When Action Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

If you’re stressed, or overwhelmed, or worrying, or nervous, or feeling stuck… the very first thing I’d probably tell you to do is anything.

Action. Action. Action. It’s the antidote to most things. Because so often when we are feeling all the uncomfortable feelings it’s because we’re not doing anything about it.

If you have a big giant dream that you can’t wait to make a reality, it’s all about action. Again. Getting to where you want to be requires putting yourself in the game. Dreaming is all good and well, but dreams are just wishes without actionable steps put against them.

Here’s the big giant caveat, though: some of the most important actions you need to take don’t look like action at all.

When you hustle with heart, the act of working and living without being crazed, it’s not always about crossing things off your to-do list. It’s not about banging out a proposal. Writing that 7th blogpost. Designing that new landing page. Applying for grad school. Writing essays. Sending Emails. Or any of the other millions of things we write down on our musts each day.

Sometimes the greatest actions needed for your success won’t feel or look like action at all. But they’re not to be underestimated or overlooked.

When people ask why I went to Bali last year, my response is typically because I needed to do it to launch my business, this business. I rattled off all the things that I did while I was there… working on the website design and copy, building out my first course, creating marketing materials and business plans. And while I did do all of that in the last month I was there, the majority of my time in Bali was spent accessing myself. Reveling in my own crap so I could heal and grow. Developing a deep love and appreciation for myself. Taking a giant breath and a long pause to think and settle into the feelings of purpose and creation. There was plenty happening that looked like nothing to the outside world (I was staring at the ceiling and riding waves a lot), but it was an incubation period for my being to expand to a place that had the potential to move my purpose forward.

It’s all action. For me action came in the form of scooter rides dreaming of my own possibility. Long coffee dates thinking about how I got here. Meeting new healers all over the island. Facetiming with my mentors who gave me little seeds to think about and build into what I was doing. Laying on the ground with my head on a giant pink pouf listening to YouTube meditations. Journaling every word that healer Jim said to me. Repeating affirmations over and over again. It was all valuable. It was all the ingredients needed to bake something wonderful.

Removing yourself is action. Cultivating is as integral as creating. Staying in resting is as beneficial as heading out to the 20th networking event that month. Therapy and healing is part of growth. A long wine date with a gal pal celebrating wins instead of learning Google Analytics matters. It’s all doing something if there’s an intention behind it.

Action just for the sake of action isn’t always helpful. Why build a business when you don’t know your why? Why go on a million dates when you don’t love yourself first? Why rush from this to that to this to that when you’re not even sure what any of it means to you? Why cross things off a list when they’re not laddering up to anything that matters?

Often the most important work you have to do won’t look like work at all.

Because it’s internal. Because it’s slow. Because it’s solo. Because it’s uncomfortable. Because it’s cultivation. But taking a look inside yourself is just as important as taking action in the outside world. Know which one you need.

This post originally appeared on MaxieMccoy.com and was reposted with permission. 


MaxieMcCoy
Maxie McCoy is a writer and speaker with a message: how to find and follow inspiration for a life you’re obsessed with. Maxie delivers inspiring writings, actionable video, and customized sessions on
MaxieMcCoy.com. She also develops curriculum and offline experiences for the Millennial career website, Levo. When she’s not crafting sentences or rocking stages, you can find Maxie surfing her favorite wave in Bali or painting with some shade of gold.

 


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