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How I Learned That Any Action is Better Than No Action

How I Learned That Any Action is Better Than No Action

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

I, by nature, am a cautious person. I’m sensitive to what’s around me. Always have been.

And I think this can be a good thing a lot of times. I am in tune with the emotions and vulnerabilities of people around me. I’m less likely to get myself in dangerous situations.

But I’ve come to realize that I’ve also missed out on quite a bit this way. Back when I was younger, I missed the opportunity for an exciting first kiss. I also let the chance to live in a different country slip through my fingertips at one point.

Luckily, life gives second, third, and many more chances.

About six months ago, someone I care about told me that I often didn’t take chances, or do anything spontaneous or wild. Hearing a loved one say this was striking and a bit hurtful, but it also got me thinking. To this day, I believe this person gave me a gift that could’ve been rare to come across: the gift of a new mindset.

“Do I take chances?” I’ve asked myself over the past several months. “Am I doing things in my life that I’ll look back on and be proud of?”

“Where would I be now if I had taken action?”

I realized that, in my day-to-day journey, I do not take the action in my life that I could – no – that I want to. I often stay back as bystander, afraid to tinker with a situation and make the outcome worse as a result. And while this may stop me from hurting others or creating chaos at times, it also leaves me creating, well, nothing.

So, in the past six months, I’ve taken leaps and bounds to make sure I’m doing and creating things. At first it felt like I was going through a quarter life crisis. Now it feels like I’m taking new strides in my life to be the person I want to be. Here are some things I learned that might help others too.

1. Plan

I am not a planner. I like to relax and let others do the planning.

But this year I realized being a “planner” has its benefits. For one, you can make sure exciting things happen. Such as a cool trip (I’m going to Australia soon), or even just attending a local concert that sells out in an instant.

Sure, plans don’t always work out. But the “planners” I know are the ones who do the most exciting things in their spare time, and I admire them for their energy.

2. Leisure Time Will Come

At the end of the workday, nothing sounds better than eating a good meal and sitting in front of the TV. But sitting in front of the TV, night after night, isn’t beneficial in the long run. C’mon, you gotta do something other than work and lounge!

Whenever possible, I’ve been hitting up a local gym for a class at night. Or reaching out to a distant friend for a midweek dinner date. I have had to backlog some of my favorite TV shows, but more importantly, I feel a lot better and satisfied as a person overall.

3. But Also Take Time to Be Alone

I am definitely not trying to say all of life should be go, go, go. I’ve worn myself out at times, and therefore learned that one of my favorite things is when I’m alone in my room, drinking a glass of wine, and reading a good book. I absolutely LOVE dedicating a Sunday to a “me day” when possible.

I believe this is because you have to build a good, stable relationship with yourself in order to go out in the world and confidently take action. And the only way to build a relationship with yourself, is to be alone with yourself.

Once you do that, go live a vibrant, fulfilling life.

How I Learned That Any Action is Better Than No Action
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About April Stearns

April Stearns enjoys blogging about business, lifestyle, and arts and connecting with the digital world as a content marketer and social media manager. She spends most of her free time reading, practicing yoga and pilates, exploring the Bay Area in California, and watching too much Netflix. You can visit her personal site www.aprilstearns.contently.com and also follow her on her various social media links below.

24 comments

  1. Have fun and enjoy your life. Do what makes you happy… Loved your blog…

  2. Wow! Such a great post. It probably feels great to be the creator of these new things in your life 🙂 Good for you!

  3. Yes! Sometimes we have to swallow our fear and try something new. The more we step outside of our comfort zone the bigger our zone of comfort becomes.

  4. Loved the post and agree wholeheartedly. Delayed action is also better than no action. Saying “NO” is difficult but is also an action and often is the right action! Inaction is akin to surrender.

  5. This helped me a lot. I’m not a planning person, but whenever I put my hands on the dirt, amazing things happen.

    I loved this sentence: “And the only way to build a relationship with yourself, is to be alone with yourself.” Totally agree!

  6. I was the opposite in my youth in some ways, I spoke up and took risks others wouldn’t dare to, like high stakes highway driving and quoting my job, breaking up with my boyfriend and taking a month long trip to Australia immediately after. Now? I have 3 kids, some regrets, but great memories of my youth. I learned more about myself and the world by taking action. Some are quieter in their nature and that is envious, how peaceful it must be. We are all different~ go enjoy your life and your plan to plan~ excellent idea to save yourself some trouble! Leave room for the unexpected too 🙂

  7. This is some great advice! Thanks for sharing!

  8. What’s that saying, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I think Wayne Gretzky said that right? It’s so true – I think most of the time people assume that if they wait long enough, the situation will twist and turn into a scenario that will only have one action plan for themselves. Rather than being proactive (and possibly wrong), they just wait… and eventually the opportunity is gone. I really enjoyed this post!

  9. Hi April, I have just discovered your blog and this first post I read really hit a chord. I am a very happy recluse and a planner but I don’t take risks and yes, I agree that sometimes that means you miss out on stuff. You have pushed me one step closer to risking my next move towards something new! Thank you- Suzy

    • Suzy, I’m glad you enjoyed this great guest post from April! Please be sure to check out her personal site, located in her author bio for a ton more great writings from her! Thanks

  10. One of the traits of a Genius is being willing to take risks…liked your post!????

  11. I’ve worked with many people with your similar mindset, and I have to remind them of a few things. We need them to participate, not be a spectator. 🙂
    -Your presence matters
    -Not being affected by life; affects life
    -Not making a decision about things is actually making a decision
    Sounds like you are working hard to change those things.

  12. Those are great points! I’m not the kind that usually takes risks or chances either, until I’m in enough pain that I take a huge leap of faith! That’s how I ended up in California. I lack the “planning” part of that step though hahaha. When I take big risks, planning is what gets me to overthink, so I just do it without trying to think too much about it! Hahahaa

  13. Without any action, we would have no reaction; without any reaction, we would not experience interaction. Without interaction, our wanted ways would not become our fashion.

  14. Great post. I definitely can relate to what you’re saying in that sometimes we need to take chances to have great experiences without regret. Especially if we’re not sure those chances will come by again. Also, congrats on deciding to try new things and put yourself out there. It can be a brave yet meaningful thing to do in the end.

  15. I believe in taking action over you lives choices.choosing to live in the moment and think before I react has helped me a great deal. When I was young I was a follower and didn’t make my own choices. This brought me so much heart ache and trouble. I now act and react on my own. Growth has begun. Thank you for this post.

  16. Good points, sometimes we need to take some risks.

  17. Well, I had NO idea you had so many contributors here, but I love your blog. Thanks to who it was that stopped by my Book Promotions WP blog. I also have an Author/Recovery blog as well here: https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com where I write about living in recovery from gambling addiction while also living with mental health challenges … Hope you will stop by. Feeling so much inspiration here XOXO …

    Author & Columnist of “The Author’s Cafe” for In Recovery Magazine
    Catherine Lyon 🙂 🙂

  18. Sometimes you even are the person who is taking chances but…you get stuck for a moment. In those times it is important to remind yourself that in any moment you can change this 🙂

  19. Very good tips. Thanks for stopping by Coloring Stress Away.

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