If you’ve ever felt a desire to get somewhere other than where you are (and who hasn’t? it’s called progress), there is a crucial moment you will face, likely more than once, that will determine whether you become stuck in inaction or whether you’ll push through to the next level (whether that be personal, entrepreneurial, creative, or otherwise).
That is the moment at which you must decide to stop the endless consumption of ideas, information, and education- and start creating.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in ‘information consumer’ mode. I love to read and study and plan and write. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to that stuff, in fact.
Like any addict, the first step, then, is admitting you have a problem:
Hello my name is Helen, and I’m a consume-a-holic.
The next step is simply to start becoming aware of when you’re in the middle of a consumption binge.
And get on with creating.
(Even if it means writing one sentence of a blog post, making one phone call, creating one brush stroke, taking one photo.)
It never helps to berate yourself for your ‘habit’, by the way. Simply acknowledging it (like an anthropologist observes a native tribe member dancing around a fire) will do.
Hey, look at that, I’ve been browsing the Internet for sixteen straight hours without nourishment. Or blinking. Time to stop now.
That’s it. Really. Because becoming aware of your patterns without resisting them is the key to changing them.
That said, here are 6 specific consumer-ish habits to become aware of and stop immediately:
1. Browsing websites that make you feel like crap about yourself (as in, I could never write/create a product/make art like this!).
2. Reading sales letters that make you think you need to purchase yet another product that will ensure you have enough knowledge, education, or certification to start whatever it is you want to start. There’s nothing wrong with getting help, but when you wait to start until you’ve plunked down your money… that’s a sign that you are more addicted to seeking help than to actually DOING anything to help yourself.
3. Subscribing to email lists that constantly direct you to habit #2.
4. Comparing yourself to anyone you see who is doing what you want to do, and telling yourself they’ve got something you don’t.
5. Compulsively checking email, Facebook, Twitter, or the news to see what everyone else in the world is saying, doing, selling, complaining about, or eating for breakfast.
6. Reading one self-help book after another instead of actually doing what they recommend. (Note: I think how-to books have a ton of value. But when the ratio of reading to doing is something like 10:1, something’s gotta give.)
The really cool thing about this is that habits build on themselves. So once you start getting into the ‘creating’ habit and get the momentum going, you’ll find yourself doing it a LOT more.
Okay, now that you are done reading this (I kept it short on purpose), get on with creating!
Let me know how it goes, will ya?