The Essential Skill Needed: Act Your Way Into Feeling

If you’re like most people I know and talk to, you’re largely happy and fulfilled with what you are doing and where you perceive your life is headed. You work hard, you love well, and sometimes you even take a little time for yourself to recharge your batteries. I also hope in recent weeks, like me, you have been able and comfortable to regather with friends and in groups and to remember how great it is to interact with like-minded human beings. 

However, if they are honest, most people also feel a hole or a sense of loss in the pit of their stomachs. They know they could and should be doing more and fulfilling a higher calling in their life. For some people, it’s just a feeling. There is a clear picture they have in mind to accomplish, but the cares of the world and their jam-packed schedules never allow them the time to get where they want to go. And that leads to frustration. Sound familiar?

All of us look up to the people that seem to be able to accomplish great things. We wonder how they are so productive and so in control of their environments, and we live in a comparison trap. We push our internal frustrations aside, but still, there is that small nagging voice telling us to get busy doing that big thing that we know we should be doing. The problem is not that we don’t know what to do; rather, the problem is not wanting to do what we know. We don’t feel like it because the thought of actually doing it seems overwhelming.

This week, I want to encourage you that anyone (including you) can accomplish great things. The people who do are no different than you or me. They have a different mindset when it comes to taking on challenges. I have a calendar on my desk with spiritual quotes. In the last few days, I read one that illustrates my point. It said, “The Israelites saw the same giant David saw.  They didn’t see him the same way. So it is with people we admire who accomplish great things.

Everyone, no matter how accomplished they are, faces big challenges in their life. We see successful people and create a story in our minds that everything comes easy for them. But we never see the work that they have put into becoming the person they are now. It’s like admiring a beautiful piece of art and not considering the months or even years of planning that went into its creation. Note well: every person who has ever created or achieved notoriety at some point in their life started exactly where you are.

So the question comes to mind: How do you start developing the right mindset to get to accomplishment and achievement? Is there a secret formula or a shortcut to achievement that you can learn that will lead you in the direction of your dreams? The short answer to that question is sort of. 

Here’s the explanation. I believe and teach that to accomplish what you have never accomplished before, you have to think and act differently than ever before. Some people call it “getting in the zone” or “developing the mindset of a champion.” I think that sounds too grandiose. The truth of the matter is that if you wait until you think you are in the right place to do something, you will never do it. You will always come up with reasons why or future deadlines that once you meet them, you will be ready to start. And here you are, still waiting. Perhaps for your whole life.

Here is what I want you to know this week that I believe can make you just as productive, just as accomplished, and just as notable as any other person who has ever achieved anything noteworthy. You have to act your way into feeling. Meaning nothing is going to happen until you get started.

Let me give you a simple illustration. I am thrilled to say that in the back half of my 50’s I am in the best physical shape of my life. A couple of years ago, I joined Orange Theory Fitness, where I do weight and cardio training for an hour in every one-hour class. I go about 5 days a week on average. I feel great, and I see muscles on my body I have never seen before in my life.

The truth of the matter is every morning, when I get ready to go to the gym, I rarely feel like going. I feel like I don’t want to go and even get a tinge of nervousness thinking about the work I have ahead of me to do so I can complete my workout. Do you know when I feel like doing the workout? The moment I finish the last sprint on the treadmill, and I begin walking to recover from the hour I just spent doing it. 

The same will be true for you. Start. Keep going. Repeat. Work and act your way into a feeling. Just like me, you may never get to a place where you feel like doing it – until after you’ve done it. I can tell you most assuredly, however, that once you have worked your way into that feeling – even if it is after you have finished the task- the feeling you will have will keep you coming back for more.

This week, I challenge you to start the thing you know you need to do and keep doing it until you feel like doing it. It isn’t easy, but you will soon notice the difference. And before too long, so will everyone else.

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I also invite you to review my coaching page on my website here. I have only a couple of spots left in my Personal Development Coaching Practice. Each week I offer two free strategy sessions on a first-come, first-served basis to people interested in exploring how to become a person who pursues their goals and dreams. These precious hour-long sessions prove again and again to be invaluable to those who participate. You can book these directly on my coaching page – I look forward to serving you.

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