Actually Means Action
I was playing podcast catch-up recently and was binge listening to The Productive Woman. Host, Laura McClellan, was inspiring me with her usual thought-provoking wisdom when I noticed something she repeated throughout the episode. She used the phrase “actually take action” or “actually act on” many times in the episode. At first I thought maybe it was just one of those catch phrases that everyone has, like how I often end my sentences with, “so…” (That’s a terrible habit I’m trying to break, and my husband is ever-so-helpful in pointing out when I do it!) It kind of made me feel like my “so…” habit was just a version of something even successful women I admire also struggled with. But the more she said it, the more I starting thinking it was worth exploring further.
How many times have I used the word "actually" as if it described something that was unrealistic and unattainable?
It’s like throwing the word “actually” in there gives me a pass on doing the task. It implies there’s some underlying force beyond my control preventing me from completing my duties. It doesn’t take a linguist to recognize that the root of actually is act. The Latin definition is “activity - something that a person does.” Oh, so I have to DO something to accomplish a goal? Another word with the same root would solve these problems and eliminate the excuses - ACTION!
"Balance your thoughts with ACTION. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done." -Bruce Lee
It sounds so easy to just take action and get it done, but in reality, there are many things that get in the way. Time, competing priorities, and fear are the biggest stumbling blocks for accomplishing my goals. I’ve talked before about how I struggle with time (“Getting Better at Time”) and some strategies I’ve put into place to help overcome that barrier to inaction. Time is finite, and you truly have to make choices about what gets done.
Competing priorities is something I think every woman has in her life. Remembering that we are in charge of our own lives ( “Who’s in Charge?” ) and owning that our choices to do what we want to do may not make everyone else happy is a way to really put what is most important at the top. In order to give those items time in your schedule, you must remove the unnecessary to align with your long term goals.
Finally there is fear. I have lots of different types of fears: fear of failure, fear of change, fear of rejection, fear of disappointing others, fear of not being happy, fear of regret, fear of hurting someone else. One thing I’ve learned is that letting any of those fears keep you from doing something you want to try only fuels the fear of being unfulfilled. If you’re reading this, I must have overcome some of my fears and actually published my blog! What will you actually do today?
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
1/9/2018 04:42:45 pm
Claire, I'm honored to know the podcast provoked the thought that let to this excellent, wise post. Some very good advice here for all of us (definitely including me!.
1/9/2018 08:33:32 pm
Thanks for reading!
1/10/2018 09:57:18 pm
Great advice! The women’s leadership conference I attended in November had a segment about this...eliminating the word actually, and taking action, just like you shared!
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