A post on the Buffer blog by James Clear that’s really insightful:
If motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we actually need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen.
And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure.
I am guilty of this a thousand times over. It’s why I have article after article read and don’t post about them to share. It’s why I haven’t lost more weight in months.
Give it a read and see if you recognize yourself in there as well.
There are some people who go through their entire lives waiting and watching to see what everyone else does. They predicate their actions on the success of others.
Does a venture look like a risky bet? Wait for everyone else to try it and then see what they’re saying afterwards.
Hit upon a new technique? Stand by and let someone else implement it first, then see if it was worth it.
Does the water appear cold? Nudge your friends into going in there first, then only go in yourself when it appears they’re not freezing.
Sometimes, the risk is worth it. Sometimes, you need to be the first one in there. You can’t always depend on everyone else to set the trends, because the trend-setters often enjoy success. Many times, they’re the ones who get to direct what’s going on—the ones who get to really lead.
Maybe this time, you have to be the one jumping into the cold water first. Make some waves and do a cannonball.
“The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.”–Henri-Frédéric Amiel