Impediments of Action and…Cake? {ToL #6}

Today I want to address 3 things that are interfering with your results. Specifically, 3 things which prevent you from taking action and therefore, prevent results. I also want to offer solutions, because what is the point of calling attention to problems, if I don’t offer some solutions! 🙂

1/ You rely on motivation.

Truth: Motivation cannot dictate action.

Motivation is a beautiful, fluffy thing. It’s a lot like baking powder in a cake. You could leave it out of your recipe, and you’ll still get an edible product. It makes it easy to do a thing—but it also makes it easy not to do a thing when it’s not there. It may not feel as good to you, but you can still achieve your desired outcome without having those fluffy motivational feelings. Irony is that reaching the goal in spite of not feeling like it will actually produce longer lasting feelings of self efficiency than the fleeting whimsies of motivation. Instead of relying on it, we should rely on continued action and the momentum that it builds.

Try instead: Eliminate the need for motivation altogether.

Take a look at this flywheel. For most of us, a process is initiated when we become motivated.

flywheel2

Motivation yields action.  Action yields results. Results yield more motivation, which yields more action, etc.

But what would happen if you removed motivation from the flywheel entirely?

flywheel3

What you’ll realize is that as long as you take action, you still get results. Most people lose energy and give up when motivation wanes, because they are then forced to rely on willpower. Willpower is finite, and the less comfortable you are with a task, the quicker your willpower is exhausted.

Here’s the thing: This is the make or break point.

If you make the choice to continue taking action, despite the lack of motivation, resolving not to rely on willpower alone, you can push further to tap into something even more powerful—momentum.

As long as you continue to take action, you’ll create momentum, and momentum carries you through when motivation wanes. Continue this process long enough, and you’ll eventually create a habit. Creating the habit is beneficial because it means that you’ll expend less mental energy, but still continue to have the benefit of the energy from momentum working in your favor. Nifty, right?!

In this process, motivation will still show up from time to time, and lend a welcome boost. The difference is that you won’t have to rely on it (or your willpower) if you keep the above process in mind.


2/ You focus on circumstances.

Truth: Circumstances cannot dictate action.

We run into trouble when we decide that the entire thing is not worth doing if it’s not perfect. Read: if things don’t go as expected it kills it for you, and so you scrap the plan altogether.

Try instead: coming up with a creative solution.

Back to the cake analogy.

If you planned to make a cake, but realized you were out of eggs and cake flour, you’d probably (understandably) believe you couldn’t make a cake. Life happens. Sometimes the best laid plans will fail. I get that. But can you get creative? Can you make something besides what it was that you you envisioned and expected of a cake? Perhaps you could use that vegan baking trick you heard about—subbing flax and water for the egg. You probably have oats you can grind into a flour too. It might not be exactly what you wanted, but it is still edible and it’s technically still a cake.

It’s not an ideal analogy, I know that. I think the point I’m trying to make comes across though. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Motivation is the baking powder that creates the pretty, fluffy feelings (cake).

Sometimes we discover new things in the process of having to do something that we didn’t plan to. You never know what you might discover and find that you enjoy in the process of adjusting and accommodating your needs to what’s available.

I’m not saying that running out of basic baking ingredients is going to transform someone into a vegan, but what I am suggesting is that it might possibly jump start that fluffy motivation feeling. As humans we get bored easily. We’re constantly seeking for the next dopamine hit (read: motivation). But, again we can’t rely on that to be the force we need in order to take action (see 1/ above).


3/ You get derailed by what others do.

Truth: The success and/or failure of others cannot dictate action.

If someone else succeeds or fails at a similar goal to what you are after, so you decide not to try.

Try instead: #AbundanceMindset

Regardless of if someone else succeeds or fails at something you want to achieve, there is still, ALWAYS room for your success!

Keep in mind, the success of others also doesn’t guarantee your success either! You must remain authentic to your voice. No matter how many times something has been done, or how many others are already doing what you want to do, there is no one else who can bring your unique set of experiences and ideas to the table in the same way you can. You’ll have your own recipe, method, or “secret ingredient” that will resonate with people in a way that others just can’t. (You thought I was going to leave cake out of this one, didn’t you!)

On the flip side, if someone else fails at something you’re aiming for, it doesn’t guarantee your failure. Don’t be intimidated by the failures of others. If anything, be encouraged that you will likely have even more opportunity, because fear of failure will eliminate the vast majority of people from trying something after someone else has failed.


I hope this encourages you to reevaluate the next time you find yourself stalled in taking action. I may need to come back to it myself from time to time!

| Kaci


Reader Questions:
1/ Can you relate to any of these scenarios?
2/ What other “action blockers” have you encountered/identified, and how have you worked around them?
3/ What’s your favorite cake of all time?

Thanks to Amanda for hosting the linkup!

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