Cam Taylor

Be inspired. Be focused. Be tenacious.

What Are You Not Doing?

You learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.
— Mary Daly, as quoted by Brene Brown


When you learned to ride a bike, you didn’t wait until you could ride a bike to start learning. You jumped in long before you could ride. Then we grow up and some where along the way, we start tripping on the idea that unless we can do it perfectly, we won’t bother trying. The risk of failure is just too high.

All kinds of barriers (besides the fear of failure) keep us from doing what we “could” be doing:

  • discouragement
  • fear
  • doubt
  • indecision
  • the “good”
  • debt
  • a j-o-b
  • commitments

The challenge we face when encountering these barriers is they tend to keep us from doing the very activities that are in line with our greater purpose or what would make us feel fully alive.

As Seth Godin puts it, “…your biggest failure is the thing you dreamed of contributing but didn’t find the guts to do…the biggest black mark on your working resume is the road not taken, the project not initiated, and the art not made” (from The Icarus Deception).

So what is the pathway required to get back on track and moving in a forward direction?

The Three “A” Framework

There’s a three part process that originates from addiction therapy I’ve found very helpful. When applied to your limiting beliefs, it can help you stay the course or get back on course when distracted by the loud noises of fear, doubt, and insecurity.

The first step is to become AWARE of the impulse or perception that is getting in the way. It’s not about trying to out muscle it because you will lose. It’s about simply seeing it and being aware of its presence.

The second step is to AVERT your gaze from the limiting belief or perception getting in the way of what you “could” be or do. Again, this is not an aggressive attack on the limiting belief, but an intentional turning away from the grip it has on your mind and self perception.

The third step is to choose the ALTERNATIVE. This is where you pro-actively start behaving, acting, talking, engaging in a way consistent with the new perception you have of yourself and how you want to be. It may be awkward at first, but will eventually take root as new muscle memory is formed.

Baby steps

The good news is that your best work is a few baby steps away from where you are right now – but you must keep walking. If it’s the fear of failure, re-framing that failure is essential to moving forward.

It’s the baby steps taken every day that gets us to our new destination.

It’s not the leaps of faith that usually get us to where we need to go but the daily application of awareness, averting and choosing alternatives that empower positive action.

What are you not doing?
What baby steps can you take to keep moving?

Image source: Free image courtesy of

About Cam Taylor

Life and leadership coach, transition & change specialist, husband, dad, leader, writer, life long learner.

Leave a Reply