“Action is the high road to self-confidence and self-esteem.”
By Bruce Lee
On the first hand, I see how action eliminates the opportunity for overthinking and negative contemplation. Doing something changes our minds. I can’t remember where I read it, but it appears we actually cannot multi-task. It is physically impossible for our brains to do two things at once. Some people have developed the ability to switch back and forth between different mental tasks and retain the train of thought on them, but no one can do two mental things at once. Before I digress deeper into this part, let me get back to my point about action. When our brains are busy doing something, they aren’t thinking of something else. We are all taught the benefits of focus from a very young age. There’s a good reason fore this, it helps us get stuff done and move forward.
I believe we all feel good, when we are progressing. I know I feel good about progress. I still feel good about accomplishment, but when I look back over the trip to getting something done, there are two parts I like the most: starting and accomplishing the first goal, because there’s no turning back (for me), I now have to finish it. For example, when I’m writing a school paper, or ghostwriting an article for a client. My process is emotionally similar every time. I do the research, collect quotes and references, then I torture myself with thinking of one thing to write about and often feel a little bored until I find it, but that’s a whole other neuroses to rip apart another time. When I get my focus or research question down, I know I’ve started and the process starts. When I’ve written down my sub-headings, quotes, theses, notes, and bibliography I know I’ve hit that happy point of progress where I feel motivated and compelled to finish it. Finishing my first draft is a little less exciting and the final edit is a struggle against boredom, but I do it and mentally congratulate myself to remind myself I worked well on it and that I feel grateful for m y ability to write. I could run this paragraph on for a while and that is part of why my final edits are more tedious. I get fascinated by all the tangential thoughts I discover while writing. Then I feel proud and happy about my own cleverness.
In a nutshell, I feel good about myself and confident I have something to say about whatever topic I’m working on. So much so, that I get a little frustrated that I have to stay on topic, rather than explore the endless tangents. Well, I am actually happy I don’t live in that bubble of self-indulgence, because it keeps me on a better communication track. Well, I hope it does. I see how the stopping the action I’m on makes me less happy and why I need to stop, sometimes leaves feelings of self-doubt. I have to say that this quote hits home!