How many times have you heard that you need to change internally, b-e-f-o-r-e you can change externally?

Albeit that belief holds some truth, I’ve found through experience that it tends to be more efficient to make changes externally, because you’re tangibly altering the physical world (aka the here-and-now).

Unfortunately “self-development” usually does you M-O-R-E harm than good.

It gets you comfortable with the idea of personal growth, but only comfortable enough to live inside the fantasy of your own head of what you COULD do.

What you could develop into.

What you could achieve.

What you could bring into fruition.

What you could ___________.

Hint: some people call this mental masturbation and they wouldn’t be too far off ; ) If you’re guilty of it, S-T-O-P. We’ve all been there. The difference is once you’re made aware of the degree at which you spend living inside the fantasy of your own head, you become quicker at recognizing it and flipping the switch from day-dreaming to ACTION-taking.

When you and Mr. Could become besties, nothing is ever manifested into the real-world because there is a lack of external change going on.

You can repeat mantras or affirmations to yourself all day long, but if you FAIL to seize opportunities when they’re in your grasp and take the necessary action… you’re going to live in a state of frustration and anger.

I’m not saying that tools like NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), affirmations, mantras or the act of taking time to work on your mindset is useless. What I am saying, however, is don’t fall prey to thinking that alone will move you closer towards what you want out of life.

EXECUTION is king.

If you want to become a better public speaker STOP reading books about speaking and join a Toastmasters club or start a YouTube channel.

If you want to lose weight or build muscle STOP telling yourself you will start next week, get yourself into the gym. You don’t need to wait until you find that perfect workout plan or you finish off the rest of the junk food in your cupboards. What you need is to get moving.

If you want to become a better leader, STOP solely reading books on leadership and start becoming a provider of value that lifts up those around you. Do the kinds of things leaders would be doing.

Like everything in life though, sometimes executing is easier said than done. So here are 5 “execution killers” to avoid if you want to kill procrastination and live a life of achievement.

  1. Thinking everything needs to be planned out to a tee before you start. Although you want to approach everything you do with diligence, a plan is only a prediction of the best possible scenario. All the unknowns will fall into place as you get moving.
  2. Prioritizing something in your life, but neglecting to actually live your priorities. It’s all fine and dandy to set priorities, but it’s another thing entirely to actually live in congruence with them. It all comes down to the action you do or do not take.
  3. Viewing fear, doubt and insecurity as road blocks to accomplishing your goals. Whenever you’re on the verge of growth, you will feel uncomfortable. Successful people learn to thrive in uncomfortable situations. It becomes a sign they are on the right track.
  4. Not having a grand vision and a WHY behind what it is you’re doing. If don’t set aside time weekly to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, your motivation will dwindle. Whenever I’m “not feeling it” I whip out the vision I’ve cast for my life (I have it printed out) and the flame is re-kindled. It’s a powerful tool. I recommend doing that same for yourself.
  5. Becoming addicted to perfection. Perfection is nothing more than masked procrastination ;) Very few things will ever live up to your idea of perfection. Instead of becoming addicted to perfection, become addicted to iteration. Get your idea out there in it’s most minimally viable form and then iterate it to perfection.

I’ll leave you with this: sometimes even the smallest of external actions, turn into the biggest of outcomes. If you want to accomplish something great, all it takes is you stepping outside of the fantasy of your own head and committing yourself to a state of execution over anything else.