My good friend and coauthor, Heather Thomson imparted this wisdom to me a few weeks ago as we were preparing a presentation we were delivering together. It’s one of those concise phrases that carries so much truth.
Knowing is easy. Doing is hard.
Let me give you some examples:nowin
I need to get to bed earlier because I must get up earlier
Even if I get into bed earlier, I don’t fall asleep any earlier
I know it’s better to offer a thoughtful response to something I just heard
My knee-jerk reaction comes out of my mouth before I’ve even had a chance to think about it
I’ve read a stack of leadership books
I’m still not confident I’m doing the right things as a leader
If I get that big project out of the way, I will feel so much better
It’s such a daunting task, I’m procrastinating
I know exercise is good for me and I need to get more of it
I’m not feeling motivated, and I have so many other things to do
I think I’ve proven my point. Here are some ways to DO, that will make it a little easier:
Focus on the benefits—Instead of thinking of the task at hand, focus on the benefits. For example, rather than thinking about exercising, focus on feeling better and having more energy.
Develop habits—When we do something repetitively, it becomes a habit rather than a task. Once it’s a habit, it’s much easier to sustain. For example, after reading a book about leadership, take a few minutes to summarize the key points you learned and make a plan to implement what you learned. Then focus on one or two things and do them consistently until they become routine.
Be Courageous—Doing the right thing is hard, like having difficult conversations with employees. So, gather up the courage and just do it.
Keep trying—When things are hard, we don’t always get it right the first time. That doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands and walk away. That won’t get you anywhere.
Cut yourself some slack— We can be hard on ourselves. Forgive yourself for not doing and then move on.
Need some help taking what you know and turning it into what you do? Coaching can help.
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