Positive Habits

Why Action Must Precede Motivation

When do you do things–when you feel like it or when you don’t have a choice and your back is up against the wall? Think about it, seriously! What is your usual habit? Research says that most people are procrastinators and have the regular habit of putting things off. This often causes more stress and feelings of avoidance and powerlessness. It can be such a common problem, and it’s important to examine because of the self-perpetuating cycle which leads to anxiety and low self-esteem. Yeah, procrastinating and failing to take action leads to a lowered self-concept and other negative emotions associated with a lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy.

sleep instead of taking actionUsually, we don’t do things until we are motivated to do them. For most of us, feelings determine actions. The interesting thing is though, if we wait until we feel like doing something, it may never get done. This is especially problematic for those of us who are trying to break self-sabotaging habits like procrastination. Where the heck did we learn that we needed to feel like doing something before we did it? Hmph! I think maybe in 1st grade!

If we can power through feelings of dread and just take one action, even if it’s small, we will notice a change in how we feel.

Why is taking action so important?

Triumphing over procrastination comes down to the realization that you must take action first. Making the choice to take action is what you need to do in order to convince yourself to do something because it’s that very action (no matter how small) that holds the key to success. If you cling to the idea that you need to actually WANT to do something in order to get it done, you may never begin. Yes, that’s right. Forget about what you’ve always practiced.

Emotional reasoning or thinking based on how you feel is a form of distorted thinking and has many negative consequences. Take for example, that workout at the gym that we often dread. Reflect on those days when you actually get to the gym and begin the workout. Don’t you feel that much better when you get going? Sometimes you may even get a better workout and put more effort into the fitness routine. You feel proud and accomplished that you completed a goal. It actually serves as a boost to your self-esteem.

Now think back to the other times when you didn’t make it to the gym because you didn’t feel like it. You gave into the dread of going. You likely didn’t feel good about yourself, beat yourself up later about it, and didn’t do much else constructive that day either. So, we always feel better when we do those things that we know are good for us -the things that are personal goals. 

Motivation is secondary to actionLast minute adrenaline rush

If we want to increase the chances of being consistent and successful, we must simply program into our minds the necessity of taking action and not relying on motivation to carry us through. Action is an act of will and empowers you. The more you cultivate taking action, the more you will also feel a stronger sense of will power. This simple little step will give you more faith in yourself and over the longterm train you to delve into things as a normal course of action rather than procrastinate. Your confidence will soar over time and you will feel quite capable.

There are so many benefits of putting action before motivation. If you are able to comprehend and put to use this principle, you will be  a lot more impactful in your life and increase your chances of experiencing success.

There are some real, instant and tangible benefits to taking action

  1. When you take action, it instantly relieves anxiety and takes pressure off of you.
  2. When you take action, you automatically feel like your own little mini hero. You get immediate gratification, and it’s that gratification that motivates you to continue.
  3. Once you make a move to action, you immediately manifest something from your will. You see and feel the results fast.
  4. Action fuels more action, and then another, and then another.
  5. When you take action, your confidence builds around that action. You not only feel competent and able, but you feel a burst of energy.
  6. Taking action makes you feel more in control and fearless.
  7. Action also provides a sort of adrenaline rush that tides you over until you become motivated. Once you dig in, you’ll be motivated. It’s hard to be in momentum and dreading something at the same time. After all, two things can’t occupy the same space, right?

Dont procrastinateNever wait until you are motivated to do something, especially if its something you’re not too keen on doing. The next time you are dreading something and feel like procrastinating, TAKE ACTION instead! Give it a try, and you won’t be sorry. 


Butterfly Questions to Ponder:

  1. What creates the sense of dread about something I know I need or want to do?
  2. What routine or self-talk can I create to default to when I don’t feel like taking action?
  3. How will taking action be different from what I normally do?
  4. In what ways will taking action serve to empower me?
  5. What are some long-term benefits of taking action?

Tunisia Ali, Intuitive Life Coach and Reiki Master ©2017  www.butterflytransformations.com



Leave a Reply