Ready to take the leap?

“There is a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.” – Bob Dylan      

I’ve had that quote laying around in my quote file for some time. Lots of people have dreams or desires that they never realize because they aren’t willing or ready to make the leap over the wall that separates them from that goal. Most often that wall is a mental one created out of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

The wall of FUD often keeps people confined to their “comfort zone”, that warm, safe-feeling little mental prison in which we often confine ourselves. FUD prevents people from even trying, much less achieving their dreams. The wall that they build in their mind becomes insurmountable and their imagination creates failure scenarios before they even take the first step. Often these people sabotage themselves and their own efforts. Their imagined failures become self-fulfilling prophecies.

But, let’s assume for the moment that you are not one of those people and that you truly want to succeed and reach your goal. How do you get over the walls that stand in your way? Some may try the brute force approach, bulling their way forward and trying to overpower whatever (or whoever) is blocking their way. This is the win-lose method. When that something is another person, this approach may brush them aside or brusquely climb over them. It is not a method that results in friendships or loyalty being built with those who seem to be in the way. It is much better in the long run to find a win-win way to achieve the goal and keep those who you must pass happy, too.

The main ingredients in overcoming fear, uncertainty and doubts are knowledge, planning and self-confidence. Knowledge allows you to truly understand the challenge ahead, rather than just imagining all of the possibilities for failure. One builds that knowledge through careful study of the situation at hand. By increasing your knowledge of the problem, you develop an understanding of the challenges that allows you to plan approaches to overcome them.

Taking time to plan also allows (maybe forces) you to prioritize the steps in your plan. Getting ahead of yourself is one of the primary causes of failure when the brute force method is used. Finally, by increasing your knowledge of the problems ahead and having a plan to approach overcoming them, you build self-confidence. Doing those first two steps help remove many of the unknows that always cause anxiety and doubts.

When you can say to yourself, I understand the problem and I know what I’m going to do to resolve it you are already well on your way to leaping over the walls that stand between you and what you want. You’ve got the knowledge and you’ve got a plan. You’ve got this. Then, just do it. Take the leap and execute your plan.

Bob Dylan would be so proud of you.

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