Action Is The Antidote To Despair

action is the antidote to despair

In my last blog, I shared some very painful memories of owning a business on the edge of bankruptcy 25 years ago – caused by economic issues way outside my circle of influence.

And many people way be in the same boat today.

I shared 3 tips on what to focus on and how to start taking action in the right direction to climb out of the hole.

The problem is: when you’re stressed / busy / anxious / scared, it’s REALLY hard to think straight and to take sensible steps forward.

The very time you need these skills the most, they are hardest to access.

(This is because of your hunter/gatherer survival instinct, based in the most primitive part of your brain triggering the ‘fight or flight instinct’ which physically shuts down the rational thinking part of the brain – the cortex – and means that, even though you know you should be thinking and acting more sensibly, it’s almost impossible to do so).

Do you ever look back on a time of stress and say: ‘What was I thinking!’?

I’m sure the answer is ‘yes’, and that’s ok, because this is normal: so I thought it might be helpful to share a little tip.

Many years ago, when I was starting my journey of self-development and digging myself out of my dip (which continues to this day), I learnt a couple of remarkably simple statements that have really helped:

  • ‘Action is the antidote to despair’ (Joan Byez)
  • ‘A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step’ (Confucius)

And these have served me continually to this day.

The key is to learn and remember simple ideas and simple steps, so that when the brain goes haywire in times of stress and struggle, you can access them and take a step in the right direction.

And as soon as you start taking just one step in the right direction, the stress starts to subside, and you start to be able to see and take more and more steps.

This is the secret.

So: here’s my tip from this blog:

(And please do share this with anyone who may be struggling or stressed at the moment: it may be the simple idea that they can take on board and help them take effective action …)

  1. Action is the antidote to despair: learn to recognise the symptoms of stress and force yourself to take some simple action. (A simple example: when I’m struggling with a problem or my own demons, I often go for a short walk or do a set of press-ups … and am amazed at the clarity and calmness I get by doing this).
  2. A journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step: if you have a huge problem or project in front of you (and I’m sure you probably always do!): sit down and start to plan steps and milestones. This seems insignificant, but it IS the first step, and then the next steps will follow so much easier!

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