“Just Do It” as the Nike slogan says!
This makes it seem so simple and easy. Could it be? Is it really? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you… How often have you wished you had…
I have come up with so many ideas for adventures and businesses over the years which have not come to fruition. So many, that my own children used to say, “Another idea that you aren’t going to do!” Thankfully, my husband has always encouraged me and been in my camp and my cheerleader for whatever cockamamie idea I discussed – but maybe that was because he knew I wouldn’t follow through. Ha ha!
Why have I been so hesitant to “Just Do It?” When reflecting on this -- these reasons come to mind: fear, perfectionism, self-doubt, and failure. These have kept me from taking initiative many times during my 49 years of life.
If I had taken initiative 20 years ago when I first thought Shawnee needed a Chick-fil-A, I would be saying “My pleasure!” a lot since Shawnee now has one of the busiest stores. If I had taken initiative to start a triathlon store 10 years ago, I may still be running, biking, and swimming. If I had… and the list goes on!
However, you are reading this blog today because with the help of my friend Julie, this Living52 initiative which was in my heart, has blossomed! She was the loud voice in my ear saying, “Let’s, Just Do It!” She wasn’t fearful, or mired down by perfectionism, doubtful, or afraid we would fail. I am so thankful!
By beginning this initiative I have learned so many new skills, made new friends and been amazed at people’s comments as they have shared their hearts on the website, social media and with me personally.
What is keeping you from taking initiative in your life? Are you like me and want everything “perfect” before you share it with the world? Are you afraid you will be rejected? What if you fail?
Let’s go back and look at the definitions of initiative – the ability to assess and initiate things; the power or opportunity to act or take charge; a strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation; a fresh approach to something.
As we read these definitions, why would taking initiative be important in life? Can it backfire? When is it a good idea to use initiative? Is it scary? Are there times when not to use it?
To the address the first question -- Why would taking initiative be important in life? Because, taking initiative shows leadership ability, gives you opportunity to reach out and offer help to those struggling, allows for reflection and self-awareness so that you can make changes in your life if needed. Also, when taking initiative to speak up and point out flaws when you see a bad decision being made, you can positively influence a situation instead of later making the statement “I thought that wouldn’t work out well”.
To the second question -- Can it backfire? Yes! I took initiative to change the Fall Carnival at my children’s school one year. Parts of this change were successful, but parts of it were disastrous. I didn’t ask enough questions from instrumental parties, i.e. the teachers. So if taking initiative is going to affect more than you, ask questions and seek advice.
To the third question -- When is it a good idea? This is up to you! And can it be scary? Sometimes. But the outcome could be more amazing than you would ever have imagined by just -- doing the scary.
To the last question -- Are there times when not to use your initiative? Of course. How do you know? Step back, reflect, pray, meditate and assess the risk.
When is a time that you have taken an initiative? How did it turn out? Are you more confident in yourself because of it? Did it help another person out?
Today, I am so thankful for this Living52 initiative! I was scared to share it with the world. I was afraid that no one else would connect with it and want to contribute. I didn’t know if we could keep it going for 52 weeks (jury is still out on this one). I wanted everything just “so-so” (and Julie would say that is still an issue). BUT, it has been worth every minute because of you!
Thank you for joining this INITIATIVE. Let’s be vulnerable, share, and fly together! It is what connects us.