action in your life, I encourage you to get on the waitlist for our next 12 Weeks of Transformation! This program is all about you and getting you to overcome what’s holding you back. The program consists of a more personal and structured approach to beat day-to-day obstacles and realize your full potential! If you think this may be right for you, then don’t hesitate to check out the 12 Weeks of Transformation.Join Now
During these trying times, I also recommend that you sign up for our daily mindset upgrades. I send out daily texts of encouragement to uplift you and embolden you to start doing rather than thinking!
Friends, I hope that this episode encourages you to take the simple step of starting to take action and shape the life you want. This is your year.