Shake Yourself into Action

By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

One of my dear friends lives at Whistler Mountain outside of Vancouver, Canada. Ed is a straightforward kind of a guy who has little compassion or patience with people who beat around the bush. He is action oriented and loves seeing results. I spent a couple weeks one summer helping Ed build a garage onto his house and it was non-stop until I boarded the plane to come home. During one of our conversations I was complaining about a partner of mine and Ed stopped me in the middle of my conversation.

“Give yourself a shake Bobby. Stay in the partnership or get out, but don’t bellyache about it.”

I’m not as bottom-line as Ed, especially when people are going through difficult times, but in reality, he’s right. Give yourself a shake or snap out of it or slap yourself on the head. Do whatever is necessary to get unstuck and begin moving in a positive direction. The longer you waltz around in a problem the more confusing the problem becomes. Here are several suggestions I believe Ed would make if you find yourself stuck.

  • STOP — (S)tart (T)hinking (O)f (P)ossibilities — After you give yourself a shake immediately begin thinking of the possibilities you have at your fingertips. Misery begets misery and enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. Begin “thinking” in the right direction and write your possibilities down.
  • Get moving — It’s not enough to think in the right direction, you have to take action on them. This requires energy and
    sometimes risk. Often we don’t know exactly what that direction is. Therefore, the first step of action is movement until the right direction reveals itself.
  • Go against mental and emotional resistance — How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t feel like it”
    or “That won’t do any good.” Do it anyway. When you take action your feelings will change and you’ll be glad you decided to attend that meeting.
  • Touch base with everyone — Begin meeting with everyone you can think of. You never know who knows who. I belong to
    an executive networking group here in Dallas. When I first moved here I decided to email or call 10 of the members a week and schedule time to have a cup of coffee. I not only get to know them, but it also gives us the opportunity to discover how we can help one another.
  • Be BOLD — This recession can do two things; it can beat you down or make you tough. If you begin feeling beat down shake yourself into boldness. It’s not a time for shyness or questioning your motivation. Be bold about asking for what you want.
    You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
  • Consider the needs of others — Boldness does not prevent you from being compassionate about the needs of the other person. Be bold about understanding their need and offering assistance. Find ways to introduce them to people you know who can assist them in getting what they want.
  • Learn to communicate effectively — Don’t use your “inability” to communicate as an excuse. During these recessionary times it’s imperative to communicate your message clearly and with power. I suggest learning how to do that by contacting my friend and colleague Dr. Loren Ekroth. Loren is a national expert on conversation for business and social life. He has been extremely helpful to me and I highly recommend his work.

Tom Sharpe, an English author sums this message up nicely; “We must not only strike the iron while it is hot, we must strike it until it is hot.”


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