Why We Have To Convince Ourselves To Do What We Want

Why We Have To Convince Ourselves To Do What We Want


ait a second? That can’t be right, can it? In fact it happens all the time. We want to do something more than anything, but we don’t do it. Why?

I needed a change for some time when it came to my career, but it took me a lot longer to make the jump then it should have. I had to convince myself that it was a good decision, even though I knew it was, long before I went through a rational assessment.

I had to convince myself to do what I already wanted to do.

It’s a weird process. I made the pros and cons list, I worked through the scenarios, it all made sense on paper, but I was still reluctant. At the end of the day, if I had to put a name to it, I would call it irrational fear.

I knew what I wanted, I could see the life I wanted, but I didn’t take action. It was silly. I had enough savings, I had opportunities to chase, I had support, I had every reason to try, but I still waited. My pros and cons list looked something like this.meprosThe cons were reasonable to me. I knew what I was getting into and I went ahead with it because I knew that’s what I wanted. The thing is, even if it’s the opposite, even if you know that it doesn’t make sense and you have every reason not to do it, you still want to.

It’s not something that you can just shake off. Even if your pros and cons list looks more like this, you know what is going to win out eventually.
otherprosDespite a mountain of reasons not to do something, that one reason still outweighs everything else. Damn the pros and cons.

When this is the case what do you do?



‘ve written about The Resistance in the past, but I think it’s relevant in this situation as well. It’s this invisible force that hinders you from doing work that matters. It’s the force that says you couldn’t possibly make that change in your life. It’s the force that stops you from creating your own form of art.

The resistance manifests itself in many different ways, for example irrational fear. You know what you want to do, all that’s left is taking action. The thing is, if you can make sense of things logically, then doing so is that much easier.

Of course it’s not so simple. We live in the real world. We have responsibilities. We have people counting on us. So we have to take those cons into consideration, we have to convince ourselves.

So yes, make the lists, do the pros and cons, make it rational and make sense because it’s probably the only way you’ll proceed. Once you do, everything will change.

To do this, we need to take the necessary steps to enable us to dive off the deep end. That means dealing with those common factors that often hold us back.

Let’s look at how you can handle the most common deterrents to following your wants.

1. Finances

Money matters. No matter what anyone says, you need money to survive. If you’re supporting your family then it becomes even more important. If you want to take a risk and turn your life upside down, start saving money ASAP.

Instead of that morning coffee you buy every day, brew your own cup at home. Instead of eating out all the time, starting cooking. There are a lot of concessions you can make over time that will help you gather the savings you need.

For me, it was having at least a 6 month runway to see things through, because you need to give yourself enough time to try.

2. Opportunities

Before you even think about making any move, start doing what you can in your current situation. Find your first client, write your first words, make your first sale. Whatever it is, start doing it, even if it’s on a much smaller scale.

This will not only make things more clear, it will also show you the opportunities that are available to you. You don’t want to dive in head first into the unknown without at least testing the waters.

Dip your toe in and see what it’s like before making the jump.

3. Fears

Despite things making sense on paper, we are all gripped by fear when making such large life decisions. We fear what will happen, how we will fail, and how terrible that will be.

What you need to do is face those fears. Truly look at what your life would look like if you did fail in spectacular fashion. The funny thing is, it’s often not as bad as you think.

If you burn through your savings and you’re not really making any progress, what was the cost? You lost some time, you lost some money, and maybe you strained some relationships, but more often than not, things aren’t going to get much worse.

On the other hand, you tried and learned and are better off for it. What was there to be afraid of truly? You can find another job if you really want it and you can get back to where you were.

The fear that lives in our minds and the reality of it are often very different. Facing your fears helps you see that things may not be as scary as you thought.

4. Support

Finally and most importantly, find a support system that will be there for you. Friends, family, and mentors can help you and be there as you struggle and find your way. And yes you’ll struggle.

The thing is, having that support will give you the strength to work and keep chasing your goals, rather than giving up before you even get started.

Surround yourself with the right type of people and you’ll have that much more resolve to make the choice you want to make.

Too many of us aren’t following our dreams because we are living our fears.Les Brown

While you can feel it in your bones that the choice you want to make is right, you still need that push. Preparing yourself in this way can get you on the path you desire.

So make lists, ask questions, save money, confront failure, find support, and most importantly, convince yourself.

Image via flickr