“I don’t know how.”
This is a common reason coaching clients tell me they don’t have the life they want.
They don’t know how.
Or at least this is what they believe.
They may know what they want and have vision for their life, but because they’re unclear of the “how,” they don’t do anything to get it.
The problem with “I don’t know,” is that it leads to confusion, and when we feel confused we don’t take action.
Confusion about “how” keeps us stuck because we believe we can’t get started.
I’m not going to pretend there’s always a 1… 2… 3… step process that guarantees the achievement of your goals, but I do know that the only place to start is with step #1.
You don’t have to know every step or the exact blueprint before you get started. You just need to take the next best step.
Analysis paralysis will guarantee you fail. Taking action leads to progress, learning, and increased clarity.
There’s a better way to live and work. It involves getting curious about learning, embracing the learning curve, and consistently making progress.
Here’s a three step process that can apply to almost any goal.
1. Know everything you can about what you want.
If you don’t know what you want yet, read this post about how to uncover your calling. If you have even a general idea of what you want, then it’s time to immerse yourself in this new reality.
Fully immerse yourself is learning and understanding the industry or field of your vocation. Develop your craft and become a student of what you want to create. The more information and knowledge you obtain the more confident you will become.
The idea is to use the vast ocean of knowledge and information at your disposal to grow your expertise. Read articles or books, listen to podcasts, reach out to a mentor and someone who already does what you want to do.
Start where everyone starts. Get curious and gather information and knowledge.
What are three ways you can grow expertise?
2. Find the tools to capture what you want.
As you learn about what you want, you’ll start to realize the tools and skills you need to cultivate. This is where it’s time to take action. Knowledge is only idle potential until you take action.
You’ll probably realize you need more capital, or more sale training, or more knowledge about online infrastructure, or more effective communication skills. The list may get pretty long, but don’t let these limitation hold you back. Remember that at this point your goal is to get started and simply improve.
Tackling a new endeavor will always require you to build skills and find resources. We all need to keep improving and get better. Have a growth mindset and realize that you can learn new skills and capacities as you go.
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. We often need much less training and resources than we think to get started. There will be a leaning curve but don’t worry about that yet. We’ll explore that in step three.
What tools do you need to obtain? Marketing tools? Graphic design? Sales and finance? If you don’t have these skills or tools find a way to create them.
The first step was about curiosity, this step is about creativity and resourcefulness.
Take an online course to help you develop the skills you need. Create a mastermind group or outsource what you can’t do on your own. Fiverr is a great resource to find freelance services at a great rate.
3. Develop the wisdom and patients to accomplish what you want.
As you can tell, there are numerous ways to get the knowledge and resources you need to get started. But of course, just staring isn’t the same as achieving your long-term goals.
This post is about starting or beginning, and being a beginner takes patience, perseverance, and practice.
Let’s face it, the reason people hold back is because they don’t want to exert the effort to grow their knowledge and develop the needed skills. The resources and information are out there for all of us, but we have to put in the work to make information become transformation.
Realize that as you learn more about what you want and work to grow your resources it will take patience.
You’ll probably mess up and be disappointed with the results on the first try.
But this is just the first try, so use it to make progress and learn more.
In a previous article about not giving up on your dream, I point out that adversity is different from failure and that things usually take longer than we expect. We need to be willing to face adversity and experience the growing pains.
Break out of confusion and don’t get stuck in the “how.” Learn everything you can and take the next best step. As James Clear points out in his book Atomic Habits, its all about making progress. Make 1% progress at a time and keep going.
By this time next year, just imagine how much progress you can make.
P.S. – If you want extra support on growing grit and perseverance, check out my course called Becoming Unstoppable.
Photo credit: Miguel Bruna