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How to shift from knowing to doing

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June 29, 2011 by Sarah

Guestpost by Kath Roberts

There is a wealth of difference between knowing and doing. It’s what separates performance and success from wishful thinking. This very gap is keeping many an industry afloat from the latest self help and management books we buy through to the Consultancy industry that gets paid to frequently tell companies what they actually already know.

Half the time, lack of knowledge is not the problem, too much knowledge is. That’s because we fall into the trap of acquiring more analysis and even more information to absorb before taking the necessary action. We’re always busy getting started with the process of living or finding the work we love to do.

‘When all is said and done, more is said than done’ (Aesop 7th century BC)

That gap between knowing and doing is both ignorance and wisdom. Whilst a lack of knowledge can sometimes be a good thing in terms of taking risks there will be a much higher failure rate. Let’s take self employment as an example, plenty of people aspire to work for themselves and throw themselves into turning an idea into action without thinking it through properly but many just get lost in the information flow of what to do and how to do it, waiting for the right moment when they have mastered everything or the timing is right. Personally I think all business owners go through this type of procrastination so don’t lose heart if you’re at this stage, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Wisdom enables us to achieve the desired results through hands on experience, insights and perceptions. That’s because wisdom comes from the heart, the gateway to our infinite higher and unlimited self. Knowledge teaches us that a tomato is actually a fruit but wisdom teaches us not to put it in a fruit salad.

We know many things these days;

  • That we should take regular exercise
  • That we should limit our weekly alcohol intake
  • That we should save for our retirement
  • That we should find work we love to do

It’s the minority, however, who are actually acting wisely.

Knowing and doing are two very different things. We all try to break bad habits and attempt new goals but often fall short in the process. We know that intelligent individuals often fail to live up to their full potential because they fail to translate that knowledge into action. It’s the same issue separating those with the ideas from those that make those ideas happen.

Let’s refer to this as intuitive intelligence which is the ability to listen to one’s heart and follow a hunch but employ our highest faculties of will and reasoning to turn this into a reality. Insights from neuro-science now show us how the brain processes emotions. It is estimated that up to 95% of our emotions, decisions and behaviours are the result of unconscious mental processing and conditioning. That’s why it can sometimes feel like achieving success in our work or life can feel like pushing water up hill.

At a conscious level we may tell ourselves the right messages and we may have all the appropriate skills and knowledge to be effective yet there is a gap and sometimes it is gaping. This is because we don’t believe it’s possible at an unconscious level and we don’t even realise we’re thinking this way. We end up settling and working harder and longer to hit the elusive goal or worst still might totally sabotage our efforts.

Have are 6 winning tips to get you taking action in no time at all:

1. Take a holistic approach to your goals.

Don’t focus on what you should do focus on what YOU really want to do. This is where you need to stop living in your head and tune into your intuition to work that one out and it takes a while because you first have to unravel all that conditioned thinking to understand what really makes the heart sing . It’s about working out what’s in the heart first then the head because then there is a good chance there the goal you choose is in alignment with your unconscious mind. This exercise cannot be rushed and needs quiet contemplation to bring clarity not extreme busyness or more information overload.

The best description I can come up with when referring to the mind is an iceberg, you can only see the small mass on the surface of the water, think of this as your conscious mind. Then the unconscious mind is represented as the hidden depth’s of what’s going on underneath. The unconscious mind holds all awareness not present in the conscious mind. It houses your memories, feelings and thoughts that are out of conscious awareness, by definition, unconscious. It is the dreaming mind and the one that get’s you home sometimes automatically without that conscious awareness. You’ll know when you’ve tapped into it because the unconscious is rather like your very own satellite navigation system, programme it properly and it takes you exactly where you need to go with less effort and in less time. Then you really have tapped into the real power of the mind.

2. Less is more.

Ok so you want to change the world. Start with getting your own house in order first. Focus on no more than 3 goals at once and measure your results before building on them. The clearer your mind is with regard to what you want the better and it needs crystal clear intentions. It only responds well to clearly laid out instructions and requires plenty of down-time to allow the unconscious to process , find the results for you and bring them back to you in the form of inspiration and synchronicity.

3. Avoid negative filtering.

Once we have set up the unconscious mind with clear goals it is best just to focus on the end result you are looking to achieve by keeping a clear and positive picture at all times in your mind. When the conscious mind takes over in pops the inner critic, that little voice of doubt, fear, and disbelief. I call her my bitch!

Acknowledge their arrival then ask them to promptly leave!

4. Plan for tomorrow but live for today.

All positive actions are undertaken in the present moment. Little steps each day give us a slight edge and before you know it your goals are in sight, then achieved then surpassed. Before you realise people will say you’re an overnight success but of course you’ll know different.

5. Make it Count.

Have you noticed that when we invest in something financially we’re far more likely to be committed? Whilst I ‘m not suggesting you outlay cash lightly I am advocating putting your money where your mouth is but do spend wisely. If you want to lose weight investing in a weekly weightwatcher programme and a personal trainer may be a good strategy.

6. Get support.

Friends, family and professionals can help .Find people who will positively support your goals and who have an understanding of where you’re trying to get to because they’ve likely been there first and understand the territory. Here is where mastermind groups are invaluable if you’re in business for yourself.

Now enough advice go and take this knowledge and turn it into action!

Kath Roberts is a life and business coach, internet marketer, blogger and midlife rebel. She spent 13 years in recruitment at a senior level assisting others with building their careers and identifying top talent for her clients and her own business and now she’s advocating flying solo, being your own boss and creating inspired work, the stuff that lights you up and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She believes that there has never been a better time to stop trying to balance work and life and to start to practice work life integration. Her unique talent comes from her love of learning, coaching and a desire to inspire others. She is an energiser, a ray of positivity and a guiding light in an ocean of possibilities that’s because she’s living her purpose. You can find her at makeworkplay.co.uk or alchemy4thesoul.com/blog


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Hello! I'm Sarah Lou Davies a 30 something kiwi trying to make work play (and pay!).

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